New Music Monday: Deep Purple, Marc Ribot, Iggy Pop, Tom Keifer, Spin Doctors, Rainbow, Ugly Kid Joe

A return-to-form triumph for Deep Purple, and a reunion of the crunchy Raw Power-era edition of Iggy and the Stooges tops this heavy-rocking version of New Music Monday. There’s also slamming product from the classic Ritchie Blackmore-Ronnie James Dio-Cozy Powell lineup of Rainbow, fresh Ugly Kid Joe and a long-awaited solo effort from Cinderella’s Tom Keifer.

For jazz fans, Marc Ribot and Ceramic Dog return, while Alex Snydman offers more straight-ahead stuff. Got those Monday morning blues? Head over to the new Spin Doctors (yes, the new Spin Doctors) as they get gritty; we also discuss the Staples-inflected R&B gospel of the McCrary Sisters, as well as a new Johnny Winter anthology.

Elsewhere, dig into a first-ever two-disc set focusing on Midnight Oil, along with Amorphis and Avantasia, among many others …

AmbrosiaLife Beyond L.A.: The Deluxe Edition (Pop/Rock)

AMORPHIS – CIRCLE (ROCK/METAL): The last several records from these Finnish death metallers-turned-progressive metallers have been fantastic, with 2009′s Skyforger being quite possibly their masterwork. At first listen, I’m a little less impressed with Circle, but I’ll admit that I haven’t had time with it to let it sink in properly yet. — Fred Phillips

Andy WilliamsThe Essential Andy Williams (Vocals)

AVANTASIA – THE MYSTERY OF TIME (ROCK/METAL): Tobias Sammet returns with another metal opera. He once again assembles an impressive list of guest singers for the record, including Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple, Yngwie Malmsteen), Biff Byford (Saxon), Michael Kiske (Helloween), Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids) and Eric Martin (Mr. Big), among others. — Fred Phillips

Blue Oyster CultImaginos (Pop/Rock)
Darcy James Argue’s Secret SocietyBrooklyn Babylon (Jazz)
David Allan CoeTexas Moon (Country)

DEEP PURPLE – NOW WHAT?! (POP/ROCK): Deep Purple doesn’t simply return, it sets out to remind you of everything that once made this band a contender for Led Zeppelin’s throne in the early 1970s as the biggest heavy-rocking band of them all. Now What?!” finds Ian Gillan and Co. once again masterfully blending the metal, progressive rock and R&B influences that gave Deep Purple its unique persona — even as they stir in new flourishes to keep things fresh. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

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Eddy ArnoldComplete Original No. 1 Hits (Country)
Guided By VoicesEnglish Little League (Pop/Rock)
Head EastRaise a Little Hell (Pop/Rock)
Henry Mancini“10″ Original Soundtrack (Pop/Rock)
HIMTears on Tape (Pop/Rock)

IGGY AND THE STOOGES – READY TO DIE (POP/ROCK): As Iggy Pop and Co. settle into a generally infuriated, shit-sure-has-changed mode, Ready to Die finds a group clearly unready to do any such thing — even if what they’re complaining about sure is different these days. You have to wonder how much longer its going to be before Iggy Pop and the Stooges actually construct a song around telling kids to get off their lawn. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Jay D’Amico QuintetTango Caliente (Jazz)

JOHNNY WINTER – THE ESSENTIAL JOHNNY WINTER (BLUES): Includes “Prodigal Son” and “Rock And Roll, Hoochie Koo” both come from his best-selling Johnny Winter And project, a blues rock hybrid that Winter came to regret: “That’s the least favorite point in my career,” Winter told us. “I really wanted to do blues. It was probably the right thing to do at the time, though. I just didn’t enjoy it that much.” Elsewhere there are two cuts from Winters’ seminal appearance at Woodstock, as well as familiar favorites like “Rock Me Baby,” “Good Morning Little School Girl” and “Dallas” — the last of which memorably Winter calls one of the meanest places he knows: “I get in a fight every time I go to Dallas,” he said, with a chuckle. “That was more of what I wanted to be doing, just the blues.” (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Kenny ChesneyLife On A Rock (Country)
LL Cool JAuthentic (Hip Hop)
Larry WilliamsThat Larry Williams (Pop/Rock)

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MARC RIBOT AND CERAMIC DOG – YOUR TURN (JAZZ): An assemblage of musicians the caliber of Marc Ribot, Ches Smith and Shahazad Ismaily usually signals that this is going to be seriously nerdy jazz, but Ceramic Dog is, in many ways, the exact opposite. Sure, there are times that they play stuff that match their elevated skill levels, but the band isn’t about that; it’s just an outlet for Ribot to play some rock ‘n’ roll. In his case, it’s rock ‘n’ roll with a rebellious streak, and many times, the boys are just stirring up a ruckus. They don’t bring the jazz, most of the time not even the whack jazz, but they do bring loads o’ ‘tude, which fuels all of their songs. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

Meli’sa MorganGood Love (R&B)
MelvinsEverybody Loves Sausages (Pop/Rock)

MIDNIGHT OIL – ESSENTIAL OILS (POP/ROCK): A double-album anthology, this collects hit singles and choice album cuts like “The Dead Heart” from Midnight Oil’s self-titled debut through to its 2002 finale Capriconia. The set represents a long-overdue chance to get beyond “Beds are Burning.” The now little-heard “Dead Heart” is a great place to start. Both tracks, featured in the forthcoming career-spanning 36-track Essential Oils, share the topic of reparations for native peoples (I still marvel over the idea of thing finding its way into the toppermost of the poppermost around the world) but “The Dead Heart” was too haunting, too consumed by its own roiling emotion, to get past No. 53 in the U.S. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

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RAINBOW – LIVE IN MUNICH 1977 (ROCK/METAL): The much-bootlegged Rockpalast performance of the classic Rainbow lineup gets an official DVD release. In addition to the eight-song live set, there are official videos for three songs and an interview with bassist Bob Daisley. (More here.) — Fred Phillips

Red Line ChemistryTug of War (Pop/Rock)
Sea LevelCats on the Coast/On the Edge (Pop/Rock)

ALEX SNYDMAN – FORTUNATE ACTION (JAZZ): An entirely a straight-ahead jazz record, and mostly a jazz trio record, with Snydman going with guys he’s most comfortable performing with, even if that means mixing and matching musicians. Thus, Chris Pattishal, Doug Abrams and Miro Sprague all take turns behind the piano, and although Alec Derian is the primary bassist, Tyler Heydolph assumes the role at stand-up for a couple of tracks. The pianists all contribute originals, too, along with Snydman. And yet, Fortunate Action is a remarkably cohesive album, held together by group coaction and feel. (More here.) — S. Victor Aaron

SPIN DOCTORS – IF THE RIVER WAS WHISKEY (POP/ROCK): Head straight to the title track of this first album of new material from 1990s radio-darlings the Spin Doctors since 2005, which — like much of If The River Was Whiskey — scuffs up the hitmaking formula for familiar songs like “Little Miss Can’t be Wrong” with a snarling city-blues vibe. Chris Barron, typically seen as a happy-go-lucky sort before, offers a knife-edge vocal here, even as guitarist Eric Schenkman unleashes a series of grease-popping asides. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

The EaglesHistory of … (Pop/Rock)

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THE McCRARY SISTERS – ALL THE WAY (R&B/GOSPEL): You may think you’ve never heard of the McCrary Sisters, but you probably have anyway: The quartet was featured, for instance, on Dr. John’s Grammy-winning 2012 Dan Auerbach-produced triumph Locked Down. Regina, meanwhile, has appeared on a trio of Bob Dylan albums. Ann joined Regina on Patty Griffin’s Downtown Church. Three of the four appeared on Ray Stevens’ “Everything is Beautiful,” too. So, now that you’re caught up, don’t miss some of the best R&B-inflected gospel since the glory days of the Staple Singers. (More here.) — Nick DeRiso

Three Dog NightAround the World (Pop/Rock)

TOM KEIFER – THE WAY LIFE GOES (ROCK/METAL): The first solo record from Cinderella’s frontman took 10 years to see the light of day, but for fans, it’s probably worth the wait. It’s the most varied effort from Keifer to date, featuring everything from Cinderella-style hard rockers to country-flavored tunes. (More here.) — Fred Phillips

The Airborne Toxic EventSuch Hot Blood (Pop/Rock)

UGLY KID JOE – STAIRWAY TO HELL (ROCK/METAL): I admit that I was intrigued when the reunited band released this EP last year, but I found it pretty unsatisfying. Maybe it’s just that I didn’t find the antics endearing anymore nearly 20 years later. — Fred Phillips

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