In 1993, Jeff Buckley began recording material for Columbia, much of which he reportedly felt insecure about. A compilation of these recordings, You and I, is finally seeing the light 23 years later. It includes covers from Bob Dylan, Sly & The Family Stone, The Smiths, and Led Zeppelin, in addition to two early demos that would eventually make it to his only completed studio album Grace. His memorable, emotional tenor and rhythmic guitar accompaniment sound crisp and huge in these bare bones recordings.
Listen to: “Everyday People”, “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying”, “Grace”, “Calling You”
Post Pop Depression is Iggy Pop at his finest, dark but brilliant, clever and compelling. Iggy’s seventeenth album features not one but two Queens of the Stone Age members, producer Josh Homme and multi-instrumentalist Dean Fertita, and the Arctic Monkey’s Matt Helders on drums. Coarse guitar riffs, playful synthesizers and truculent bass engage as much as Iggy’s weathered quips on culture and death. At many times, the overall effect reminds me so much of David Bowie.
Listen to: “Break Into Your Heart”, “Gardenia”, “American Valhalla”, “Paraguay”, “In the Lobby”
I Could Be Anything, the Violent Femmes‘ return to music, is their first album release since 2000’s Freak Magnet, but you wouldn’t know it just from listening. The band is still frisky, funny and folksy with a raucous, punk feel. There’s an argument there about how perhaps after sixteen years they might’ve matured a little and put the masturbation lyrics aside but sometimes it’s nice to have a band’s comeback feel as if no time has passed.
Listen to: “I Could Be Anything”, “Holy Ghost”, “Foothills”, “Travelling Solves Everything”
I don’t have much of an opinion on One Direction beyond “nice boys singing fairly nice songs”. And I don’t have much of an opinion on Zayn Malik leaving the boy band beyond “Is that the second most attractive one?”. But Zayn’s-sorry, ZAYN‘s-genre-exploring debut album Mind of Mine, was more than I expected: slick, sensual and strong, encapsulated in its straightforward pop single “Pillowtalk”.