It’s only February but music enthusiasts are already being treated to a slew of new albums that would be parts of the last year of the current decade, 2010s.
Here are some of them.
Joe Jackson – Fool
If there is one lesser-hailed singer-songwriter than the likes of David Bowie (Blackstar), Elvis Costello (Look Now), Elton John (Wonderful Crazy Tonight), and Billy Joel (Fantasies & Delusions) yet equally if not more significant in his own way—then it should be Joe Jackson, who has been releasing music also prolifically and proficiently since the late 1970s. Jackson released his first album in 1979, titled Looking Sharp! What followed was a splendid string of stylistically diverse works that delved not only on Pop, New Wave, and Sophistipop but also on Classical, Light Jazz, and Film Scores. After ending his Summer 2018 North American Tour, Jackson and his current bandmates then entered the studio to record new materials. The result was Fool, released on January 18 – a solid, tight, and lush batch of eight well-written tracks that take the quirky English artist back to his trademark style—soulful and engaging songs oozing with Pop sensibilities yet lengthy enough to assert the meticulous composer’s musical indulgence. Recommended track: “Fabulously Absolute.”
Steve Hackett – At the Edge of Light
Of all the luminaries of the ’70s batch of Progressive Rock, Guitarist and Songwriter Steve Hackett continues to prove to be among the proficient and prolific ones, managing to stay productive, relevant, and influential amidst the ever-dynamic music scene. He is well-known as the lead guitarist of the English band Genesis during its Progressive Rock years in the 1970s. Hackett’s debut album, 1975’s Voyage of the Acolyte, remains a landmark in Progressive Rock music. He was on a roll since then, releasing an album practically every couple of years. Only two years fresh from his last one, 2017’s The Night Siren, Hackett has unleashed yet another one—his twenty-fifth oeuvre! Released on January 25, Hackett’s new full-length, titled At the Edge of Light, is another conceptual masterpiece reeking with stylistic exoticness and diversity. Recommended track: “Those Golden Wings.”
Rustin Man – Drift Code
Well-known as the bass player of Talk Talk for the most part of the English New Wave/Art Pop band’s career, Paul Webb quit the group in 1990 and, assuming the name Rustin Man, embarked on an even artier and more progressive musical direction than Talk Talk’s latter albums. His first noteworthy output was the ambient, folky Out of Season – his 2002 collaboration with Beth Gibbons of Portishead (“Roads”). Nothing was heard from Rustin Man since then, at least in a commercial perspective. That is why his latest offering is something to consider adding to the record collection of especially music enthusiasts who are drawn to Experimental and Progressive music. Released on February 1, Rustin Man’s first proper solo album, titled Drift Code, is definitely something to savor slowly and to drift with ponderingly. Progressive Folk for the 2010s. Recommended track: “Our Tomorrows.”
Keuning – Prismism
Vocalist Brandon Flowers was the first one from the American band The Killers to pursue a solo career, releasing two albums under his name so far. Next was Drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr., who got involved in the side project Big Talk. Then, Bassist Mark Stoermer, who has three solo albums under his belt. Finally, Guitarist Dave Keuning is last but not the least. He ultimately decided to treat his fans with his debut offering. Released on January 25, under his surname, Keuning’s first solo album is titled Prismism.
It validates and clarifies Keuning’s pivotal contribution to the music of The Killers. It also displays his being an effective multi-instrumentalist, playing everything at the studio, apart from some drum parts. True to its concept, Prismism is a mélange of songs that frolic in the colorful spectrum of New Wave music. Recommended track: “Boat Accident.”
The Final Note
These are just a few of the new albums that will define the sound of the final year of the 2010s. Listen to them to add a new soundtrack to the current stage of your life.