Music of the Week

7.20.2009

By Lauren Harris

Sugar Ray
Music For Cougars
If the world were the victim of some unfortunate nuclear event, it's a pretty safe bet that all that would remain would be cockroaches, and the music of Sugar Ray. Seemingly indestructible, the Newport Beach quintet returns with their first album in six years, a project so important, lead singer Mark McGrath gave up his coveted Extra news anchor post (Too bad, Journalism). Expect more of the same from the band who chose to capitalize on a silly trend in the title of their album: easy, breezy beats, faux reggae melodies and pop hooks you could hang your hat on.

The Fiery Furnaces
I'm Going Away
Prolific Friedberger siblings Matthew and Eleanor are releasing more of their macabre, sonically off-kilter stylings unto the world. The duo, who never met a concept they didn't like, are following up on 2007's Widow City ' one of their only albums to lack a concept ' with a concept albums about today. The album has tension enough to convey the inherent drama in the state of the world, yet oblique enough that each listener applies their own meanings. 'It's not a soundtrack to your life, its more like t.v. show theme songs,' Matthew helpfully explains. But that's about as low-brow as the siblings Friedberger are going to stoop ' their upcoming Silent Record is actually a book, and for their next record they plan to take on the Old Testament.

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs
Under the Covers Vol. 2
What happens when a superstar from the '80s and an indie rocker from the '90s cover the hits of the '60s and '70s? Well, uh'this. After the success of Bangles lead singer Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet's first album of covers, the duo decided to re-team under their 'Sid and Susie' alter-egos and record another album of reimagining near-classic tunes, this time with a little help. Fleetwood Mac OG joins them for 'Second Hand News,' and Beatles progeny Dhani Harrison helps out on his father's song 'Beware of Darkness.' The pair strike a good range, from 'drunken karaoke' to 'older siblings impossibly good record collection.'

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