“Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” — Oasis
Sounding every bit as confident as the title of this tune implies, Oasis began their musical career with the egotistical guitar bombast of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star.” These Brit-Pop pioneers’ first album is an incredible tour de force; a quintessential piece of British rock that plays like a greatest hits album from start to finish. “Definitely Maybe” turns 20 this week and is still an instant classic, just as rewarding as the day it was released.
“We Are Floating” — Archie Bronson Outfit
A thick guitar riff and bouncing bass line start “We Are Floating,” giving way to the paranoid wails of lead vocalist Sam Windett. Natives of London, the Archie Bronson Outfit is sure to be one of the next superstars in rock music, creating a brand of psychedelic-punk that incorporates bluesy sounds similar to the Black Keys and Queens of the Stone Age. “Wild Crush” is the ensemble’s latest recording, released on Domino Records on May 19.
“Midnight” — Coldplay
“Midnight” is a bleak and brooding soundscape that finds Coldplay frontman Chris Martin sounding like he has been filtered through a massive organ in an empty cathedral. The faint pitter-patter of keyboards featured on this track also permeate the rest of the group’s latest album “Ghost Stories,” and showcases the minimalist experiments in 2011’s “Mylo Xyloto.” “Ghost Stories” was made available May 19.
“Black Rock” — The Roots Featuring Dice Raw
Since joining Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show, The Roots appear to have grown a little restless upon reentering the recording studio. While their eleventh offering, “… And Then You Shoot Your Cousin,” continues to innovate in the field of jazz rap, this time around the two genres appear to be in conflict. In the case of “Black Rock,” however, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as Dice Raw’s rhymes fight to be heard in a sea of drums and piano. Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter’s voice interjects periodically to restore order to the chaos, but leaves the listener wondering why the entire album doesn’t sound as good as this track.
“Yesterdays” — Miles Davis
The three descending notes that begin “Yesterdays” are unparalleled in their seductive power. The epitome of cool, Miles Davis was perhaps the best at coaxing a deeply smoky, sexy tone out of the trumpet. Davis’s complete Blue Note Recordings were remastered and re-released this week in a collection entitled “Take Off.” Anyone looking for an introduction to jazz music needs look no further than this marvelous compilation.
Retro Pick of the Week:
“Incident on 57th Street” — Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen has always been a poet masquerading as a rock star. “Incident on 57th Street” proves that The Boss could even out-write Bob Dylan if he wanted to, detailing the courtship of “Spanish” Johnny and “Puerto Rican” Jane on a bittersweet summer night. The E Street Band is in top form too, orchestrating this love story with crying guitars and delicate piano. “The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle” is not only the perfect summer soundtrack, but also one of the finest rock and roll albums ever recorded.
Teddy Eisenberg is a third year programmer at WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland. He hosts The ’59 Sound, an exploration of rock music, every Thursday morning from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. and co-hosts the variety talk show Max and Teddy in the Morning at Night (Sometimes) on Mondays from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. The crackle of vinyl warms him on cold Cleveland nights.