New Music Monday: Anathema, Deep Purple, Jack White, Peter Gabriel, Volbeat

Now that you’ve devoured all of the weekend’s Record Store Day goodies, time to refocus on the next round of tasty musical newness headed your way — including 2012 releases from Anathema, Jack White and the Maccabees, as well as lip-smacking reissues and live sets from from the likes of Carole King, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel and Volbeat. Also arriving this week are Cloven Hoof, Daniel Freedman, Many Arms, Nightwish, Paradise Lost, Prong, Running Wild and Trixter, among many others.

AND NOW, NEW MUSIC MONDAY FOR THE WEEK OF APRIL 23, 2012 …

ANATHEMA – WEATHER SYSTEMS (POP/ROCK): In some ways, this project might be seen as an extension of 2010’s Steven Wilson-produced We’re Here Because We’re Here. But it’s really much more than that. This a band that continues to grow exponentially with each new release, both in terms of the songwriting of main-man Daniel Cavanagh, and in showing off the rest of the guys as world class musicians and arrangers. Sadly, this album probably won’t move a whole lot of units: The market for symphonic rock like this is limited at best these days. But for those of us who continue to pine for the glory days of Yes and Pink Floyd, Weather Systems is a welcome fix for that prog-rock jones. (More here.) — Glen Boyd

B.J. ThomasThe Complete Scepter Singles (Pop/Rock)
Barry ManilowLive in London (Vocals)
Brendan BensonWhat Kind of World (Pop/Rock)

CAROLE KING – LEGENDARY DEMOS (POP/ROCK): Aldon Music, in the 1960s, would use King’s stripped-down demos to pitch her songs to stars looking for ready-made hits. Over time, these raw, personal takes became legendary on their own right. They’ve now been coupled with early versions of tunes that King composed as she struck out on her own in the early 1970s, forming an interesting new 13-track project. Key tracks include “It’s Too Late” from King’s career-making solo LP Tapestry, along with “You’ve Got A Friend,” a hit for James Taylor; “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” memorably covered by Aretha Franklin; and “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” a hit for the Monkees. Bobby Vee also had charttopping success with “Take Good Care of My Baby,” while “Crying in the Rain” went Top 10 for the Everly Brothers.

CLOVEN HOOF – A SULTAN’S RANSOM (POP/ROCK): A re-release of the often overlooked British band’s third record with a bonus DVD. The band never achieved the fame of contemporaries like Iron Maiden, but there are some good songs to be found if you dig into their catalog. — Fred Phillips

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Curtis StigersLet’s Go Out Tonight (Jazz)
Dandy WarholsThis Machine (Pop/Rock)

DANIEL FREEDMAN – BAMAKO BY BUS (JAZZ): There’s been a lot of jazzmen who set out to make a diverse record and, while I always celebrate musical diversity, having that quality doesn’t mean the record is well made or hangs together well. Freedman, on the other hand, accomplishes both. Call it jazz fusion, ethnic fusion, Cuban, African or whatever you want, Bamako By Bus succeeds in what Freedman was trying to accomplish: to colorfully and artistically flesh out the musical melting pot he hears in New York City. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Davy JonesThe Bell Recordings 1971-72 (Pop/Rock)
Death GripsMoney Store (Pop/Rock)

DEEP PURPLE – TOTAL ABANDON: AUSTRALIA ’99 (POP/ROCK): An intriguingly presented retrospective set, as the newly added Steve Morse brilliantly reexamines a group of signature Deep Purple tunes. Before the show is over, Total Abandon recalls not so much the Ritchie Blackmore years as it does the band’s fiery Tommy Bolin period. There’s a similar level of front-line guitar craft, and a similar level of energy. Deep Purple sounded like it was having fun again. And, to my ears, the group never really looked back so intently again. By the time they issued Bananas, some five years later, original keyboardist Jon Lord was gone — and Deep Purple had metamorphosed. The addition of Morse, like an ozone-producing jolt of lightning, had transformed what once seemed like a ghost band trying to reclaim its glory days into a freshly rejuvenated force to be reckoned with. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Eric ReedThe Baddest Monk (Jazz)
Eve 6Speak in Code (Pop/Rock)
Hannah CohenChild Bride (Pop/Rock)

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JACK WHITE – BLUNDERBUSS (POP/ROCK): Stepping out, finally, into his own, White brings along familiar sounds and textures. You hear something of the White Stripes throughout Blunderbuss, and something of his many collaborative efforts since his partnership with ex-wife Meg White suddenly blew apart: There’s a riff reminiscent of the Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” on the new “Freedom at 21,” and “Trash Tongue” strongly recalls his recent grease-popping R&B work with Wanda Jackson. But, then again, this album is like nothing he’s ever done before, so full of musical ambition and quirky twists and thrilling chance-taking turns and startling successes, that Blunderbuss forces White into a whole new light: Were the White Stripes, who now sound startlingly direct — maybe too conservative, in retrospect — actually holding him back? (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

JamiroquaiRock Dust Light Star (R&B)
Jeff BradshawBone Appetit, Vols. 1 and 2 (Jazz)
Jerry Jeff WalkerWalker’s Collectibles/ Ridin High Plus (Country)
Joe SatrianiSatchurated: Live In Montreal (Pop/Rock)
John ZornNosferatu (Jazz)
Josh AbbottSmall Town Family Dream (Folk)
Lee BriceHard 2 Love (Country)
Little FeatLast Record Album (Pop/Rock)
Long John BaldryIt Ain’t Easy (Blues)
Kenny Wheeler Big BandLong Waiting (Jazz)
Magic WandsAloha Moon (Pop/Rock)

MANY ARMS – MANY ARMS (JAZZ): This is the perfect record to play when you’re feeling both rowdy and nerdy at the same time, or while breaking shit to pieces: Many Arms — Nick Millevoi guitar John DeBlase, bass and Ricardo Lagomasino drums — is a thrash metal-jazz trio from Philly who I could sense a method to their madness when scoping out 2010’s Missing Time early last year, but with the imminent release of their next self-titled record, it’s clear that this already good combo has grown artistically since then by leaps and bounds. This time, there’s only a trio of tracks, each running around 15 minutes. That works better for them, enabling the three to incorporate their ideas into fully developed songs — and the cool thing is, there are plenty of ideas in each song. (More here.) — S. VICTOR AARON

Marty StuartNashville, Vol. 1: Tear the Woodpile Down (Country)
Matt NathansonLeft and Right II (Pop/Rock)

NIGHTWISH – IMAGINAERUM [TOUR EDITION] (POP/ROCK): This is one of my favorite releases of the year so far. It was released in Europe last year and in the States just a few months ago, so the bonus DVD probably doesn’t warrant a re-buy, but if you’re a fan of melodic, theatrical metal, it’s worth checking out. “Storytime” is easily my top song of the year to this point. — Fred Phillips

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PARADISE LOST – TRAGIC IDOL (POP/ROCK): The long-running goth metal outfit often changes direction, but rarely disappoints. The band says this record will be more doom and classic metal influenced, but will be in keeping with the heaviness of recent outings. This is one of my most anticipated releases of the year. — Fred Phillips

PETER GABRIEL – NEW BLOOD LIVE IN LONDON (POP/ROCK): This two-CD set represents Gabriel’s willingness to take risks, which makes him a unique and influential figure in rock. While some of the orchestral rearrangements do raise the songs to a new meaningful level (such as the trippy, introspective “Downside Up”), others restrain Gabriel and the instrumentation too much, thus robbing the tracks of their initial impact. Combining classical with rock is nothing new — consider Sting’s 2010 album Symphonicities — but the two do not always meld together. Sometimes the original track arrangement and instrumentation work the best, and do not need radical makeovers; much of Gabriel’s catalog is an example of this. (More here.) — Kit O’Toole

PRONG – CARVED INTO STONE (POP/ROCK): I was one of the few people that wasn’t won over by Tommy Victor’s last outing, Power of the Damager. What I’ve heard of this one seems to be a little more of a throwback to the sound of early records like Beg to Differ and Prove You Wrong. That’s a good thing. — Fred Phillips

Robert JohnsonPresenting: Robert Johnson (Blues)

RUNNING WILD – SHADOWMAKER (POP/ROCK): The original pirate metal band returns for its 15th album and first since 2005. The pirate theme is scaled back on this outing, but it’s still a lot of fun. — Fred Phillips

SOLITUDE AETURNUS – IN TIMES OF SOLITUDE (POP/ROCK): This is a re-release of a 2011 compilation of demos and rare tracks from the outstanding Texas-based doom metal outfit. This isn’t the place to start if you’re unfamiliar with the band, but if you haven’t heard them, definitely treat yourself to Into the Depths of Sorrow or Through the Darkest Hour — or pretty much any record with their name on it. — Fred Phillips

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Sue RaneyListen Here (Vocals)

THE MACCABEES – GIVEN TO THE WILD (POP/ROCK): Seeing its U.S. release this week, this album is hampered by its tendency to rely too much on the Coldplay songwriting template. Let’s face it, there’s nothing really new, anymore, about music that leaps off a cliff made of muscular arena-rock riffs right into a dream-like nocturnal ether. We’ve been there, heard that. That makes those times when the Maccabees actually sound like themselves — and nobody else — all the more notable: They play it straight with sweeping success on “Ayla,” a muted, horn-driven meditation, while “We Grew Up At Midnight” ends things on touchingly elegiac note. Here’s hoping they keep exploring. This is a good band still searching for its own greatness. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

The MonkeesPool It!: The Deluxe Edition (Pop/Rock)
The RaveonettesInto The Night (Pop/Rock)
Theresa AnderssonStreet Parade (Folk)

TRIXTER – NEW AUDIO MACHINE (POP/ROCK): With the world in uproar, clamoring for a new release from Trixter, who are they to deny the masses? — Fred Phillips

Various artistsPersonal Space: Electronic Soul 1974-84 [Jeff Phelps, Guitar Red, Key and Cleary, Deborah Washington, Otis G Johnson, others] (R&B)

VOLBEAT – BEYOND HELL/ABOVE HEAVEN (POP/ROCK): I see this on my list of new releases, and I’m guessing it’s being re-released to coincide with the Dutch band’s big summer U.S. tour. Volbeat’s fourth album, originally released in 2010, is fantastic. They’re one of the most original bands going, with songs on this record ranging from rockabilly (“16 Dollars”) to death metal (“Evelyn”) and everywhere in between. — Fred Phillips

Waco Brothers/Paul BurchGreat Chicago Fire (Pop/Rock)
Walter TroutBlues for the Modern Daze (Blues)
WantingEverything In the World (Pop/Rock)
Warren HaynesLive At The Moody Theater (Blues)
YunaYuna (Pop/Rock)

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