Editor's Picks: Music
Apr. 27, 2022
Check 'em out, folks...you won't be sorry.
Whenever I regale my music-loving 13-year-old niece with stories about how I discovered new bands when I was a teenager — i.e., stealthily taping 120 Minutes off of MTV (it aired after my bedtime), or begging my mom to drive me to the only indie music store in northwest Florida where I could flip through physical albums and maybe buy one of my UK-music-press bibles, NME or Melody Maker — she looks at me aghast, as though I have told her that I rode to school in a horse and buggy. I can only imagine that if Spotify had existed back then, I would have had headphones permanently glued to my head … like my niece does.
While I try to make it a priority to keep up with current music (and I’ll admit I miss — or snootily dismiss — a lot of it), sometimes it feels good to revisit the artists of my formative years. Even more so when those artists are still releasing excellent new material, proving that Gen X (and older) musicians can still bang out songs to please Gen X (and younger) listeners. Here are a few new offerings from back-in-the-day favorites that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the hits we loved in their heyday.
Tori Amos, “Metal Water Wood”
With her new album "Ocean to Ocean," Tori Amos firmly takes her place as our generation’s Kate Bush — wildly creative, a little witchy, schooled in English folklore, and capable of expressing the laments, joys, and struggles of life in words that feel supremely cathartic. Let this song’s gentle “I know, dear/It has been a brutal year” enfold you like a hug.
Elvis Costello & The Imposters, “Magnificent Hurt”
Proof positive that not only does Elvis Costello’s lyrical prowess remain as sharp as ever, but that he can still pen an irrepressibly catchy tune with a sting in its tail.
Churches & Robert Smith, “How Not to Drown”
Robert Smith doing anything is a good thing, and even though his presence here is perhaps too minimal (IMO), it’s amazing how effectively even just a drive-by dose of dreamy Cure magic injects worlds of pathos into this lovely song.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Black Summer”
Just as the years have done nothing to diminish Anthony Kiedis’s muscles, so too does RHC’s sound seem impervious to the passage of time. “Black Summer” could easily be from the same era of RHC classics that imprinted themselves on your 16-year-old brain.
Tears for Fears, “The Tipping Point”
“Mad World”? The Hurting? Could there be a reunion more suited to 2022 than Tears for Fears? The fact that their first new album in 18 years is called "The Tipping Point" almost feels like they knew what was coming. And this song? Totally worth the wait.
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