Top five spring music releases (thus far)

Justin Timberlake's album "The 20/20 Experience" is just one of Connect2Maosn's list of the top five spring music releases, thus far (photo courtesty of RCA records).
Justin Timberlake's album "The 20/20 Experience" is just one of Connect2Maosn's list of the top five spring music releases, thus far (photo courtesty of RCA records).

Connect2Mason reporter, and music enthusiast, Cameron Shuler takes a look at 2013's spring music releases. Ranging from the much anticipated album by Vampire Weekend and Justin Timberlake's newest release, you'll find something that suits your musical ears.

1. Joshua James
Album: From the Top of Willamette Mountain

Nebraska based alternative-folk musician Joshua James released his third album, “From the Top of Willamette Mountain,” last Friday, March 29. This new album presents his audience with a contrast from his first album “Build Me This,” which focused primarily on the concept of rebirth. However, “From the Top of Willamette Mountain” takes a more intrinsic approach to this concept. Inspired by and recorded in the Willamette Valley Oregon, James’ album allowed him to reconnect “with nature and letting go of everything else.”

2. The Strokes
Album: Comedown Machine

The Strokes released their fifth album, “Comedown Machine,” on March 26, leaving fans with the familiar question, “Is this it?” The new album cover is reminiscent of their career at present: a slate wiped clean. The simple cover, is adorned with a plain red background along with only including their recording company’s name, RCA, and the band’s  name and album.  Aptly named, the album is projected to serve as a bookends to their 2001 landmark debut, “Is This It?”

Consequence of Sound reporter Michael Roffman, notes that The Strokes seem to be a bit apathetic towards pleasing their audience with this album. “At this point, they don’t need it. Last gasp or new beginning, The Strokes have zero commitments to anything highlighted by the overall thesis behind ’Comedown Machine,’" Roffman said. "They’re not looking to win anyone over; they’re keeping it casual and that shouldn’t be surprising.”

Despite apathetic attitudes, “Comedown Machine” remains true to their craft, characteristic of The Strokes unique sound. However, in a more recent review by StrokesNews, Eric Van Dril describes the album as “The Strokes diving into the water head first while still holding true to the things – impeccable taste, expertly crafted songs – that make the band unique.”

3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Album: Mosquito

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs will be releasing their fourth album, “Mosquito,” April 16.  Debuted by their newest single, “Sacrilege,” the song foreshadows the album’s sound reminiscent of their roots. However, while still sticking to their roots, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs should still present their audience with a more audacious and bold sound bound to captivate both fans and critics.

Based on the band's past history with their 2009 landmark release of “It’s Blitz!” the band has already identified themselves with an iconic unconventional sound with strong tenacity and intensity that demands the spotlight.

4. Justin Timberlake
Album: The 20/20 Experience

After a 7-year stalemate following “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” Justin Timberlake’s comeback album, “The 20/20 Experience,” has already sold nearly 1 million copies since being released on March 19. The album encompasses the familiar sound that catapulted Timberlake into being a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry.

Pitchfork’s Dombal noted that Timberlake’s past history, including his roots in N’Sync, stand as a strong contrast to his current album. Dombal notes that Timberlake’s strong levels of ambition and development have come a long way since Timberlake’s first album “Justified” in 2006 by mixing up, “not only genres and traditional song structures, but entire critical value systems.”

Timberlake continues to surpass the expectations of both fans and critics with his innovative sound and progressive music techniques. At this rate, Timberlake appears to be on an infinite route of self-improvement and self-discovery, challenging traditional collaborative norms of pop, soul and R&B.

5. Vampire Weekend
Album: Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend captivated audiences with their 2008 release, “A Punk,” and has continued to top charts on the indie-rock scene. The band’s second album “Contra,” released in 2010 has provided the band with a strong, successful fan base eagerly anticipating their future projects. Vampire Weekend’s third album, “Modern Vampires of the City” will be released on May 14.

Preluded by several new singles including: “Ya Hey,”“Unbelievers” and “Diane Young,” the album appears to have a more polarizing sound with a darker and heavier feel than past albums. Despite delays in the release, fans are looking forward to the upcoming release of “Modern Vampires of the City” more now than ever.

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