Navigating through RDIO is sometimes like standing in front of the ice cream counter and trying to pick from the 31 flavors. You can stick with your ‘go-to’ or try something new. Maybe have a sample of some wild new item or just go for the flavor of the month. This week, I found myself doing all of the above and getting my fill of some incredible music along the way.
Add It To The Collection… The most interesting album I listened to this week was by far Strange Mercy, the latest from multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter St. Vincent (Annie Clark to her friends). As a fan of mostly straight up rock/pop artists, I was impressed with the diversity, musicality and layering of the tracks on Strange Mercy. On a second listen I started to hear similarities between St. Vincent and another great American band pushing the boundaries of rock/pop music – Wilco. Beautiful melodies, gut-wrenching lyrics and a wall of synthesizers/distorted guitars give the album incredible texture and flavor. Must-have track: Cruel.
Add It To The Collection… For 40+ years Alice Cooper has been delivering his brand of theatrical hard rock with a mix of horror movie gore and heavy metal riffs. In 1975 Alice released Welcome To My Nightmare, a concept album, as his first official solo album. The album tells the story of a young child’s nightmares and is considered a classic. Fast-forward 36 years and Alice has just released his 26th studio album, the cleverly titled sequel, Welcome 2 My Nightmare. There are a few misses on Welcome 2 (Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever) but when Alice is at his best, there’s no denying that he is the king of conceptual classic rock. Must-have track: A Runaway Train is a rolling country-tinged track featuring a blazing guitar solo from country legend Vince Gill.
Worth another listen… The Sea Of Memories is the appropriately named new album from 90’s British grunge poster boys Bush (or are they still Bush X?). Listening to the album is like stepping back in time to 1995/1996. Gavin Rossdale is in fine form leading the boys in Bush through a collection of loud and moody tunes that wouldn’t have been out of place on the band’s quintessential mid-90’s releases Sixteen Stone and Razorblade Suitcase. In fact, those two albums are even worth another listen just to hear how many words Mr. Stefani can rhyme with swallowed.
Skip It… Have you ever wondered what vanilla sounds like? The latest from country-crossover darlings Lady Antebellum is just that. Vanilla. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s OK, but it isn’t great. And when you’re done consuming it you’ll wonder why you just didn’t go for something a little more exciting. Own The Night is another highly produced collection of tracks about one night stands and next morning regrets…kind of like the feeling you get after making your way to the bottom of a tub of vanilla ice cream.