For some reason the new Steve Winwood is blowing me away, mostly for what it is not. It's his simplest, most direct album ever. A lot like his last one, but even a simpler groove. And I'm glad he made whatever deal he had to with whatever supernatural entity to keep that amazing voice. People keep comparing it to Blind Faith but I think that's mostly because Clapton plays guitar on a track. At any rate, it's damn good if you like that stuff.
I make no apologies for liking the new Asia album. I'm a sucker for retro 80s prog pop. Does that surprise you? It really does trigger all of my musical taste receptors. Yes, it can be a bit tacky and self-conscious at times. But great musicianship and John Wetton sounds good for having recently had multiple bypasses.
The new B-52s is fun--a bit more electronic than in the past, but it's still them.
Again, with the new REM album everyone's calling it a "return to form" but really, they've never made an album with nothing but crunchy guitar tracks. (I've checked, thank you very much.) It's basically an album that's all the couple of songs from their first few albums that really had loud guitars. But it is their best since Bill Berry became a farmer.
The new Portishead album is very good. I like it a lot, and it's not like their older stuff in a lot of ways, it's more song-oriented, almost.
Jordan Zevon's new album is quite impressive. It has a very power pop feel to it. "The Joke's On Me" is such a good song it actually makes the rest of the album sound not as good.
And the new Rush live album is a Rush live album. I listen to it, mostly to think about how good the concert was, and also to chart the evolution of their live sound (they've done 4 live albums during the time of their last 3 studio albums).