Randy Newman, Neil Young, & George Thorogood Return In Top Albums Of The Week - August 4
Thu, 03 Aug 2017 15:59:59
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In many ways this wasn't a week for big album releases. There was no JAY-Z or Katy Perry or The Killers turning up to take over the spotlight. Instead, the old guard came through and delivered some of their best material in years.
George Thorogood released his first-ever solo album, which was filled with blues covers; Randy Newman returned to unveil his first album in almost a decade, and Neil Young released an album of songs that were all tracked in a single session back in 1976.
The week also saw the unveiling of a couple collections from bright talents you might not know by name. Soccer Mommy released an album filled with songs from previous EPs, while Dan Wilson delivered an LP filled with covers of his own material. So without further ado, here are ARTISTdirect's top albums of the week:
George Thorogood — Party of One
George Thorogood returned to Rounder Records to record his first ever solo album, Party of One. It made sense for the man who spent the last 40 years as leader of The Destroyers to desire a return to his roots, which began as an aspiring bluesman. The all-covers record finds Thorogood exploring blues, from Hank Williams to Robert Johnson to The Rolling Stones. It's the one album that the blues rocker has never made, and ARTISTdirect caught up with him to discuss it.
Randy Newman — Dark Matter
New Randy Newman records don't come around that often. This is the musician's fourth studio effort since 1988, with each record since appearing after a span of nine to ten years. His last album, Harps and Angels, dropped in 2008, so the simple fact that he is releasing something means ears should be tuned it. On Dark Matter, Newman delivers a collection of tracks that are rich with detail, both lyrically and sonically. It's a diverse effort that is guided ever-so steadily by Newman's capable hands, and is a must listen for any lovers of the American songwriting tradition.
Neil Young — HitchhikerHitchhiker was tracked in one single session back on August 11, 1976. The album captures Young performing with just his voice and a single acoustic guitar. On the record, listeners will find longtime favorites as well as two previously unreleased tracks, "Hawaii", a soaring ballad, and "Give Me Strength", which the artist performed a number of times throughout the ‘70s. The LP captures Neil Young's passion well, and is one of few archival releases that can appeal to both longtime fans and casual listeners.
Soccer Mommy — Collection
Sophie Allison, aka Soccer Mommy, has released a number of EPs full of pastel bedroom pop over the last few years. Collection finds the artist taking some of her best tracks and putting them together with a full band, lending brighter splashes to an already lush landscape. The stuff here is introspective, painting pictures of what it is to be a young adult. The songwriting is sharp and precise, and Allison's ability to play with words is a rarity amongst the bedroom crowd. Collection is a strong signal of intent from an artist bursting with talent and things to say.
Dan Wilson — Re-Covered
Don't know Dan Wilson? We think you do, though the name might have slipped by you. Remember that track "Closing Time"? That was his, which he wrote for his band Semisonic. As a songwriter, he is one of the most prolific out there. He has written songs with or for Weezer, Andrew Bird, Panic! at the Disco, and that was just in 2016. Re-Covered finds Wilson performing 12 of his songs that other artists, such as Adele, John Legend, the Dixie Chicks, Chris Stapleton and Taylor Swift, have made famous. Sometimes it's just good to know where these songs came from, and his performance of "Someone Like You" might just sway you to his corner.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff