Record num­bers

Tony Clay­ton-Lea runs down the sum­mer’s hotly an­tic­i­pated CD re­leases

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

ASH: TWI­LIGHT OF THE IN­NO­CENTS

Ash’s fifth album is the be­lated fol­low-up to 2004’s Melt­down; singer/gui­tarist Tim Wheeler reck­ons that it’s been some­thing of a jour­ney of dis­cov­ery for the group, now back to be­ing a three-piece. He claims (not with­out jus­ti­fi­ca­tion) that there are at least nine sin­gles on this one. The first, You Can’t Have It All, has just been re­leased. Late June

BABYSHAM­BLES: UN­TI­TLED

Amaz­ingly, some peo­ple are still in­ter­ested in this shower. Re­cently signed to a ma­jor la­bel, and with a UK arena tour slot­ted in for Novem­ber, it would seem that Pete Do­herty’s drug-fu­elled an­tics have been re­signed to the past. July

JAMES BLUNT: UN­TI­TLED

Look­ing to be one of the big­gest re­leases of the year, Blunt’s fol­low-up to the gazil­lion-sell­ing Back to Bed­lam prom­ises to be slightly rougher around the edges. Not that this most vil­i­fied of re­cently suc­cess­ful song­writ­ers has forgotten to write some tunes; most of this, we are in­formed, will be in a fairly typ­i­cal 1970s singer-song­writer vein. July

PADDY CASEY: UN­TI­TLED

There re­ally is no stop­ping this Ir­ish singer-song­writer. His 2003 Liv­ing album has sold in ex­cess of 150,000. The num­ber crunch­ers will no doubt be kept busy for this, his third stu­dio ef­fort, recorded in Los An­ge­les with noted pro­ducer Ge­orge Drak­ou­lias. Casey will sup­port it with a na­tion­wide tour next month. May

LEONARD CO­HEN: UN­TI­TLED

What with the I’m Your Man doc­u­men­tary and a star-stud­ded trib­ute con­cert, Co­hen’s ca­cheT has never been higher. We hear that he has al­ready recorded this album – his first since 2004’s Dear Heather – and will be tour­ing it. Can we wait? Frankly, no. Septem­ber

THE CORAL: UN­TI­TLED

Fol­low­ing some months of se­ri­ous will-we/won’t-we con­tem­pla­tion, Liver­pool’s Coral re­turn to the fray hop­ing that this new album will com­pen­sate for 2005’s un­der-per­form­ing In­vis­i­ble In­va­sion. Ex­pect the band’s patented sea-shanty sound to be com­ple­mented by rock mu­sic surges and mod struts. June

CROWDED HOUSE: TIME ON EARTH

Neil Finn thought Time on Earth would be his third solo album, but had a change of heart when he be­gan to think about his for­mer band which split up in 1996. The re­sult is a win­ning, ef­fort­lessly melodic pop record. No sur­prises there, then. Au­gust

SIOB­HAN DON­AGHY: GHOSTS

One of the found­ing mem­bers of Su­gababes re­turns af­ter years of record­ing/writ­ing/be­ing forgotten about. This aside, ex­pec­ta­tions are high that Don­aghy will not go back to the rel­a­tive ob­scu­rity from whence she came. Good songs will al­ways find a way. June 22

HAPPY MON­DAYS: UN­TI­TLED

It all went hor­ri­bly wrong for Shaun Ry­der & Co fol­low­ing 1992’s Yes Please, an album ti­tle in­dica­tive of the band’s pen­chant for ev­ery il­le­gal sub­stance un­der the sun. The band’s much-de­layed new album prom­ises the lyri­cally and mu­si­cally dis­torted mash-ups of old – with­out the hang­over. Hal­lelu­jah for that. Au­gust

ME­TAL­LICA: UN­TI­TLED

The dad­dies of metal re­turn with live dates in sup­port of this, their ninth stu­dio album. Pro­ducer Rick Ru­bin – a man noted for turn­ing the sound lev­els up past the 10 mark – reck­ons it’ll be a record to best the band’s pre­vi­ous ef­forts. Au­gust

PANIC! AT THE DISCO: UN­TI­TLED

Las Ve­gas band Panic! At The Disco wear the fop­pish suits and lurid pink eye­liner as if to the man­ner born. Emo has surely not seen such a the­atri­cal band as this one – think mu­sic as scored by Andrew Lloyd Web­ber and live shows that come com­plete with show­girls and cos­tume changes. July

SIOUXSIE SIOUX: UN­TI­TLED

The last we heard from Siouxsie was in 2003, on Hai, The Crea­tures’ kabuki-pop album. This, pitched as her first bona fide solo album, looks set to rat­tle the cages of many of a goth fan with its sense of lib­er­a­tion and mu­si­cal ex­per­i­men­ta­tion. June

SMASH­ING PUMP­KINS: ZEIT­GEIST

“This age calls for re­solve and cer­ti­tude, and the fire within to burn ever bright. If that fire should be con­nected to ab­so­lutely deaf­en­ing gui­tars, thun­der­ing drums and the melodies of snakes, then so be it.” So says Billy Cor­gan, once more in charge. You have been duly warned. July

SPIR­I­TU­ALISED: UN­TI­TLED

Back af­ter a life-threat­en­ing ill­ness, Spir­i­tu­alised’s main com­po­nent, Ja­son Pierce, ex­plores the in­flu­ences of Cap­tain Beef­heart and free jazz on the fol­low-up to 2003’s Amaz­ing Grace. The re­sult, en­thuses Pierce, is “the best thing we’ve ever recorded”. Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he? Au­gust

KT TUN­STALL: UN­TI­TLED

Many peo­ple have de­cided to sweep KT Tun­stall into the fe­male James Blunt cor­ner, yet this fol­low-up to the wo­man’s 2004 de­but, Eye to the Tele­scope, prom­ises to be rougher and tougher and very much in a vein closer to PJ Har­vey than Katie Melua. July A change of pro­ducer from Rick Ru­bin to Bren­dan O’Brien meant that the forth­com­ing VR album is out sooner. The, er, vibe is loose and un­reg­i­mented, the mu­sic is classy, dirty rock’n’roll. Ir­ish dates beckon. May

VEL­VET RE­VOLVER: LIB­ER­TAD RU­FUS WAIN­WRIGHT: RE­LEASE THE STARS

Mix­ing a supreme pop sen­si­bil­ity cour­tesy of ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Neil Ten­nant with the more earthy as­pects of renowned singer-song­writer Richard Thompson, we can ex­pect only good things from Wain­wright’s fifth album. Ac­cord­ing to the Judy Gar­land fan, he’s aiming for the sound of cash reg­is­ters. Ker-ching! Late May

WHITE STRIPES: ICKY THUMP

The sixth WS album fea­tures more ex­per­i­men­ta­tion than pre­vi­ous records: this one in­cludes bag­pipes and trum­pets while re­tain­ing the band’s sim­plis­tic one-take ap­proaches. The ti­tle is de­rived from a Lan­cas­trian col­lo­qui­al­ism that Jack White bor­rowed from his Manch­ester wife, Karen El­son. June

KT Tun­stall (above). Top from left: Babysham­bles, The Coral, White Stripes, Shaun Ry­der of Happy Mon­days

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