Saturday, June 10, 2017

Weekend Music Roundup

The weekend is here once again and so I bring you my thoughts on a handful on new releases and some old albums recently discovered. The weather is just starting to match the season, and with the summer sun and unbearable heat, comes my appreciation for mellow rock and psych pop, both of which are represented on this list. Hopefully there's some sounds on here that you can all dig. Enjoy.

Dan Auerbach - Waiting on a Song: The Black Keys member released his second solo album, eight years after his first. This is a departure from the Keys and his other band, The Arcs. Sundrenched would be the adjective that I would use to describe the '70s folk pop sound on this record. This turn is definitely unexpected, and I'm still up in the air on how I feel about it, but kudos for not just doing the same thing. "King of a One Horse Town," "Cherrybomb," "Undertow," and the title track were standouts for me.

Halasan Bazar - Don't Tell Anyone: This neo-psych band from Denmark has become my newest favorite band and I recently listened to this 2010 EP and it's just as fantastic as their new album which I reviewed a few weeks back. Just four songs, but every one of them is brilliant. You can find this for a name your price download on their Bandcamp site, or simply stream it for free. I highly recommend it. 

The Charlatans - Different Days: One of the lesser known bands from the BritPop era, at least on this side of the pond, this is also one of the bands that has survived the longest, releasing albums regularly for the past 27 years. I haven't checked them out in two decades and decided to give this a listen. It stays true to the Baggy Madchester sound of their youth. As with their past albums, I found myself never completely buying into it, but also like those albums, there are definite moments where I do. "Plastic Machinery," "Not Forgotten," and "There Will Be Chances" were those moments for me.

Terry Reid - River: The late '60s UK was a great place for a blues rock guitarist to burst onto the scene, and Terry Reid did just that with two stellar albums in '68 and '69. This is is his third, released in '73 and shows more maturity than the two prior albums. This album felt more special to me, more honest as he moves into a more folk inspired version of blues of rock that serves his talents well.

Matisyahu - Undercurrent: This is the seventh album from the Brooklyn based band, but is my first encounter with them. The remarkable first single off this album, "Step Into the Light," has been on steady rotation on the local indie station and I've been digging it. Mixing reggae with rock, the band creates a sound that falls somewhere near avante hip-hop. In addition to the lead single, "Tell Me" is another great song. The rest of the album carries a nice vibe, but isn't always my thing.

Bob Welch - French Kiss: The lead songwriter and vocalist in the transition years of Fleetwood Mac, Bob was responsible for two great albums "Bare Trees" and "Future Games" before leaving to go solo. This is his '77 debut and it's full-on late '70s coke inspired soft rock which really sounds great if your in the mood. Most of the current Fleetwood Mac lineup of the time play on this record, and sound like their more pop-rock records, but with Bob's sleeker feel.

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