What the CL Music Team is jamming this fine Monday to rocket launch the work week. To check out previous entries, click here.
I defy anyone familiar with Opeth to compare the raspy, sprawling melodic death metal of their debut some nine albums and 16 years ago to Heritage. Progression — and by extent, being progressive — is always the name of the game with Opeth. Heritage is their least metal album since the acoustic Damnation in 2003, and is far more Dream Theater than death metal. Frontman Mikael Akerfeldt possesses one of the genre's best growls but opts only to sing — something he also does exceptionally well. I can't recommend this album to Opeth fans who attend their concerts only to scream for "Demon of the Fall" and their other heavy classics; but if you dig prog and jazz, this'll work. Opeth performs with Katatonia — another influential Swedish melodic metal band — this Saturday night at the House of Blues in Orlando.
Leilani - The Constellations, Southern Gothic (2010)
Gearing up to see the Atlanta sextet that headlines this Friday night's "Southern Routes" show at Jannus Live. Their music draws on electro psyche rock, salacious funk and sauntering soul, their heavily textured sound marked by fuzzy twisting synths, aggressive organ and bass grooves, mood-setting backing vocals, hand claps, retro percussion, and an overall shimmy-slinky vibe as commanded by vocalist Elijah Jones, who adopts a sneering conversational-rhyming style when he's not singing in a low growl or lazy croon. This is their debut, and it's a high quality nod to their hometown, with guest spots by the likes of hip hop luminary Cee-Lo Green and rapper Asher Roth.
Mike - Givers, Up Up Up (2011)
I've been auscultating this band for awhile now and getting in the groove for DeLuna Fest in Pensacola. Givers is a feel good band with great Afro-tinged sounds and beautiful people. For fans of Local Natives, Friendly Fires, Foster The People and Bear Hands. Check out "Meantime" after the jump.
Jeff - Sting, Sting: 25 Years, The Definitive Box Set Collection (out Sept. 27 via Cherrytree/A&M Records/Universal Music Group)
I can sometimes be a bit stubborn about listening to new music, opting rather to fill my iPod with familiar tunes and artists. While this isn't the typical modus operandi for a music journalist, I've never really considered myself typical anyway. That said, imagine my thrill to receive a new release that also manages to fall into the category of familiar. Sting: 25 Years represents both the long-spanning career of one Gordon Sumner (aka Sting) and many of the songs that filled my youth.
Taylor - Andrew Belle, The Ladder (2010) and Ben Rector, Something Like This (2011)
Andrew Belle has a unique, charming voice and a definite gift with multiple instruments. Songs like the title track and "Oh My Stars" may come off as overly sentimental, but are so pretty that only a hardcore cynic would care enough to stop listening. Ben Rector is fast becoming a personal favorite, especially with the New Orleans style trumpet-heavy "Home." Check out the video EPK for the album and realize that you want to be friends with this guy.