Spin These: The National, David Bowie, Chance the Rapper, Vampire Weekend

Catching up with some of the biggest album releases of 2013.

David Bowie
The Next Day

The always innovative David Bowie, who most fans thought had permanently retired from the business, shocked the world when in January, on his 66th birthday, he announced he’d completed a brand new studio album. As a teaser, he premiered the plaintive single “Where Are We Now?” on the same day, and the first full-length of fresh Bowie material since 2003’s Reality arrived in March. The Next Day (Columbia Records) proved well worth the wait, a spectacular batch of new compositions that finds Bowie in fine form; his vocals are strong and expressive, and his lyrics are as elusive and cryptic as ever. The album opens with the title track and gets things off to a rousing start. Blistering guitars match Bowie’s forceful snarls and that’s just the beginning. The album continues its ascent, not only ranking as a sterling comeback but as one of Bowie’s strongest efforts of the last few decades. Short, streamlined songs benefit from the spectacular playing that longtime Bowie band members provide. Add in the wizard production of longtime collaborator Tony Visconti and The Next Day shapes up to be a memorable Bowie release, not to mention a welcome comeback. (Critic’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars) —Gabe Echazabal

The National
Trouble Will Find Me

Twelve years into their recording career, The National has found their wheelhouse. Early efforts from the Cincinnati-bred, Brooklyn-based quintet hinted at an unhinged side to the typically staid band. Their latest full-length Trouble Will Find Me (4AD) offers no such suggestion of danger, instead falling into place as the latest amid a string of three-piece-suit-wearing wine-drunk indie rock records that began with 2008’s Boxer. “This Is the Last Time” elucidates the mild distinction between Trouble Will Find Me and immediate predecessor, 2010’s High Violet, allowing syrupy string arrangements and a typically serpentine song structure to prop up a less than memorable Berninger lyric. Trouble Will Find Me largely finds The National in a more meandering songwriting mode than their handful of albums that sound similar, but even a less focused effort from this band manages to be a quality one, mopping the floor with the scores of other similarly-minded records that are out right now. (Critic’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars) —Colin Joyce

Read on for reviews of new releases by Vampire Weekend and Chance The Rapper …

About The Authors

Gabe Echazabal

I was born on a Sunday Morning.I soon received The Gift of loving music.Through music, I Found A Reason for living.It was when I discovered rock and roll that I Was Beginning To See The Light.Because through music, I'm Set Free.It's always helped me keep my Head Held High.When I started dancing to that fine, fine...
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