2011 sees the arrival of a new Journey album, the second from the Arnel Pineda variant. Eclipse arrives on May 24, after which the band hits the road with Foreigner. I have been very vocal in the past about Pineda, that while he is a good singer and hits the Steve Perry vocal mark, the seemingly calculated grooming to make him into a Perry clone comes off at the least off-putting, and at the most intensely creepy.
However, with my reservations put aside (and with Eclipse not offering a second disc where Pineda covers the old Perry-Journey tracks) I think I will be able to approach this one with more of an open mind. We’ll see. In the worst-case scenario, I’ll be sending the disc along to Rob Smith who has a documented tolerance for power ballads and an inclination to not say “no.”
Also coming soon from the AOR mineshaft, Whitesnake returns with Forevermore and new lead singer Alice Cooper. No, wait… It’s still David Coverdale. He only looks like Alice Cooper now. The funny thing is, on the lead single “Love Will Set You Free,” he sounds more like Coverdale than he has in years. The disc is set to drop on March 29 via Frontiers Records.
Also coming on March 29, modern pop’s CEO of sorts, Britney Spears returns with Femme Fatale. The jury is out regarding what more to expect than Brit singing songs about sex, wanting sex and recounting the many ways she wants to have sex, and there’s always the hope that she’s moved on from this, but it is unlikely. The lead single “Hold It Against Me,” while scorching the pop charts, has little to do with artistic growth, but that’s not what Britney’s fans want from her. Will Femme Fatale fill that space?
As different as one could get from Britney comes new music from post-rock instrumentalists Explosions In The Sky. Their Take Care, Take Care, Take Care shows up on April 26. This will be the first release since 2007’s All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone. Below is a sampling of the new album, a track called “Trembling Hands.”
In brief — Over the weekend, a feature from the upcoming Tron: Legacy Blu-ray leaked (or is assumed to have leaked, wink, wink) onto the Internet. Entitled Flynn Lives: The Next Day, the ten minute piece answers some of the dangling questions from the movie. It features the return of Dan Shor as the character Ram, but in a much different way. It also acts as what is presumed to be a teaser for the greenlit-in-theory TR3N, or Part 3, or whatever they’re calling threequels these days. Tron: Legacy hits home video on April 5 as a standard DVD, a Blu-ray set, a 3-D Blu-ray set, a multi-disc set designed like Tron’s power-discs, and more than likely a set with a recussitator kit for all the geeks going into cardiac arrest over this news.
This past weekend, Disney’s Mars Needs Moms tanked at the box-office and I, as a reviewer, am double-minded about it. I’m saddened because this was the first Berkeley (Bloom County) Breathed project to make it to the big screen. However, I’m also gratified in some way because, having seen several previews of the thing, it appeared the Mouse House drained all of Breathed’s charm and humor away from his original children’s book concept and replaced it with their usual stabs at hipness, like aliens that say “my bad,” and “you go girl.” Berke, I know the money looks good, but for heaven’s sake, just say no. And “Aaaacckk thhhhpth” as well.
And finally… The Smurfs, August 3. Insert horrid puns at your leisure.