One of the nice features on music sharing services like RDIO is the ability to follow people and see what they’re listening to. You can follow some big time influencers like Spin Magazine, Pitchfork Media or Canadian music connoisseurs Explore Music to see what tunes are in their playlists and read recommendations. Each week, as I sort through the hundreds of new releases, I feel like a kid in a candy store trying to pick his next treat. This can sometimes be a bit of a daunting task, so I’ve turned to RDIO’s New Music Tuesday playlist to get a quick sample of what’s new and exciting out there.
This week’s playlist was highlighted by a number of new singles from some very diverse artists. There’s a new single from the great Ryan Adams called Lucky Now that sounds like Mr. Adams is in fine form and building on his excellent 2007 releases Easy Tiger and Follow The Lights. There’s also a new single from Kelly Clarkson’s upcoming Stronger album that has the original American Idol sounding more R&B then pop/rock. And, on a related note, there’s the first official single from American Idol Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery. Easily the worst thing I heard this week, The Trouble With Girls is a horrible song that sounds like a track from the 1930’s. How can American Idol remain remotely relevant if the winners continue to flounder right out of the gates (I’m talking to you Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze and, Mr. Soul Patrol himself, Taylor Hicks). Just awful.
Add It To The Collection… While going through the new music playlist, my ears perked up immediately when I heard the unmistakable harmonies of none other than Brian Wilson. Wilson is one of 16 diverse artists to lend their talents to the Buddy Holly tribute album Listen To Me. While I don’t usually like these tribute albums, you can’t deny the quality of songs Holly, one of rock ‘n’ roll’s true pioneers, wrote in the mid 1950’s. Timeless tracks are delivered by everyone from rock vets Wilson, Ringo Starr and Jackson Browne to modern artists Cobra Starship and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump. Must-have track: Not Fade Away by Stevie Nicks.
Add It To The Collection…. Another one worth checking out this week is the first album by Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon’s side-project The Horrible Crowes. The New Jersey punk rocker tones it down significantly on Elsie to deliver a collection of dark and sombre tracks perfect for the fall season. Must-have track: Behold The Hurricane.
Worth another listen…Over the last couple of years, Aerosmith has been known for two things: infighting and controversy. It all came to a head last year when frontman Steven Tyler apparently broke ranks and joined the American Idol judging panel (lots of AI content this week). It appeared that Aerosmith were done and that Joe Perry and the boys were considering replacing Mr. Tyler. Well, Tyler was great on AI and the exposure to millions of TV viewers put the band back in the spotlight. Now we hear a new album is in the works. Until then, RDIO offers the first ever streaming of all the classic Aerosmith albums going all the way back to 1973. Must-have track: Sweet Emotion off the classic Toys In The Attic from 1975.
Skip It… I haven’t enjoyed much of Lyndsey Buckingham’s solo work over the years. He’s great as part of Fleetwood Mac, but I think the sum is greater than the parts with that group of musicians. There’s something about their voices and playing together that makes the band work. Seeds We Sow is a mostly acoustic album that features Buckingham’s impressive finger-picking guitar style as well as a strong voice that seems to have aged like a fine wine. The problem is the songs sound more like demos or ideas that haven’t been fully discovered yet. Fleetwood Mac is apparently heading back to the studio and back on the road in 2012…probably worth the wait.