The National’s 5th Studio Album Out This May Monday, Jan 25 2010 

Matt Berninger, vocalist and lyricist of The National

Brooklyn-based indie rock group The National will be releasing their as yet untitled fifth studio album this May. A handful of European shows and a US tour will follow. This followup to 2007’s Boxer is said to have “one song you can dance to,” but the album “can’t be described as happy.”

Boxer was given Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” tag in 2007, and it was also declared the third best album of the decade by Sun on the Sand, behind only Radiohead and Arcade Fire. It was also my personal favorite album of the decade, making this easily my most anticipated album of 2010. Matt Berninger has claimed that this is going to be their best album; here’s hoping he’s right.

-Tim

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Mr. West is (back) in the Building Wednesday, Jan 13 2010 

Firstly, I’m pretty sure I read something about Kanye West being back in the studio on his official blog, but sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly what the hell he’s trying to say when he types on that thing. According to the NY Times, he was talking about going back into the studio. Complain all you want about Kanye’s ego, but he was, undeniably, the most important solo artist of the past decade. Not only did he remind us what a rock star is supposed to be like (what with the stage crashes, political comments, and all that shit), but he also reinvented his genre, both musically and lyrically. Kanye West successfully killed gangsta rap, paving the way for the increased success of Mos Def, Common, Drake, Kid CuDi, and one of my favorite up-and-comers, J. Cole. There’s simply no way to argue against this dynamo of an artist; the entirety of the music world should be anxiously awaiting his return. Plus, have you heard his guest verses lately? The dude is on fire, so don’t expect another sappy record about Robocops and Pinocchio.

In other Kanye news, West’s new live CD/DVD from his VH1 Storytellers special can now be purchased here, among other places.

New M.I.A. Album To Be Released This Year, New Track Released Tuesday, Jan 12 2010 

M.I.A. will be releasing her third studio album this summer, or possibly as soon as early spring. A new track, called “THERES SPACE FOR OL DAT I SEE,” was released today through a video posted on her Twitter account.

The 34-year-old artist described the upcoming album to NME as “really odd” and “more musical” than her last two albums. According to a Rolling Stone article, she collaborated with producer Blaqstarr, who “simply makes music that sounds good, and I needed that. I definitely needed to come to music on this album, to make music. I don’t want it to be gimmicky or silly or hipstery.” She promised a mix of singing and rapping: “I just stopped singing on the last one because I put more emphasis into production, so I was more about making beats and sang less on my last album.”

I really enjoy Kala, but the songs feel a bit too repetitive when I’m not in the right mood, so the focus on songs over beats sound really promising. One of the songs apparently features a hook sung by Filipino Verizon workers… Huh. Neat. This album promises to be a really rad summer soundtrack.

-Tim

Impending Doom to release new album in 2010. Thursday, Dec 31 2009 

Christian deathcore group Impending Doom is hard at work on a new studio album, due out sometime next year. They are currently in the pre-production stage for what will be their third full-length release on Facedown Records. The new material has been described as “sounding way catchy.” A video update can be seen at the end of this post.

I found their “pig-squeal”-filled debut to be nearly unlistenable, but this year’s follow-up, The Serpent Servant, was a definite step forward. Even so, I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone who doesn’t enjoy the breakdown-filled heavy music of today’s scene.

Hopefully the new album has more sick nu metal breakdowns like the one in “More Than Conquerors.”

-Tim