1. Unseen by The Handsome Family - If there is any band that makes me want to travel out into the countryside, it's definitely The Handsome Family. This band first caught my ear during the first season of True Detective. Their now-famous hit, "Far From Any Road", perfectly fit into the television show's opening titles. After listening to this newest album of theirs, I can really appreciate the genre of music that they perform. The lead singer's low voice makes my mind wander into less traveled areas of prairieside glory. Their acoustic style puts me into a rocking chair on a porch, staring out onto a wheat field. The album transports me into a less-familiar place that I don't often go to while listening to music, so thank you to this rising band!
Favorite Tracks: "Gold", "The Sea Rose", and "Gentlemen"
2. Disappear Here by Bad Suns - Disappear Here opens with a promising new venture for Bad Suns, kicking off with two catchy new tracks. Unfortunately, the album never really takes off after that. Bad Suns caught the attention of music-listeners with "Cardiac Arrest". Their instrumentals are reminiscent of The Killers, but their choruses cannot quite hit the mark. Rather, they seem to fall into a sort of indie music trap where none of their albums stand out as completely solid. Two songs catch my attention on the new album, but beyond those nothing really made me cry out for more.
Favorite Tracks: "Disappear Here" and "Heartbreaker"
3. Braver Than We Are by Meat Loaf - Guys, I was so excited to hear that Jim Steinman was teaming up with Meat Loaf once again! Braver Than We Are features a whole bunch of impressive composition by Jim Steinman. Some listeners might focus on Meat Loaf's underwhelming voice on the tracks, but if you focus too much on that you miss the brilliancy of the instrumentals and words on the page. Anyone who is familiar with my music tastes have heard me rave about Bat Out of Hell (one of my favorite albums ever) and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell. Braver Than We Are is the weakest of the trio of albums involving Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman, but acts as a return to form for Meat Loaf. After all, one has to question whether Meat Loaf would have made it big without Steinman. In my opinion, this album answers that question with it's companion piece to "Paradise By The Dashboard Light." Steinman and Meat Loaf have shown us how to keep a listener engaged for a 11-and-a-half-minute song. Steinman even reworks a previous hit song that he wrote for Bonnie Tyler, which is an odd but fun piece to rework.
Favorite Tracks: "Going All The Way Is Just The Start (a song in 6 movements)", "Speaking in Tongues", "Souvenirs", and "Skull Of Your Country"
Image credit: By PeterJ1977 - IMG_3200, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5779166
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