New Albums to Check Out (part 1)

New Albums to Check Out (part 1)

People who rely only on commercial media (T.V. and radio, that is) are the ones who always complain that “There’s no more good music nowadays.” They blame their lack of initiative and resourcefulness on the scoopery mentality of many music journalists. (“Scoopery” means the penchant to claim that what we see in the commercial or mainstream media is the only music available.) Only a gullible person is usually duped by such bogus journalists, who are there only for the scoop and not really for an authentic love for music. If you are a music enthusiast and are doing your homework, then you should have long known that there will always be interesting artists and music in any given year. All you need is the passion for it and the initiative to look for them. Where? You can buy NME, Mojo, Rolling Stone, Kerrang!, Gramophone, or any other specialty music magazines that cater to your preferred genre of music. There’s the Internet! Simply google your favorite artist or band to know what’s new about them, especially to know if there’s a new album out.
For instance, here are some albums released recently that might cater to your taste.

Blur–The Magic Whip (April 2015) (Britpop)

If you’re a fan of the glossy and shiny type of Britpop, then The Magic Whip is for you. After all, Blur is one of the original purveyors of Britpop music, and the album preceding this was released 12 years ago, and all four original members are involved in it; so, the album should be worth the wait. Recommended songs: “New World Towers,” “Thought I Was a Spaceman,” “My Terracotta Heart.”

10,000 Maniacs – Twice Told Tales (April 2015) (Indie Folk)

Whether the vocalist was Natalie Merchant or Mary Ramsey, 10,000 Maniacs’ music has always been alluring, classy, and nostalgic. In this ninth album of theirs, the band have further delved into their Folk roots, reconstructing age-old Folk songs and tunes that can take the attentive and introspective listener to a rustic journey filled with European tales and stories set to contemporary Indie Folk music. Recommended songs: “She Moved through the Fair,” “Bonny May,” and “Marie’s Wedding.”

Steve Hackett – Wolflight (March 2015) (Progressive Rock)

What can we expect from the guitar meister of Genesis who helped architect the English band’s music during its classic Progressive Rock phase in the 1970s? What else, but a solid and tight album of well-crafted, thickly textured, and elaborately orchestrated music rich with Hackett’s guitar wizardry. After all, Hackett never really stopped from playing and making music since his time with Genesis and pursuing a solo career in 1977. Unsurprisingly, Wolflight is the 24th studio album of the ever proficient and prolific guitarist and songwriter. Recommended songs: “Wolflight,” “The Wheel’s Turning,” and “Black Thunder.”
The Charlatans U.K. – Modern Nature (January 2015) (Alternative Rock)

Another Britpop pioneer, The Charlatans U.K. stands out from all the shine and sheen because of their predilection for old Soul and Psychedelia, which they incorporate effectively in their brand of Alternative Rock with Pop sensibilities. Modern Nature is the English band’s 12th studio album, and all the distinct characteristics that its predecessors’ contain all remain intact—jangly guitars, Hammond organ, driving bass, airdrumming-inducing beats and rhythms, and most especially Tim Burgess’s dreamy vocals. Recommended songs: “Talking in Tones,” “Emilie,” “Let the Good Times Be Never Ending.”

Katrina Leskanich (of Katrina & the Waves) – Blisland (August 2014) (Country Pop)

The voice behind “Walking on Sunshine” is back with another solo effort. Blisland can be blissful not only for old fans of Katrina & the Waves’ New-Wavey kind of Pop but also for contemporary music fans who enjoy Country Pop in the veins of Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Dixie Chicks, and Taylor Swift. Recommended songs: “Sun Coming Upper,” “Definition,” and “Texas Cloud.”

Final Note

These are just a few of the new albums released recently. If you’re really a music lover and have been doing your homework, then there’s no excuse for claiming that there’s no more good music these days. Surely you’re simply not looking in the right places.