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  • Roger Waters, Flogging Molly & Alt-J Shine Ahead In Albums Of The Week - June 2

    Thu, 01 Jun 2017 12:18:31

    Roger Waters, Flogging Molly & Alt-J Shine Ahead In Albums Of The Week - June 2 -

    Roger Waters Photos

    • Roger Waters - TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 06: Musician/director Roger Waters (R) and actress Laurie Durning attends the 'Roger Waters The Wall' premiere during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival at The Elgin on September 6, 2014 in Toronto, Canada.
    • Roger Waters - TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 06: Musician/director Roger Waters (R) and actress Laurie Durning attends the 'Roger Waters The Wall' premiere during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival at The Elgin on September 6, 2014 in Toronto, Canada.
    • Roger Waters - TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 06: Musician/director Roger Waters (R) and actress Laurie Durning attends the 'Roger Waters The Wall' premiere during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival at The Elgin on September 6, 2014 in Toronto, Canada.

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    Roger Waters Videos

    • Roger Waters - Wait for Her
    • Roger Waters - In the Flesh? (Live) [From Roger Waters The Wall]

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    This week in album releases sees much loved artists striking out from established acts into solo work and strongly voiced intentions. There's alternative rock experimentation, iconic artists toying with political sensibilities and some good old fashioned pub-rock punk for those who want an irish sing-along.

    Former Pink Floyd songwriter Roger Waters releases his first album in 25 years, Alt-J issue album number three, pushing themselves through tessellations of their own sound, while Flogging Molly deliver an album that has communal singing in it's heart. Black Keys man Dan Auerbach and former Dirty Projectors member Amber Coffman each release solo albums that deliver on promises they'd made in previous joint ventures, but that arrive with more confidence and self determination that we could have considered.

    So, without further ado — here's our rundown of albums of the week…


    Alt-J — "Relaxer" — Atlantic Records

    Alt-J are now on their third album since their Mercury Award-winning debut. They are a band that continue to cut their own path through an alternative rock landscape, and in doing so they have pressed themselves into a variety of shapes, usually successful, sometimes falling short of ambition. Like another alt-rock band that started on guitars, Alt-J have a feel of Radiohead — there's a dark, dark humor and self awareness in their playing of the game. Commercially they're secure, so experimentation has more confidence. Here, on Relaxer, a good example of their courage is their take on the folk/blues classic "House of the Rising Sun". The tempo is played with, lyrics are removed and new ones added — and the band make it their own, whilst making a classic even more commercial-ready. Odd passages in odd songs stutter through over-stretching, but in short Alt-J have raised their cruising altitude. It will be a long time before they come down.


    Roger Waters — "Is This the Life We Really Want?" Columbia Records

    Black Keys man Dan Auerbach hits out with a solo album that's peppered with poppier-sounding elements than die hard fans of his early 'true blues' flavored albums may be happy with. However, the process from grit and grime of bluesy riffs and raw edged axe-work to what's on offer on "Waiting On A Song" has placed plenty of landmarks that would indicate this more radio-friendly, sunny-day-with-the-top-down sound. Still with one eye on the retro-sound, Auerbach cruises nicely into the drive-time play schedule. There's a lightness of touch here that sometimes means the songs are a little airy, and lack the meat of former explorations, but overall the album delivers well on what the fans will be expecting, even if more for open festival crowds as opposed to the former back-room glory of smoky clubs.


    Amber Coffman — "City of no Reply" — Columbia Records

    Former Dirty Projectors member Amber Coffman recorded City of No Reply back in 2015, and has been sharing videos of tracks from the album in the months between then and now. Now, with the arrival of the full collection it's hard to discuss Coffman's new project without referencing her old. The vocal work which fans will love, and often found the balm to more experimental Dirty Projectors passages, does what it always did. Coffman has an approach to singing which means disturbing news is delivered with a calm ability to make good. There are sing along moments — as evidenced in the dance-along videos you may have already experienced, but there are also more complicated, explorative, baroque elements which the artist measures well, and drives with a new confidence in one direction. It's solid stuff.


    Flogging Molly — "Life Is Good" — Spineform Records

    Six years ago Flogging Molly broke into the top ten with their album Speed of Darkness, and since then they've been putting in the hard yards — touring almost endlessly with their brand of Irish Folk Punk. Oftentimes the band have been accused of being a diluted version of punk and not quite folk, but what is undeniable is the effect they have on a live audience. Every song here on Life is Good sounds like it was written moments following another great show, with the impetus set on 'keep 'em singing'. Crowd-pleasers, punky-swings at the political world, and an easy confidence that knows exactly what the fans are after delivers an album that will keep Flogging Molly in the hearts, and in the mouths, of their fans.


    Get Roger Waters music on iTunes
    Get Alt-J music on iTunes
    Get Dan Auerbach music on iTunes
    Get Flogging Molly music on iTunes
    Get Amber Coffman music on iTunes

    —The ARTISTdirect Staff
    06.02.17



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    Tags: Roger Waters, Flogging Molly, Alt-J, Dan Auerbach, Amber Coffman

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