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The 12 pop and rock albums to listen to today (May 2023)


Highlights: The Lemon Twigs, Dellafuente, Surfin' Bichos or Jessie Ware are some of the best works of the month. The feeling when listening to Más allá is that of something recognizable, but at the same time fresh, since they are musicians who have not disconnected, who have continued in the business these last three decades. "Don't call me like I'm a devil because I can't give you gifts. / So many problems with which I rode that some surely stayed in me, "he sings in Ni soy santo.

Respect the past, but with the desire to sound like today. That's what some of the best works of the month are about: The Lemon Twigs, Dellafuente, Surfin' Bichos or Jessie Ware

Cover of 'Más allá', by Surfin' Bichos.

- Surfin' Bugs, 'Beyond'

Who are you? Before Spanish indie exploded, there were already Surfin' Bichos, from Albacete. A fact: the first album of Los Planetas (Super 8) came out in 1994, and the debut of Surfin' Bichos in 1989. We are, then, before one of the fathers of all this.

Is it so good Beyond? Although they went on a reunion tour in 2017, Surfin' Bichos had not released an album with new songs for 30 years. The feeling when listening to Más allá is that of something recognizable, but at the same time fresh, since they are musicians who have not disconnected, who have continued in the business these last three decades. Fernando Alfaro's voice swings from claw to anguish and always sounds exciting, the lyrics portray middle-aged guys with a lot of tralla on top and talking about twilight mystique, and the music is identifiable as alternative rock. Attention to themes such as Mortal, almost a waltz arrancherado; o Luz del Mediterráneo, with a delicious melody. One of the best Spanish rock albums so far this year.

Cover of 'That! Feel Good!', by Jessie Ware.

- Jessie Ware, 'That! Feel Good!'

Who is it? British singer of 38 years and host, with her mother, of a delicious conversational podcast (Tabble Manners) where Paul McCartney, Tom Jones or St. Vincent have passed. That! Feel Good is their fifth album.

Is That! Feel Good!? They look like songs taken from a Studio 54 session back in the late seventies. Seventies disco music is all the rage and Ware does it wonderfully. Although sometimes bordering on homage/tribute, Ware and his producers manage to make it sound current and refreshed. It is inevitable to think of Chic or Donna Summer as it is also irrepressible not to start dancing. It is up to the whim of the client to install a ball of mirrors in the living room.

Cover of 'Paul McCarthy', by Mike Viola.

- Mike Viola, 'Paul McCarthy'

Who is it? As a producer, this American has participated in Andrew Bird's albums, Panic! At The Disco or Ryan Adams. As a musician, he is part of the group Candy Butchers and has half a dozen solo albums, such as this Paul McCarthy.

Is Paul McCarthy so good? Although there is a variation on the album's name, Viola refers to Paul McCartney, whose style she adores and cultivates. But there is more variety: like the crisp guitars to the Weezer, symphonic rock developments, some psychedelia and manual power-pop. In all facets it offers good songs.

Cover of 'Lágrimas pa otro día', by Dellafuente.

- Dellafuente, 'Lágrimas pa otro día'

Who is it? A 31-year-old from Granada, a reference of Spanish urban music, perhaps one of the most respected of the genre. He barely grants interviews, a great strategy to fill his career with mystery.

Is Lágrimas pa otro día so good? There is something different between this artist and the rest and wide sample of urban singers. Dellafuente cultivates fusion with flamenco, reggae, Cuban son, corrido... His music grows with this attitude that flows thanks to inspired lyrics. "Don't call me like I'm a devil because I can't give you gifts. / So many problems with which I rode that some surely stayed in me, "he sings in Ni soy santo. Pa llorar is a Ketamera song and in Tres caras he is able to put reggae, son cubano, afro-beat and autotune in the same song. There are eight songs, 20 minutes, that go by quickly because they are very good.

Cover of 'The Wireless Revolution', by Dropkick.

- Dropkick, 'The Wireless Revolution'

Who are you? We have already talked here about the Scottish Andrew Taylor, guitar pop talent with several bands, one of them these essential Dropkick.

Is The Wireless Revolution so good? Like everything Taylor does, beautiful songs that can remind you of The Kinks, Beatles, Teenage Fanclub or Crowded House. That is, precious pop, with beautiful voices and guitar solos to joyfully swing the head. Another wonder of the Dropkick.

Cover of 'El gallo', by Maximiliano Calvo.

- Maximiliano Calvo, 'The Rooster'

Who is it? A 31-year-old Argentine musician who lives in Madrid. He is also an actor.

Is The rooster so good? Not only urban music is billed by young Argentines (you know: Duki, Nicki Nicole, Bizarrap...). It also follows the pop-rock tradition of Charly García-Spinetta-Fito Paez-Andrés Calamaro. Maximiliano Calvo has listened to them all and with these teachings he composes his music, pop chop, elegant, lover of melodies. What a great album opening, with that sophisticated Italian loafers; And what a furious close, with 15/07/54, with the reading of the modification of the Law of Vagos and Maleantes, which included "homosexuality as dangerous behavior". In between, pop height.

Cover of 'I Saw a Star Behind Your Eyes, Don't Let It Die Away', by Bennett Wilson Poole.

- Bennett Wilson Poole, 'I Saw a Star Behind Your Eyes, Don't Let It Die Away'

Who are you? A band of veteran British musicians who have assembled this fantastic group with which they have published their second album.

Is I Saw a Star so good...? The music industry is as it is and this album is sure to go unnoticed. But do yourself a favor and don't miss it. City at the Movies is the most beautiful song of the month: it reminds of the best (and it's saying a lot) Jayhawks. Lovers of the 12-string Rickenbacker guitar, the Byrds, Neil Young country, the Beatles... Sublime music, songs to listen to again and again.

Cover of 'Everything Harmony', by The Lemon Twigs.

- The Lemon Twigs, 'Everything Harmony'

Who are you? New York band formed by the D'Addario brothers. The two compose, sing and play a bunch of instruments. This is his fourth work

Is Everything Harmony so good? Brian and Michael D'Addario are rock and pop pirates from 1965 to 1975. And who doesn't: they are perhaps the best years of these genres. Beatles, Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, David Crosby... But there is no copy here: there is respect for that era and personalization. The beauty of some of the songs on this album puts you in a movie where the sun always shines.

Cover of 'Alma', by Nicki Nicole.

- Nicki Nicole, 'Soul'

Who is it? Argentina of 22 years and new reference of urban music. With it, the famous Bizarrap sessions began to have transcendence.

Is Alma so good? The album begins with a moaning soul voice and then enters the Argentine in some vocal breaks that can remind Rosalía. Nicole relieves in this album the pain of a newly broken love and opens the door to what is to come. She sings phenomenally and in both soul and rapped pieces she is impetuous and personal. You can hear modern china shop, sounds that adorn the pieces and also pianos; Little autotune, data for those who still resist the inevitable. An album with the short minute of these times (ten songs, 24 minutes) that sounds current but may also appeal to the uninitiated in urban sounds. And we signed Milo J, a 15-year-old Argentine boy who raps with a frightening maturity.

Cover of 'Wait Til I Get Over', by Durand Jones.

- Durand Jones, 'Wait Til I Get Over'

Who is it? We already knew the musical adventures of Durand Jones & The Indications. Excellent voice of soul renewal, he now presents a solo work, which is more inward than his fiery songs with The Indications.

Is Wait Til I Get Over so good? A piano, some very George Martin orchestral arrangements... and Jones begins to emit some absolutely intoxicating gospel wails. Yes, this is Durand Jones' most open grave and intensely emotional work. It sounds gospel and also electrifying soul. Jones travels to his hometown, where he remembers musical Sundays at church with his grandparents. Greasy black sounds, electric guitars gossiping and snatched ballads. That's all about this record.

Cover of 'Yo estoy vivo', by Ñu.

- Wildebeest, 'I am alive'

Who is it? One of the great talents of Spanish rock. José Carlos Molina, 67, started with Ñu in 1974 and still continues (and with his hair intact). Although he has released some work with his name in recent times, Yo estoy vivo is the first album of Ñu with new songs since 2011.

Is it so good I am alive? "I'm alive and that's why those I've cursed for so long tremble," he sings in the chorus of the song that opens the album, Yo estoy vivo, and Molina seems to talk about himself. It would be necessary to see the causes of why this musician does not have much more recognition. We trust that this work will help to understand its greatness. It is a long work, 58 minutes, rock (no subgenres) with lyrics that tell stories, that speak of men trapped by their own moral codes. From the rock 'n' roll Corre con la pasta, that memorable melody of Santos are passing, to the epic and purpeliana (listen to the keyboards) Cabalgado entre los muertos. A job to listen and enjoy calmly.

Cover of 'Puff', from Vanity Mirror.

- Vanity Mirror- 'Puff'

Who are you? A group based in Los Angeles formed by Canadian Bret Randall and Californian Johnny Tomey. Another band, Electric Looking Glass, is the precedent of this duo.

Is Puff so good? How good this band sounds: the Kinks, the Badfinger, of course, the Beatles. You can not compose songs with more taste and with better vocal harmonies. An album that only lasts 30 minutes and that will accompany us for a long time.

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Source: elparis

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