It’s getting toward the end of the year, which in the music industry means two things: big commercial releases and a precipitous drop-off in quality as the “festive” season draws closer. It’s not all bad, though. In amongst the stocking stuffers and superfluous best-ofs, there are still some quality releases, and as we do at the start of every month, we’ve pored over the release schedules to pick out ten of the best. As ever, we’ve also rounded up everything else of note that’s out this month — the promising, the forbidding, and the stuff to be thankful you’ll never have to hear again.
M.I.A. — Matangi (November 5)
Well, at last. The album is streaming right now, after it leaked earlier today, and first impressions are that at the very least, it’s a whole lot better than MAYA was — it’s leaner, meaner and generally more reminiscent of its creator’s pre-truffle fries days. (Also, apparently Ghetto Gothik founder/spiritual leader Venus X was heavily involved with the record’s production, which is interesting and certainly makes sense given the album’s dirty-yet-eminently-danceable sounds.)