“In like a lion, out like a lamb” actually seems completely appropriate here (trust me when you read/listen). We start this long month off with loud parties and end with sweet celebrations of love. Don’t believe me? Get to reading then!
The Fratellis – In Your Own Sweet Time
Release date: 3/9
I forget where I first heard The Fratellis, or what song exactly turned me onto them, but when you need some fun and good times, this seems to be the band to turn to.
Now, I’ve never been a big fan of the disco sound – even at the roller rink (which I haven’t been to in 17 years) where it would sound appropriate, it was never my thing. But take modern production values and really crisp lyrics from a rock perspective, and I think I can be drawn in. Such is the case with “The Next Time We Wed” and “Stand Up Tragedy.” If it makes any sense whatsoever, I’d even venture to tell you that this band has managed to straddle the 70’s and 80s’ and bring both decades into our current cultural light.
(“Chelsea Dagger” was the song, btw, duh.)
That wasn’t all though. As we’re venturing closer and closer to the release date, the band proceeded to give us “I’ve Been Blind,” showcasing a grittier sound along with the dance mood they seemingly set with each track. It’s really quite amazing. They end the preview streak with “Starcrossed Losers,” creating a steady beat that breaks into a dancehall mix. This is incredible. I remember something I read about Lifehouse before they released Smoke & Mirrors – that they were trying to finally capture the live energy of their concerts on the album, finally. Well, if that’s the case for this bad, the concerts must be a total party.
Other 3/9 releases:
Erasure – World Beyond
Nathanial Rateliff And The Night Sweats – Tearing At The Seams
The Decemberists – I’ll Be Your Girl
Release date: 3/16
It’s safe to say that The King Is Dead was a formidable album by this band, and the world has expected a lot since then. Well the only taste we get ahead of this release is “Severed” and… okay, maybe the rest will live up even higher.
I’m not saying it’s a bad lead single, but it does feel like that just that – a lead single, meant to appeal to the masses and up the mainstream appeal of the band.
The vocals are full of echoes, and the back beat is steady without fail. I can’t imagine an entire album of this, but I imagine and hope that the rest to come will not be completely in the same vein.
Other 3/16 releases:
Oak Ridge Boys – 17th Avenue Revival
Yo La Tengo – There’s A Riot Going On
Jack White – Boarding House Reach
Release date: 3/23
It feels like Jack White is a staple in the music industry who has been around forever, but this is only his third solo album, proving that he truly does devote every ounce of his craft to the current project he ins on. The songs vary from old to new, with one even being rumored to have been originally intended for The White Stripes. The writing was done in secret in Nashville on a reel-to-reel recorder so no one else could hear.
A 2-sided single was released earlier with “Connected By Love” and “Respect Commander.” There’s something altogether not Jack White about the crisp sound, but completely him with the vocal stylings. It drags enough to keep you swaying, but sounds so freakishly clear you’re swear it must be someone else. The second does completely throw you, since it’s more fitting in an 80’s video game. Or maybe I’ve just been too engrossed in Ready Player One lately.
“Corporation” came out at the end of January, and it’s got some downright funk to it. I may get yelled at by the folks that worship the musical group Jack walks on, but this is not a sound I’d expect, at least not on his solo recordings. “Over and Over and Over” seems a little more in line, though still incorporates more electronics and layers than I would have expected to hear. At least here, we can see that the balance of the album may be more in tune with expectations. Though, with this artist, we’re always going to be guessing.
Other 3/23 releases:
George Ezra – Staying At Tamara’s
Stone Temple Pilots – Stone Temple Pilots (2018)
Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
Release date: 3/30
We end this month on a ridiculously happy note as Kacey has outright said this is the first time she’s written love songs while actually feeling like she’s in love – and that there are a lot more of them on this particular release. She’s about to get married, so it makes sense – and explains the title, as she feels like this is the “golden hour” of her life.
“Space Cowboy” was the first single to come out, and I’m pretty sure this one has popped up on a few discovery playlists. Surprisingly, for as much as she talked about love songs, this is actually an incredibly sad number, but lets Kacey show off a raw musical talent and the clever play on lyrics that we’ve come to appreciate from her.
The only other taste we get so far is “Butterflies,” which seems to line up much more with the expected theme of the album. It’s sweet and steady and keeps Kacey in her folk-country niche without crossing into too cutesy and pop-like as we’ve hear so many do.
Other 3/30 releases:
Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite – No Mercy In This Land
Mary Chapin Carpenter – Sometimes Just the Sky