It’s a beautiful Tuesday here in Chicago and I got my copy of the Supreme Empress Gaga‘s album in the mail yesterday, so things are pretty well in my neck of the woods. I sure hope it’s the same for you!
Lady Gaga — Born This Way (Interscope)
Yes, I was very excited to receive my copy of Gaga’s new album, and yes I am putting here on here as my top pick of the week. But am I a disciple of the church of Gaga? No, not in general. Obviously as someone who listens to a lot of music pretty much 24/7, it’s difficult to separate certain pop from others, particularly when I’m old enough to remember some of the artists who have influenced Gaga. It has taken me a really long time to even understand what all the fuss is about, but I have been reminded more and more lately that I always manage to get her songs stuck in my head and know them well enough to sing along. I’m also not too much of a hipster to pretend I didn’t tune in to see her on Saturday Night Live this past weekend and she nailed it it.
I think what really kills me is knowing, without a doubt, how much talent she has that is actually being covered up by the pop template. Take any of her live awards show performances where she’s sitting at a piano and pouring her heart out into a ballad. This is when I love her most. I think her message is great and am happy for the movement she has been able to lead (along with the many precious YouTube videos of kids covering her songs). So maybe, just maybe, I’m turning into a Little Monster.
Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside — Dirty Radio (Partisan Records LLC/Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside)
I actually am deeply in love with this album and the vocal stylings of Sallie Burgess, who reminds me at times of ‘60s doo-wop, Brenda Lee and others of Karen O. This is music thinking outside the box yet still having that pop appeal. Two gigantic gay thumbs up from me!
Bird of Youth — Defender (Inebriate Records)
Talk about some indie pop! I picture nothing but vintage sundresses and ironic mustaches when I listen to this album. There are some definite elements of New Pornographers in here — but no sign of Neko Case. It’s closer to an Liz Phair in her angst and range. I can’t lie: I’m not in the mood for this album today.
Boris — Attention Please & Heavy Rocks (Sargent House)
Not only are these Japanese heavy rockers putting out two albums today, these are their second and third albums put out this year! Obviously their sound isn’t for everyone, but if you’re into some heavy somewhat experimental-sounding metal, you are the big winner of the day!
Honorable Mentions: NKOTBSB (um, yes please), Friendly Fires, Art Brut, Joseph Arthur, David Bazan, Jadakiss, Stephen Marley, Thurston Moore, Brad Paisley, The Prodigy, She Wants Revenge, The Fire Apes and Foster the People.