After a long time, here's a selection of what I purchased recently:
What kind of genre is that music anyway? The English Wikipedia classifies the "Poets" as an Alternative Rock band, which is a bit... broad. The German edition lists them under Post Grunge, which doesn't seem right. Especially as their new album Twilight Theater is much closer to 80th Pop Rock with a slight folk influence — after the second track, at least. There seems to be a little bit of influence by the Simple Minds, as far as I can tell. Needless to say, that's exactly the music I want to hear. Great album, go and get it, if you haven't already!
The (rightfully) much acclaimed third album by the Gorillaz. A mix between Brit Pop, Hip Hop, orchestral arrangements probably best described as urban world music (if that label hasn't been used for something else already). I like the track Sweepstakes best, which starts as minimalistic Hip Hop (Mos Def) and slowly turns into some strange but beautiful brass band trip hop music. Think Fleetwood Mac's song Tusk thirty years later. Or with regard to the album, The Beach Boys' Smile fourty years later. Plastic Beach is without doubt a masterpiece.
The Limited Super Deluxe Edition of Christopher von Deylen's new album comes as DVD case sized hardcover book in a cardboard slipcase. The book contains some excellent photography, two CDs (the second one currently only available with the deluxe edition) and a DVD. I haven't watched the DVD yet. The first CD is a concept album (mainly) about a cruise to the Arctic Ocean. The critique at the German Amazon product page is quite interesting to read: long-time fans complain about the perceived simplicity of the album. They do have a point: the effects thrown in for no apparent reason von Deylen used to play with are completely missing. I hated those. Compared to his previous works this album is much more consistent and better produced. He is stylistically and musically confident, at last. And he doesn't need those overdone effects anymore to hide the quite obvious lack of ideas on some previous albums. The influence of contemporary Scandinavian Electronica and Alternative Pop music is a nice bonus. The only complaint I have is the sound logo on track one. How childish.
CD2, in comparison, is closer to previous works and doesn't quite fit the theme, but it still is a notable improvement. Nice to have, certainly not a disappointment, but not a must-have either.
Surprisingly, all three albums are in the same league, quality-wise, even though musically they couldn't be more different. It's all great music and well produced. Nice additions to my CD shelf.