Sunday, September 27, 2015

Weekend Music Roundup

The first week of Autumn brought with it the cooler weather, the coloring leaves, and some refreshing sounds. For the most part, I moved away from rock with my listening, as I'm oft to do this time of year. Naturally I found some folk music, but mostly it was a lot of very moody music that filled my head the last few days. I love albums that set a unique mood that can carry you into whatever world the artist is trying to establish. There were a couple of those this week. Overall, some fantastic albums that I see getting quite a few listens over the coming months. Enjoy.

Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon: Following last year's outstanding album, Ultraviolence, wasn't going to be easy. It was my favorite record of last year, so my expectations for this one were sky high, probably impossibly high. But before listening to it, I made sure to clear those expectations and hear this for what it would be, and what it is, is another album of heartbreaking beauty. Lana sounds like a brokenhearted old Holywood film star, accompanied with a bluesy jazz trip-hop backdrop. "Religion," "Blackest Day," "Honeymoon" and her cover of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" are standouts on an exceptionally enjoyable and moody album.

David Gilmour - Rattle That Lock: I've been a huge Pink Floyd fan since I was 16 years old, and have always preferred Gilmour's vision to Waters', but still I'm not one of those people who gets all amped up when one of my legends releases a new album decades after the music that I loved. However, the local indie radio has been playing the hell out of the title track from this for over a month, and I've been into it completely. So when the album was finally released, I was actually excited about it. This is the most inspired Gilmour has sounded in a long time. His guitar sounds as good as it did on Wish You Were Here. Every song on here is high quality and over time should be remembered as his crowning solo work. It is so satisfying when a legend reclaims their rightful place.

The Dead Weather - Dodge and Burn: The first full length album in five years from the Jack White/ Alison Mosshart combination, the band's third, sees them embracing even more of the hard rock vibe that was cultivated during the last album. Moving beyond garage rock and blues rock, this album showcases many influences and a heavier sound. The interplay between the two leaders of the band has always been what makes them unique, and that's true on this record as well. A few misses, but overall, this is a solid and interesting rock album worth listening to. "Lose the Right," "I Feel Love," "Rough Detective," and "Mile Marker" are my personal favorites.

Lucero - All a Man Should Do: The tenth album from the Nashville alt-country band came out last week. Their first album in three years may be their best in several. It opens with the amazing "Baby Don't You Want Me," which is reminiscent their great early 2000s material. This album reminds us once again why these guys are one of the best in genre. A great collection of drunken lullabies and tales of sorrow. Worth picking up if you're a fan, or new to the band.

Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower: The Richmond stoner metal band's fourth album is my introduction to their heavy sludge sound. This is a very solid album, with tremendous riffs. In some ways it reminds me Alice in Chains mixed with some Electric Wizard. Musically it paints a bleak soundscape, but one that the listener is fascinated to wander through. "Two Urns," "Tannsgrisnir," and the surprising soft track "Sparrow" are standouts. 

Thin Lizzy - Shades of A Blue Orphanage: The second LP from the Irish rock band, released in '72 has always been my favorite of theirs and I recently picked up the 180 gram reissue. Unlike their later hard rock albums, this is mostly acoustic blues folk, reminiscent of Van Morrison, which makes sense considering the guitarist was a member of Van's band Them. There's a nostalgic sound on here that I truly dig, one of those great Sunday Morning listens. The title track is outstanding, as is "Brought Down," and "Baby Face."

Imperial State Electric - Honk Machine: The fourth album from the Swedish rock band is an interesting fusion of rock styles, from 80's hard rock, garage rock, and Clash style punk. All of these sounds can be heard throughout the album, creating something unique out of something familiar. Not most groundbreaking album I've heard, but one that grows on me. "Walk On By," "All Over My Head," and "Maybe You're Right" make up a fantastic middle of the record. Sounds like an album made by fans of many of my favorite bands. Solid enough.

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