Different Strokes: The cover of the new Strokes album, First Impressions of Earth, depicts a cosmic image not unlike what the beginning of the universe looked like -- according to sources, anyway. But it's hardly a back-to-basics effort for the band, which, along with producer David Kahne (Sugar Ray, Fishbone), journey to a galaxy far, far away to explore big ideas and expansive sounds. As if a garage ever existed! Fans who didn't pre-order the disc through the band's Web site -- which would have earned them a free "Juicebox" 7-inch -- should be on the lookout for the First Impressions deluxe edition, which'll have some enhanced stuff that's so cool we can't even tell you about it. Songs include: "15 Minutes," "Electricityscape" and "Vision of Division."
MOST Wanted OST: One wouldn't expect Happy Madison's slapstick flick "Grandma's Boy" to have a taste-making soundtrack, but that's exactly what Adam Sandler and friends had in store for the companion, which is in stores now. The set features recent material by Paul Wall, Bloc Party, the Futureheads, Fischerspooner, VHS or Beta and Aphex Twin, plus an original song by Kool Keith and a selection from the indomitable Spin Doctors.
The Buzz Is Strong With This One: British hopefuls the Editors made a big splash in their homeland with 2005's The Back Room, but before that record finally gets a Stateside release in April, the band is slipping out a two-part single in the U.K. "Munich Pt. 1" has a cover of Stereolab's "French Disko" on the flip side, while "Munich Pt. 2" is backed by "Find Yourself a Safe Place," a remix of "Munich" by Cicada and a video for the song of the same name. Both could prove to be rather collectible if the British press is right about the Editors (hint, hint).
More Morricone: Mere weeks after Ipecac breathed new life into film composer Ennio Morricone's canon with a two-disc archival compilation "Crime and Dissonance," Sony Classical hath bequeathed another related catalog release: Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone, now made available in the hyper-quadraphonic Super Audio Compact Disc format. Think you might be a classical-music audiophile trapped in an R. Kelly fan's body? This disc should tell you one way or the other.
Behind the Rappers: Dying for some new Kanye and 50 Cent goods, but without all that singing and stuff? Might want to feast your eyes on "Hip Hop Uncensored, Vol. 6: Ready to Sign," an hour-long DVD that guides you along the roads that led the budding rappers to the big time. Also among the bevy of featured rappers is Lil Jon, Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, David Banner, Jadakiss, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, Mike Jones and Cassidy.
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Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
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