With Thanksgiving and Halloween receding in the rear view mirror and with Christmas displays everywhere, it’s time to look ahead to the final weeks of new releases for 2011.
The fourth quarter is make-or-break time for labels and music retailers, which is why so many big-name releases are held back for the Christmas shopping season.
- Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials (Out now): Fantastical sophomore record that neatly bridges all the gaps between Adele, Tori Amos and Kate Bush.
- Lou Reed and Metallica - Lulu (Out now): The Grumpiest Man in Rock and ‘Tallica collaborate on songs based on a 100-year-old German play? Uh, OK.
- Noel Gallagher - High Flying Birds (Tuesday): The British music media is in full Noel-versus-Liam mode even as both brothers hint vaguely at an Oasis reconciliation. Are they hedging their bets already?
- David Lynch - Crazy Clown Time (Tuesday): Yes, it’s the Blue Velvet/Twin Peaks guy. If you’re a fan of either (or Eraser Head, Dune, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive or any of his other works), you’ll appreciate what he’s done here.
- Drake - Take Care (Nov. 15): It’s a couple of weeks late — Drake wanted to have it out in time for his birthday on Oct. 24 — but he wanted to get it absolutely right. Hence the title.
- REM - Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Past Garbage: 1982-2011 (Nov. 15): REM announced their breakup on September 21 and they have a final greatest hits album in the stores less than two months later? That was quick. Either that or they knew the end was nigh a lot earlier than we were told.
- Kate Bush - Fifty Words for Snow (Nov. 21): First, she made us wait 12 years between albums. Then another six. And now two albums in the last six months? Surely a sign of the Apocalypse.
Alan is the host of the radio show The Secret History of Rock. Reach him at email@example.com