Summer saves best releases for last



In a year of relatively successful releases on the music scene, September’s final days of summer have seen some of the biggest names drop new material.

The following albums are the best releases of the month, in no particular order.

John Legend and the Roots- Wake Up!

September’s best release came in the form of a monster mash-up as R&B legend John Legend teamed up with hip-hop legends The Roots for “Wake Up!”

The politically charged record spans a wide range of genres, from funk to soul to R&B. The collection of styles and their placements on the album makes for a record that can be listened to from start to finish without skipping a track.

The single, “Wake Up Everybody,” finds even more star power making an appearance as Common and Melanie Fiona join in on a track pleading for a generation to strive for change.

Zac Brown Band- You Get What You Give

Voted Best New Artist at the CMA awards, Georgia’s Zac Brown Band set the bar high for their sophomore effort. As impossibly high as it may have seemed, Brown’s songwriting met expectations.

The album is a bit mellower than their debut, “The Foundation,” but that isn’t to say its any less catchy. The band still brings a host of optimistic songs about life and love, and listeners will find themselves humming the hooks long after they’ve listened.

One of the album’s highlights finds the group reliving their CMT Crossroads performance, as the album’s folk-esque second track features country-favorite Jimmy Buffet.

While the album might not necessarily be the hit machine that their debut was, fans of the band will be far from disappointed, and “You Get What You Give” may even win over some new ones.

Maroon 5- Hands All Over

While Maroon 5 doesn’t exactly push out an album every other year, taking their time has seemed to work out for pop’s power band.

Maroon 5’s third effort finds the band sticking with the same sound that has brought them success for the duration of their career- power pop.

While they revert back to the full-band, electric guitar sound of their debut, the band sticks to their trademark infectious refrains.

The album’s single, “Misery,” is a relatively accurate representation of the album as a whole. Some songs are as happy as they sound, while others are laced with bitter, tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

In all, there’s no reason to think “Hands All Over” won’t be another notch on the multi-platinum bedpost of Maroon 5.

Robert Plant- Band of Joy

Former Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant surged back onto the music scene with 2007’s “Raising Sand,”  which he recorded with folk legend Alison Krauss.

When their follow up fell through, Plant decided to form another super group, this time inviting another folk princess, Patty Griffin, to accompany him.

Like “Raising Sand” the album consists of mostly covers, but Plant puts his trademark folk twist on every track.

Anyone looking for a return to the days of Zeppelin will be disappointed, but for listeners looking for a fresh sound in the days of monotonous top 40 singles, this is just the album to break the trend.