Fresh Music - Dec., 2011
The Roots, Undun – This Philadelphia hip-hop ensemble has gained a huge following during their more that 25 years in the business. Now a whole new audience has come to know The Roots as the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The prolific group is set to release their 13th studio album – their first concept album, telling the story in reverse of a life ruined.
The Black Keys, El Camino – This is the seventh studio album from the Akron, Ohio-based blues-rock duo, but only the second since their breakout 2010 album Brothers, which brought the band three Grammys plus two additional nominations. The band told Spin the album was influenced by The Clash and The Cramps, and that vibe definitely comes through in the debut single, “Lonely Boy.”
Snow Patrol, Fallen Empire – Snow Patrol made a splash in the US with Final Straw – their first major album release – and gained widespread fame with the follow up, Eyes Open. However, the Northern Ireland-based band’s next effort, A Hundred Million Suns, fell flat in comparison. Now, they’ve regrouped for a powerhouse comeback with Fallen Empire, a big album with a new sound, a collaboration with Michael Stipe, a gospel choir and other surprises.
Amy Winehouse, Lioness: Hidden Treasures – Winehouse’s death from alcohol poisoning in July ended a brilliant, yet deeply troubled, career. Two longtime Winehouse collaborators, producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, sifted through the artist’s archives to create an album in tribute to her brilliance. The 12-track collection spans her career and includes alternate versions of released material, covers and previously unreleased songs, including two demos from what would have been her third album. The first single from the album is “Like Smoke,” a heartrending duet with rapper Nas.