New Releases: Matchbook Romance, Tori Amos, Jaheim, The Sword, Veronicas & More

Also due Tuesday are releases by Bullet for My Valentine, Shawn Mullins, John Fahey.

They Heart Loud Music: Matchbook Romance and Bullet for My Valentine must have known there'd be so few Valentine's Day-related releases dropping Tuesday.

Matchbook were farm-bound for their second effort, tracking their Voices in a supposedly haunted barn (aren't they all?) in rural Massachusetts. While fans wise enough to preorder were rewarded with free tees, everyone will be able to sharpen their wiseassery with songs like "You Can Run, but We'll Find You," "Goody, Like Two Shoes" and "Singing Bridges (We All Fall)."

Bullet for My Valentine's brand of loud rock is more of the metal variety, and with "Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow," "All These Things I Hate" and "4 Words (To Choke Upon)," The Poison might be a tough swallow for some. Preorders were packed with a color poster and candies (for the sweethearts), although everyone will be treated to some enhanced goodies on the proper release. (Don't miss instru-metal greats Apocalyptica on the intro track.)

This Bossa Nova's Boss: Is anything possible with a Pea behind the decks? Sergio Mendes will soon find out as he attempts a Carlos Santana-style makeover with Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am. Even though Mendes is largely responsible for importing bossa nova to America, Timeless — his first set of new material in eight years — is more of an urban affair, jacked up with guest spots by Justin Timberlake, John Legend, the Peas, Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott and many more.

Ghettopoly: Even though his grandfather was one of the Drifters, Jaheim is busy trying to make his own classics — Ghetto Classics, that is. He nabbed white-hot producers Scott Storch, KayGee and Bink for his latest outing (although he does twiddle some of the knobs himself). And yup, that's Jadakiss siding with Jaheim on the first single, "Everytime I Think About Her." This title should fit comfortably alongside Jaheim's previous efforts, Ghetto Love and Still Ghetto.

Tori's Story: Still trying to catch your breath after the 12-disc Original Bootlegs box Tori Amos put out late last year? If so, you might not be prepared for another comprehensive item, "Fade to Red: Video Collection," which recaps everything from "Crucify" — the first track on her 1992 solo debut, Little Earthquakes — to "Sweet the Sting" from last year's Beekeeper. (Don't miss two bonus clips — a remixed "Professional Window" and the U.K. version of "Cornflake Girl" — that appear at the end of disc two.)

Song Title Of The Week:

"If I Drop Names of Exotic Towns That You'll Never See, in the Songs That I Write, It's That That's All I Have When I Miss My Girl & You're Taking Yours Home Tonight" on Luke Doucet's Broken (and Other Rogue States)

Other Notables:

Various artists' I Am the Resurrection: A Tribute to John Fahey and Fahey's The Yellow Princess reissue: Although many had written him off as another folk fogy, John Fahey is getting a posthumous shot in the arm from some of indie rock's finest: Sufjan Stevens, Calexico, Devendra Banhart, M. Ward, the Fruit Bats, Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo and Granddaddy. Also this week — to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Fahey's death and the 40th anniversary of his signing with Vanguard — the label is brushing up 1968's The Yellow Princess with three bonus tracks and fresh liner notes.

The Sword's Age of Winters: Not to be confused with the Swords Project, Da Swordzmen, Two Lone Swordsmen or the other metal bands that have also taken up the sharp moniker, the Austin, Texas, outfit is stepping up to the plate for the first time with a nine-track maiden release. Conrad Keely of Austin buddies ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead — who took the Sword on the road in early 2004 — embellishes the Age of Winters cover with some magical sketches, sure to make the LP version even more illustrious.

The Veronicas' The Secret Life of ... the Veronicas: If you don't have someone to smooch with this Valentine's Day, you might want to pucker up with the Veronicas — their debut cover's covered with kisses. Unlike Tegan and Sara, these 20-year-old identical twins are decidedly more pop; for their debut, they've brainstormed with writers and producers who have previously teamed with Britney, Madonna and Kelly Clarkson.

Shawn Mullins' 9th Ward Pickin' Parlor: Somewhat akin to Sonic Youth putting out an album the site of their studio, which was devastated in the 9/11 attacks (Murray Street), Shawn Mullins has titled his latest after the New Orleans studio that used to be located right near the levee on Dauphine Street. Needless to say, some of the songs — "Beautiful Wreck" (the first single, co-written with Glenn Phillips), "Solitaire" and even Mullins' cover of "The House of the Rising Sun" — have a much different resonance now than originally intended.

New Releases:

  • Carlos Barbosa-Lima - Carioca (Zoho)
  • Batagraf/ Jon Balke - Statements (ECM)
  • Stefano Battaglia - Raccolto (ECM)
  • The Beautiful Girls - We're Already Gone (Cornerstone)
  • Elliott Brood - Ambassador (Six Shooter)
  • Bullet for My Valentine - The Poison (enhanced; Trustkill)
  • Béla Fleck & the Flecktones - Hidden Land (Columbia)
  • Agnes Chan - Forget Yourself (Bungalo)
  • Luke Doucet - Broken (and Other Rogue States) (Six Shooter)
  • Frog Holler - Haywire (ZoBird)
  • Iro Haarla - Northbound (ECM)
  • Jaheim - Ghetto Classics (Warner Bros.)
    Buy Now: Ghetto Classics (Warner Bros.)
  • Lil G - The Southside Way (Thump)
  • The Lucky Tomblin Band - In a Honky-Tonk Mood (Texas World)
  • Magnet - The Tourniquet (Filter)
  • Paul Manousos - For Better or Worse (Shock and Fall)
  • Matchbook Romance - Voices (Epitaph)
    Read: "Matchbook Romance Declare War On Cheesy Music With Voices"
    Buy Now: Voices (Epitaph)
  • Sergio Mendes - Timeless (Concord)
    Read: "Will.I.Am Wants To Pull A Rick Rubin With Sergio Mendes, Macy Gray"
  • Jeff Merchant - Window Rolled Down (True Classical)
  • Mountain Heart - Wide Open (Skaggs Family)
  • Shawn Mullins - 9th Ward Pickin' Parlor (Vanguard)
    Buy Now: 9th Ward Pickin' Parlor (Vanguard)
  • National Eye - Roomful of Lions (Park the Van)
  • New Radiant Storm King - The Steady Hand (Darla)
  • Terje Rypdal - Vossabrygg (ECM)
  • Sing-Sing - Sing-Sing & I (Aerial)
  • Sissel - Into Paradise (Decca)
  • Tyler Stephenson - Life (LmgKidSource)
  • The Subways - Young for Eternity (Sire/Warner Bros.)
  • The Sword - Age of Winters (Kemado)
    Buy Now: Age of Winters (Kemado)
  • Three Fantastic - Three Fantastic (Dot Point Period)
  • Toto - Falling in Between (Frontiers)
  • April Verch - Take Me Back (Rounder)
  • The Veronicas - The Secret Life of ... the Veronicas (Sire/Warner Bros.)

  • Read: "You Hear It First: The Veronicas"
    Buy Now: The Secret Life of ... the Veronicas (Sire/Warner Bros.)

  • Watermelon Slim and the Workers - The Coolest New Name in Blues (Northern Blues)
  • Various artists - I Am the Resurrection: A Tribute to John Fahey (Vanguard)
  • Various artists - "Firewall" soundtrack (Varèse)
  • Various artists - "Tsotsi" soundtrack (Milan)

Notable Reissues And Archival Material:

  • Cannonball Adderley - Spontaneous Combustion (Savoy Jazz)
  • Burt Bacharach - The Definitive Collection (Hip-O)
  • Bad Company - Bad Company (gold disc; Audio Fidelity)
  • Etta Baker - Traditional Years: Instrumental Music of the Southern Appalachians (Empire Musicwerks)
  • Miles Davis - Out of Nowhere (Savoy Jazz)
  • Doris Day - The Love Album (Feinery)
  • John Fahey - The Yellow Princess (Vanguard)
  • Red Garland Trio - At the Prelude (two CDs; Prestige)
  • Freddie King - Live at the Electric Ballroom, 1974 (Shout! Factory)
  • Los Lobos - The Wolf Tracks: The Best of Los Lobos (Rhino)
  • Liza Minnelli - The Definitive Collection (Hip-O)
  • Charlie Parker - Now's the Time (Savoy Jazz)
  • Django Reinhardt - An Introduction to Django Reinhardt (Fuel 2000)
  • Nina Simone - Broadway-Blues-Ballads, High Priestess of Soul, I Put a Spell on You, Let It All Out, Pastel Blues and Wild Is the Wind (Verve)
  • Talking Heads - Little Creatures, Naked, Speaking in Tongues and "True Stories" soundtrack (DualDiscs; Rhino)
  • Various artists - A Tribute to Nicolette Larson: Lotta Love Concert (Rhino)
  • Various artists - The Best of the 80's Reloaded (Water)
  • Various artists - Constellation: The Brightest Stars of Jazz (Savoy Jazz)


February 21:

  • Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (Domino)
    Read: "You Hear It First: Arctic Monkeys"
  • Ray Davies - Other People's Lives (V2)
  • William Orbit - Hello Waveforms (Sanctuary)

February 28:

  • Hawthorne Heights - If Only You Were Lonely (Victory)
  • Kid Rock - Live Trucker (Atlantic)
  • Ne-Yo - In My Own Words (Def Jam)
    Read: You Hear It First: Jay-Z's Picks

March 7:

  • Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Ballad of the Broken Seas (V2)
  • Juvenile - Reality Check (Atlantic)
  • Matisyahu - Youth (Epic)

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