New Music Monday: Something Else! breaks down the week's releases

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Here’s a look at some notable music projects — both new and reissue — scheduled for release on Oct. 18, 2011, with our thoughts on piping hot freshness from Jeff Beck, former Toto/Le Roux singer Fergie Frederikson, Kimya Dawson, Jane’s Addiction, Killing Joke and Sugar Ray Norcia, among others — along with polished up old stuff by Bachman Turner Overdrive, Mick Fleetwood, the Temptations and the Smiths.

NEW MUSIC MONDAY’S PLAYLIST …

Airto Moreira –Touching You … Touching Me, Wounded Bird (Latin)
Andrea Bocelli – The Best of Andrea Bocelli: Vivere, Universal (Vocal)

BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE – NOT FRAGILE, AUDIO FIDELITY (POP/ROCK): The aptly titled title track includes a monster, bass-led riff, a husky lead vocal and the crunching guitars held at bay just long enough for Randy Bachman’s sublime solo in the middle. Sure, the sonic makeup of this song might draw comparisons to Mountain or early Black Sabbath, but even at their best, they might have matched but not surpassed such a perfect heavy metal vamp, and no one was playing guitar like Bachman. He was an original (and still is). (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Bay City Rollers – Bay City Rollers/Rock N’ Roll Love Letter, Wounded Bird (Pop/Rock)
Benny Goodman – AFRS Benny Goodman Show, Vol. 5, Sounds of Yesteryear (Jazz)
Billy Swan – Playlist: The Very Best of Billy Swan, Playlist (Pop/Rock)
Bobby Kimball – Kimball Jamison, Frontiers (Pop/Rock)
Carpenters – Gold: Greatest Hits (Pop/Rock)
Chic – Original Album Series, Warner Bros (R&B)

CHRIS ISAAK – BEYOND THE SUN, VANGUARD (POP/ROCK): Here’s the kind of project that makes you wonder “Didn’t he already do this? No? Really.” Isaak’s entire career has seemed to have been an homage to the heyday of Sun Records so an album like this shouldn’t be a surprise, and yet it seems entirely unnecessary at the same time. What, really, can Isaak add to these classic tunes? Long time fans will probably revel in hearing “Ring Of Fire,” “Great Balls Of Fire,” “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” “It’s Now Or Never,” “Oh Pretty Woman,” and “I Walk The Line” among the lesser known songs, but for others, these seem like ridiculously obvious fare for Isaak. It’s available in a stripped-down “regular” edition or the much longer “deluxe” edition and, really, I’m not sure why anyone would bother with the shorter version. In for a penny, in for a pound, amiright or amiright?Tom Johnson

Connie Francis – The Very Best of Connie Francis (Pop/Rock)
Dave Koz – Ultimate Christmas, Capitol (Holiday)
Disney Songs and Story – Tangled, Walt Disney (Pop/Rock)
Disney Songs and Story – Princess and the Frog, Walt Disney (Pop/Rock)
Dizzy Gillespie – Groovin’ High, Candid (Jazz)
Dusty Springfield – Hits Collection (Pop/Rock)
Eric Reed – Something Beautiful, WJ3 (Jazz)
Etta James – Heart & Soul: A Retrospective, Hip-O Select (Blues)
Everlast – Songs of the Ungrateful Living (Pop/Rock)

FERGIE FREDERIKSEN – HAPPINESS IS THE ROAD, FRONTIERS (POP/ROCK): The 1980s-era melodic rock textures here from the former Toto/Le Roux singer don’t do much to challenge expectations. But, really, why should they? In the end, this is the sound of this cancer survivor’s era, the sound of the period when he last ruled the airwaves, and it’s hard to fault him for wanting to return to it — especially after such trying and difficult times. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Gene Autry – Playlist: The Very Best of Gene Autry, Playlist (Country)
George Benson – Benson Burner, Wounded Bird (Jazz)
Gino Vannelli – Night to Remember, Fuel 2000 (Pop/Rock)
Ike Turner – Jack Rabbit Blues: Singles 1958-60, Secret (R&B)

ICE EARTH – DYSTOPIA, CENTURY MEDIA (POP/ROCK): Jon Schaffer has finally found a vocalist in Stu Block that can marry the fire of Tim Owens with the stone of Matt Barlow, and he has the potential to please both factions of fans. Here’s hoping he can keep him around for more than one album.Fred Phillips

James Blake – Enough Thunder, James Blake [Repack], Polydor (Electronic)

JANE’S ADDICTION – THE GREAT ESCAPE ARTIST, CAPITOL (POP/ROCK): I haven’t had much interest in Jane’s Addiction since Ritual de lo Habitual. Hopefully the music here is better than the cover. (More here.) — Fred Phillips

JEFF BECK – LIVE AT B.B. KING’S BLUES CLUB & GRILL, FRIDAY MUSIC (POP/ROCK): Originally an online-only release, we now get to hear the Guitar Shop reunion of Beck with Terry Bozzio and Tony Hymas recorded live. I saw this trio back in the day and they just burned. — Mark Saleski

Jeff Richman and Chatterbox – The Line Up (Jazz)
Jefferson Starship – Freedom At Point Zero/Winds of Change, Friday Music (Pop/Rock)
Jelly Roll Morton – Rarities: The Rare Band and Blues Sides, Jazz Oracle (Jazz)
Joe Ayers – Backatchya (Blues)
Judy Collins – Bohemian Wildflower (Folk)

KILLING JOKE – LIVE AT HAMMERSMITH APOLLO (POP/ROCK): As a big fan of Killing Joke myself, I ordered this a while back when it was only available to order directly. So take my words as a warning: this is for the really, really big fans only. The recording is decent, if a little soft, but gravel-throated Jaz Coleman is particularly gravelly on this recording, entirely unable to hit high notes he’s been able to hit on previous tours. I don’t know what the deal was — recovering from a cold? throat infection? whatever — but the result is something that probably shouldn’t have been released, in my opinion. If you really, really have to have an Absolute Dissent tour recording, this is your only option at the moment. Just warning you, though: this is lackluster.Tom Johnson

KIMYA DAWSON – THUNDER THIGHS (POP/ROCK): Only an artist as comfortable in her own skin as Kimya Dawson would name her label Great Crap Factory. I fell in love with Kimya by way of the Juno soundtrack and can’t wait to hear this one.Mark Saleski

Kris Kristofferson – Playlist: The Very Best of Kris Kristofferson, Playlist (Country)
Lee Morgan – I Remember Clifford, Candid (Jazz)
Lionel Richie – Back to Front (R&B)
Marillion – Live at High Voltage 2010 (Pop/Rock)

Maynard Ferguson – Maynard, Wounded Bird (Jazz)

MICK FLEETWOOD – THE VISITORS, WOUNDED BIRD (POP/ROCK): This record was originally released in 1981 and I’ve never been able to track down a copy. Recorded in Ghana with special guests George Harrison and Peter Green, will it live up to my expectations?Mark Saleski

MINISTRY – ORIGINAL ALBUM SERIES, WARNER BROS (POP/ROCK): Nice set of Ministry’s best records, if you don’t already own them.Fred Phillips

Montgomery Gentry – Rebels on the Run, Average Joe’s (Country)

MUDWAYNE – PLAYLIST: THE VERY BEST OF MUDVAYNE, PLAYLIST (POP/ROCK): ‘The Very Best of Mudvayne’? In my best Jim Mora: “Are you kidding me? Mudvayne?”Fred Phillips

Petra – Petra/Come and Join Us, Wounded Bird (Pop/Rock)
Phil Collins – Hello, I Must Be Going!, Audio Fidelity (Pop/Rock)
Phil Vassar – Playlist: The Very Best of Phil Vassar, Playlist (Country)
Phoebe Snow – Playlist: The Very Best of Phoebe Snow, Playlist (Pop/Rock)
Public Image Ltd. – Alife 2009 (Pop/Rock)
Ramsey Lewis – Solar Wind, Wounded Bird (Jazz)
Redbone – Already Here, Wounded Bird (Pop/Rock)
Ronnie Hawkins – The Hawk, Wounded Bird (Pop/Rock)
Rosemary Clooney – Playlist: The Very Best of Rosemary Clooney, Playlist (Jazz)
Sarah Brightman – The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection (Vocal)
Screaming Trees – Last Words: The Final Recordings (Pop/Rock)
Sergio Mendes – Original Album Series, Warner Bros (Latin)
Shelby Lynne – Revelation Road (Country)

Soul Rebels Brass Band – Unlock Your Mind, Universal (Pop/Rock)
Steve Lott – Blues from Down Under: The Best of Steve Lott Band (Blues)
Sting – Best of 25 Years, A&M (Pop/Rock)

SUGAR RAY NORCIA – EVENING, SEVERN (BLUES): He’s played with the likes of Duke Robillard, Ronnie Earl, and Monster Mike Welch. He’s also one of the best blue harmonica players on the planet.Mark Saleski

Supersuckers – Live at Hammersmith Apollo and Indigo, 2/London 2011 (Pop/Rock)

SWEET – ARE YOU READY, SWEET LIVE, VARESE FONTANA (POP/ROCK): A Sweet album recorded in 2008, and I didn’t even know they were still around. Wonder if any of the originals are on this or if it’s one of those deals where the third bass player is carrying on the name with a bunch of new guys.Fred Phillips

The Brides of Funkenstein – Never Buy Texas from a Cowboy, Funk or Walk, Wounded Bird (R&B)
The Fugs – Tenderness Junction, The Belle of Avenue A, Golden Filth, It Crawled into My Hand – Honest, Wounded Bird (Pop/Rock)
The Kentucky Headhunters – Dixie Lullabies (Pop/Rock)

THE ORIGINAL 7VEN (Formerly Known As The Time) – CONDENSATE, SAGUARA ROAD (POP/ROCK): Prince once declared that The Time is so good, they scare him the most, and evidently, enough so that he took their name and went home. That ain’t stopping Morris Day and Co., who are back with a return-to-form release. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

THE PLATTERS – VERY BEST OF THE PLATTERS, UNIVERSAL (R&B): Though ever-changing subsequent lineups weakened the Platters’ considerable impact, the fact is — they still matter. The first rock band to have a Top 10 album, these 1990 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame appeared in the initial motion picture based around this then-new music, “Rock Around the Clock.” Later, this timeless sound connected with a new generation when three Platters songs were included on 1973?s “American Graffiti” soundtrack: “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” “The Great Pretender” and “Only You.” (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

THE SMITHS – THE COMPLETE [BOX SET], RHINO (POP/ROCK): A sprawling project, overseen by Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr himself that features are all four Smiths studio albums, the live project Rank, and three collections, each of which appeared over a span between 1982-87. The capstone remains “How Soon Is Now?” — featuring a riff that was every bit as important in its era as Keith Richards’ on “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” a generation before. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

THE TEMPTATIONS – GREATEST HITS IN CONCERT, FUEL 2000 (POP/ROCK): The doo-wopping Temptations were just as relevant before Martin Luther King emerged as a Civil Rights pioneer as they were afterward –– a nearly unheard-of 1960s transformation that matched headline-grabbing pop bands like the Beatles. “My Girl,” recorded in 1964, might have held little resonance by the end of that same decade for a generation taking to the streets in throaty protest. But by then, the Temptations had evolved into a funky choir, one not afraid of taking even a psychedelic side road. That made this one of the most scintillating of Motown bands. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

The Wiggles – It’s Always Christmas with You, Razor & Tie (Holiday)
The Youngbloods – This Is the Youngbloods, Wounded Bird (Pop/Rock)
Third Day – Christmas Offerings Collection, Essential (Holiday)
Tony Saunders – Romancing the Bass (Jazz)
Wynton Marsalis – Selections from Swingin’ into the 21st, Sony Legacy (Jazz)

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