Mid May – 2021 – Music Marathon
The sheer amount of new music that is coming out is more than I can keep up. This past week (May 17th through the 22) has just been packed with new releases. Besides my more recent review of the new St. Vincent album, Daddy’s Home, there has been new music from The Black Keys, Lord Huron, and Morcheeba. Here’s some quick impressions of each.
- Lord Huron, Long Lost – At long last, we have a new Lord Huron album. Known for one of the greatest and saddest songs ever, “The Night We Met”, Lord Huron has struggled to produce a follow up song of similar intensity and quality. They are a very good band, but always seem a step away from being a great one. The songs on the new album, Long Last, are too unusual and, at times, bland, to compete with “The Night We Met”. Long Last plays like a soundtrack for a Spaghetti Western with twangy reverb laden guitars and unusual samples of conversations or radio shows. It’s a good relaxing album but not earth shattering. At this rate, it is only a matter of time before Lord Huron is pegged a one hit wonder.
- The Black Keys, Delta Kream – The Black Keys are one of the few roots rock bands that sound both new and authentic at the same time. This has never been more apparent than with the new album, Delta Kream. It is packed with delta, Chicago, and southern blues, as well as good old southern rock. Delta Kream is reminiscent of late 60s and early 70s Allman Brothers. The judicious use of slide guitar draws obvious comparisons to Dickey Betts. This may be the best album by The Black Keys yet.
- Morcheeba, Blackest Blue – Morcheeba is well known in trip hop circles, not only for being excellent trip hop, but for breaking traditional trip hop boundaries. Vocalist Skye Edwards adds smooth jazz, soul, and 90s R&B, vocal stylings to Ross Godfrey’s beats to create a unique form of trip hop. The latest album Blackest Blue dives headfirst into 70s soul and 90s R&B. It’s like adding Sade and NSync to Portishead. Slow, sultry beats combine with jazzy, bluesy vocals to accentuate the album’s themes of love lost. In the hands of Morcheeba, songs such as “Cut My Heart Out”, “Killed Our Love”, and “Falling Skies” sound sad but not ponderous or overpowering. The only downside of the album is two songs right in the middle that seem out of place. “Say It’s Over”, a duet with Brad Barr sounds like an 80s duet of the sort that Phill Collins would have done back in 1986. “Sulphur Soul” is a horn driven instrumental psychedelic funk soul song. Think Isaac Hayes writing a theme song circa 1979. Both are great songs but seem odd in the middle of sultry, jazzy trip hop.
There were other albums recently released but not enough time to listen tot them all. Molly Tuttle’s latest album … but I’d rather be with you, too is still waiting for a good listen. New Singles from Lana Del Rey (“Text Book”), Madonna (“Beautiful Stranger” – William Orbit Radio Edit), and Soccer Mommy (“Wide Open Spaces”) are also sitting in the queue. Artists are pushing out a lot of new music ahead of the summer when listeners have time to sit on the beach and taken in new sounds. It’s a great time to be a music lover. Watch this space for more good music.