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Music of the Moment: April

April 8, 2016 - 1:27 pm

Five new albums just in time for Spring.

Charles Bradley – Changes

The Screaming Eagle of Soul released his first album in 2011 when he was 63 years old. Since then he’s been making up for lost time – or perhaps he was just warming up. Either way, his third album “Changes,” is pure Daptone soul. Check out the song “You Think I Don’t Know (But I Know)” and tell me you won’t be singing the refrain for the next week.

Andrew Bird – Are You Serious

Andrew Bird has long stood in the blurry fringe between pop and folk music, though to saddle him with such a milquetoast term as folk-pop would be an enormous disservice. His latest album, Are You Serious – which is not posed as a question – is a wonderfully inventive record full of left turns and ear tricks. This is a perfect album for folk music fans who are bored of the same ol’ same ol’ and pop fans searching for something a bit deeper.

Céu – Tropix

The wonderful Brazilian pop and soul singer stretches herself on her sixth album by adding flourishes of electronic sounds augmenting the lush and sultry mix of traditional music and R&B. Highlights include songs celebrating Bic pens and sangria which causes the listener to ponder their greater connection. As always, though, the real star here is her magnificent voice.

Tacocat – Lost Time

Tacocat is a Rock and Roll defibrillator. Just when you thought it was dead here’s a band that plugs in and gives 12 shocks to the bloated system. For every indulgent, painfully unnecessary guitar solo trying to strangle out all the fun in music there is Tacocat. The chops are honed and the lyrics are sharp, the hooks terrific. The punk rock / Riot Grrrl crown rarely fits this snug. Turn it up.

Birds of Chicago – Real Midnight

In a just world the soulful rock of Birds of Chicago would be all over the radio. Their second studio album, Real Midnight, mixes rock and roll, soul, and gospel creating a perfect tonic for a weary world. There’s not an extra note to be found, nor an extraneous line sung. Their voices move between joyful and lonesome encapsulating the old idea that some days may be stone, but others are surely diamonds.