Friday Album Reviews | Eight New Records You Need To Know

As every Friday brings new music, Tomorrow's Verse brings you our top picks for the week. Here are our favorite records from June 15. 

By: Alex Wood

Buddy Guy – The Blues Is Alive And Well

As most Chicagoans know, Buddy Guy is stilling sounding as great as ever at 81 years old. Still performing regularly after more than half a century of influential recordings, the legend’s skills aren’t being let go to waste, as his newest release demonstrates. Featuring Mick Jagger on one song and Keith Richards and Jeff Beck on another, The Blues Is Alive And Well is no small affair, and is packed with the blues intensity and respect for its tradition that one would expect from Guy.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs

Having already developed a serious fanbase from the success of their debut, 6-song EP, Australian indie-rock band and Sub Pop signees Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever’s debut full-length record has been a highly anticipated release. Fortunately, the record more than lives up to the hype built around the initial EP, with the band perfecting their brand of post-punk inspired, somewhat quirky indie-rock. Though most of the band’s members trade vocals and writing duties throughout, the album has an incredible consistency, each member using a partially spoken drawl to deliver the lyrics. The songwriting is fantastically imaginative, and the instrumentals show a young band that can already play. If Rolling Blackouts C.F. aren’t already on your radar, they certainly should be.

The Allman Brothers Band – Peach Picks: Cream Of The Crop 2003

The newest Allman Brothers archival release collects highlights from their 2003 summer tour. Spanning 36 tracks, the sprawling set features a lineup of three original members (Gregg Allman, Jaimoe and Butch Trucks) as well as Derek Trucks, Marc Quinones and Oteil Burbridge. Better yet, Susan Tedeschi, Karl Denson and Branford Marsalis make guest appearances throughout. Though these were originally available through the band’s “Instant Live” series, this is the first time the songs are available digitally.

Johnny Marr – Call The Comet

Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr returns with his third album, Call The Comet. The record remains distinctly within Marr’s often-imitated style while also embracing modern alternative and Brit pop. Musically, synthesizers and a strong rhythm section help flesh out the layers of electric-guitar mastery. Lyrically, Marr is more political than ever, leaning on current events to drive each song while also giving a sense of consistency to the songs.

Arthur Buck – Arthur Buck

A collaboration between R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur, Arthur Buck formed after a chance encounter in Mexico, where the two musicians jammed and quickly wrote the songs for their self-titled debut. Recorded in a week, the record can predictably feel disjointed at times, but the best moments truly make it worthwhile. Though fans can certainly hear R.E.M. comparisons in Buck’s work, the record meanders to many genres, including surprisingly poppy moments and interesting production flourishes. Frankly, Arthur Buck sounds like it was quickly thrown together, but at least was done so by two creative and talented minds.

The Brothers Comatose – Ink, Dust & Luck

Americana string band Brothers Comatose hired esteemed producer and musician John Vanderslice to help produce their newest work, recording the songs straight to analog tape. The result is a record that leans on the band’s live capabilities, honed through years of experience. The warm, sometimes gritty sound from the technique fits the band’s old-time influences perfectly, and a duet with Nicki Bluhm certainly doesn’t hurt. Ink, Dust & Luck is everything that a string band should be.

Melody’s Echo Chamber – Bon Voyage

French psychedelic pop musician Melody Prochet returns with her second full-length as Melody’s Echo Chamber. Bon Voyage blends a classic psychedelic feel with more modern production techniques, with a distinctly French feel. A dense, swirling blend of diverse instrumentation, the songs’ unpredictable arrangements are easy to get lost in, but never sound cluttered. A true psychedelic throwback the likes of which few modern bands can even attempt, Prochet has truly done it again.

Chromeo – Head Over Heels

Prior to the release of Head Over Heels, pop-leaning funk band Chromeo promised the record would return to funk’s roots, downplaying the electronic gleam of their prior work. Featuring a lot of collaborators and guest vocalists, Head Over Heels does feel slightly less electronic, but doesn’t lose the sense of overarching fun that Chromeo does best.

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