Metals Feist (Cherrytree/Interscope)
Can Feist catch everyone’s attention even when she doesn’t have a new song in massive rotation in an iPod commercial? We’ll soon find out, as she releases her first album since becoming a global star. A string of video vignettes (song samples with images from the studio) paint a mostly introspective mood over all, assisted with strings and electronics, with maybe not so much from Feist’s famously aggressive electric guitar. Her Canadian tour begins Nov. 18 in Vancouver.
Biophilia Bjork (One Little Indian/Nonesuch)
The how of this record may be nearly as significant as the what: Biophilia will be released both as a CD and as an evolving nest of apps, with games, animations, musical notations and whatever else Bjork and Scott Snibbe, her partner in interactivity, decide to fold into it. Crystalline, the first song released in advance of the album, points to a disc-long experiment in the aesthetics of the marvellous, on themes derived from modern and ancient cosmology.
Bad as Me Tom Waits (Anti-)
The old trickster dusts off his carny jacket – the one with the suspect stains and secret pockets – and lifts the flap on another tent full of raw deals, blown chances and gutter apotheoses. The sounds that have been dribbling from the Anti- camp suggest that Waits won’t diverge much from a successful past recipe, combining gritty songwriting, distressed vocals and junk-shop instrumentals with sneaky sentimentality.
Mylo Xyloto Coldplay (EMI)
The title looks like it could be that of a recently discovered Amerindian codex. Apparently it was the title of a Coldplay film project that didn’t happen, except as a conceptual ingredient in this narrative album. Singer Chris Martin is talking of a simpler sound, as a way of telling the story of two disaffected lovers in a big mean city; but the first single, Paradise, is pretty lush. For better or worse, this is the uber-pop release of the season.
Crazy Clown Time David Lynch (Sunday Best/PIAS)
This could be a total car wreck, but if so, I’ll be right in there rubbernecking. How could a first album by David Lynch not be interesting? Music is such a crucial part of his films, and not just because his usual collaborator Angelo Badalamenti is a great film composer. Blue Velvet is the biggest, most elaborate music video ever made. Lynch sings and plays guitar on the record, which includes a star turn by Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.