Looks like the album might be released before actual democracy in China, after almost a full decade of work. Probably too much to ask the album to live up to ten years of hype and anticipation, I, for one, will be trying to keep an open mind, and hope it is at least good, and please please please not overproduced, though sadly it will probably be closer to Use Your Illusion II than I.

On a side note, I see that Clay Aiken has a new album out titled A Thousand Different Ways made up of covers of "classic" love songs. Sure, there are a thousand different paths to blandness…

The George Bush administration has been a complete joke and disaster, but times like these can galvanise the political musicians like no other.

Neil Young’s Living With War rocks my socks. He has not been this intense since 1994’s Sleeps With Angels, and not this raw and loud since Ragged Glory. There’s of course the hilarious and controversial Impeach The President, “Well, it’s a song that pretty well follows the title just with a bunch of reasons, and it’s a long song…” indeed. The opener After The Garden and The Restless Consumer are the standout tracks for me on first impressions. The entire album is streamed for free.

The other big release is Pearl Jam’s self-titled eighth studio album. I found Binaural and Riot Act not up to their usual high standards, but I can safely say with this one Pearl Jam is back. The Who-ish introduction to Life Wasted kicks things off on a totally rocking note, and the excitement and energy reminiscent of a live performance is palpable throughout the album.

Add new albums from Tool and RHCP to the mix, and this is one of the best years for me musically.