Music for 3/21/22!!!! Yumi Zouma, Midlake

@@@ Yumi Zouma: In the Eyes of Our Love (Polyvinyl, 2022) Both of today’s listens are off this week’s All Music notable release email. This is track 6 and the tempo is brisk brisk brisk. Female singer, some jangly guitars but the voice and the drums dominate here. Short guitar solo, very poppy and energetic. I listened to today’s post from bottom to top and this is another track where elements of rock are presented in a poppier non-rock framework. Maybe rock flavored pop soda will be a flavor that people going forward. Myself, I don’t need it, but who’s to say?

@@@ Midlake: For the Sake of Bethel Woods (ATO, 2022) Updated rock on a major label at a time when rock is a pretty weak genre. Very neutral singer, big beats on the drums mixed high in the mix, no coincidence there, and a fair amount of guitar washes and a prominent piano part. It’s got a tambourine, you gotta applaud that. I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s pretty bereft of big guitar flavors. It’s like a 1970’s arena rock track but piano driven with a big drum sound. With an album evoking the town where woodstock happened, then you know it’s backwards looking without trying to sound backwards that way. The player clicked through to the next track and there’s a semi-intricate rock guitar figure but not all distorted so the formula remains in place there.

Music for 10/12/21!!! Leesa Johnson, Myele Manzanza

@@@ Leesa Johnson: Barn Tracks (Self-released, 2021) Today’s listens are off Ted Gioia’s recommendations of the month over off his Twatter and/or his substack. The first track is not what I expected at all. It’s an uptempo hippie/concious rock track called World Without Cause. I was expecting hillbilly tracks because of the title. My bad. Excellent conga playing here on the opener and the singing is vigorous. The second track opens with some mandolin plucking (I think) and while I this is really well executed coffee shop singer/songwriter business, it’s not a sound I crave. However, check it out if you roll this way, it’s well done.

@@@ Myele Manzanza: Crisis and Opportunity, Vol. 1: London (DeepMatter, 2021) From the same Ted Gioia monthly recommended list and it’s crisp, well turned out two horn straight jazz with piano, drums and bass. There are five tracks on offer and they’re all substantial with a couple going over 10 minutes. A synth on the second track, the stars are not lining up for me on this. I haven’t heard tons of jazz with retro synth sounds that I love. Same as the record above the recording is well made, the energy is solid, but it’s not really for me. I’ve never really been into the hippie thing and straight jazz makes me feel Republican.