By Andrew McNally Columnist
Iggy & The Strooges- "Ready to Die"
Apparently nobody told Iggy Pop that reuniting his legendary punk band the Stooges for new material was a bad idea, but their new album is an improvement over their 2007 disaster, “The Weirdness.” “Ready to Die,” only their fifth album in 44 years, is a return to energetic songs with vapidly humorous lyrics. Pop’s voice is largely shot and off-target, and some of his lyrics are beyond juvenile. But Pop, now 66 years old, is simply having fun. “Ready to Die” is largely unremarkable, yet it acts as a statement, as the surviving members admit their surprise at living even this long.
If You Like:The Ramones, The Sex Pistols Key Track: “Ready to Die”
Daughter- "If You Leave"
Daughter’s intensely hypnotic and emotional music finally gets to expand on the anticipated full-length debut, “If You Leave.” The British indie-folk band made waves with their haunting EP’s, and singer-songwriter Elena Tonra keeps the band’s dark state going through the ten song album. “If You Leave” brings its listeners to dark and complex places, both lyrically and musically. While Daughter’s contemporaries might aim for rhythm, Daughter aims for emotion, violently tugging at you on every track. The sweeping and airy music perfectly matches Tonra’s deeply affecting lyrics, in an all-around satisfying debut. Get the tissues ready.
If You Like: Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes Key Track: “Human”
Streetlight Manifesto- "The Hands That Thieve"
Streetlight’s fifth album is more of the same, but for a wholly original heavy ska-punk band that hasn’t released original material in six years, the return is comforting. The horn hooks on this album are as good as they are on their debut, and the lyrics are as varied but honest as ever. The band’s heaviness twists them far away from ska at points. Birth, death, and everything in between are invoked poetically in what is one of the band’s best albums. “The Hands That Thieve” might be the band’s last album, so they give it everything they have.
You Like: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Operation Ivy Key Track: “With Any Sort of Certainty”