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Album of the Week: Pearl Jam – Dark Matter

Rock, Rock’n’Roll, we love it and play lots of it here (amongst lots of other genre). There are two sub genre exceptions – Heavy metal not at all, and to a lesser extent grunge. Although there are definitely songs we enjoy grunge didn’t really grab us back in the 1990s and never quite has. Perhaps its age but we really enjoyed the last Foo Fighters album and this latest work from Pearl Jam is excellent. Thirty years on and its pretty neat that when Eddie Vedder got excited making solo music with Andrew Watt he called his bandmates and this album is the product. In his AllMusic review Stephen Erlewine describes how Watt has the band playing to their strengths and summoning much of their 1990s sound but with a cleaner sound, “highlighting their empathetic interplay by pushing melodies and hooks to the forefront.”

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

A Plethora of Albums

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We’ve been treated to a real plethora of excellent albums over the past couple of weeks including:

  • Mark Knopfler – One Deep River
  • Maggie Rogers – Don’t Forget Me
  • The Black Keys – Ohio Players
  • X Ambassadors – Townie
  • Conan Gray – Found Heaven
  • Vampire Weekend – Only God Was Above Us
  • Benson Boone – Beautiful Things

What have we missed?

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Album of the Week: Maggie Rogers – Don’t Forget Me

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Such a talented lady. Breakout single (“Alaska”) in 2016 then two splendid albums (both past Albums of the Week) Heard It In A Past Life (2019) and Surrender (2022) whilst also knocking out a Masters degree. This is another superb album – great tunes, singing and variety of instrumentation ranging from Indie catnip like “So Sick of Dreaming” to the beautiful bare title track closing the album. But don’t trust us – read the excellent AllMusic review and backgrounder then enjoy the songs!

Album of the Week: Conan Gray – Found Heaven

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Conan Gray is a true ‘Information Age’ pop star – his career began as a You Tuber, with music part of his influencer persona. He put out an EP in 2018 and managed to get a record company excited enough to put out an excellent album in 2020 (Kid Krow, singles “Heather” and “Maniac” received over 2 billion Spotify streams between them) with a followup in 2022 Superache. This album really continues the story, adding to his arsenal of 70s/80s glam and tight synths over a plaintiff voice. The lyrics are decent, the tunes are excellent. Early singles “Killing Me” and “Lonely Dancers” had a very ’70s glam feel to us. Not a filler track on it, this is a demonstration that good solid melodic pop is still being produced! It truely is “a big, euphoric pop swing” (AllMusic).

Album of the Week: Sheryl Crow – Evolution

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Back after a planned retirement following her last album Threads Sheryl Crow is right on form with this sunny album. There are definite C’mon C’mon echos here in this collection crafted with an all star company including vocals from Peter Gabriel (what a combination!) and production from Mike Elizondo. AllMusic said it was “filled with sunny hooks, busy rhymes, and relaxed rhythms, Evolution is a good time whose cheerfulness camouflages its vaguely deeper undercurrents”.

Album of the Week: Waxahatchee – Tigers Blood

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Songwriter Katie Crutchfield kicked off Waxahatchee back in 2012 and has always walked a line between folk rock and Indie since. Her last album, the acclaimed Saint Cloud (2020) shifted in a more folk/country direction, cleverly presaging the move by many artists in that direction in the past few years (a country album from Beyonce!). Much has been made of the vintage country of this album – finally getting to hear it though there are still touches of the Indie spirit through it, for example on “Evil Spawn”. This is a beautiful album throughout however, and for the gorgeous Americana strains no track is better than lead single “Right Back To It”. A superlative effort, this album deserves its rare 4.5/5 star AllMusic review “an album that feels familiar upon its surface and idiosyncratic in its details”.

Album of the Week: Britti – Hello, I’m Britti

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Nodepression.com described this album as “a flavorful mix of country and R&B” which is spot on. Her electric voice delivers these songs with panache, an incredible talent molded in the melting pot of New Orleans. She navigates many styles – country, R&B, funk, pop and jazz with ease and a good sense of melody throughout. What a debut – this will certainly be on every “Best of Albums” list of 2024.

Album of the Week: Norah Jones – Visions

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Although her last album (2020s Pick Me Up Off The Floor) ended up being underrated, Norah has continued to display her incredible talent in this, her eighth full length studio album. AllMusic describe it perfectly: “The results aren’t startling so much as they’re fresh, avoiding musical and lyrical clichés”. All her talents are on show here in an album full of variety, allowing her to “dart between blues, exotica, Italo-western, and soul” (The Line of Best Fit substack).

Album of the Week: San Cisco – Under The Light

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

We loved San Cisco’s last couple of albums, and here they are again with their fifth studio album, a slice of superbly executed Freemantle jangle-pop. Great tunes, lyrics – what can we say, this album is catnip for us. We’ll enjoy checking it out every morning this week – for more background Rolling Stone did a great interview here.

Album of the Week: Hurray for the Riff Raff – The Past Is Still Alive

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE or on the web player.

Alynda Segarram is back with project “Hurray For The Riff Raff” and ninth album The Past Is Still Alive. The album is more tender and vulnerable than previous releases, especially informed by the artists father passing away a month before beginning to record the album. This is a more folk-oriented album than previous releases, thoughtful and more autobiographical as they travel “their saturated backstory to remember loved ones, honour fellow travellers and “watch the world burn” with a tear in their eye.” (The Guardian).