Albums Of The Year So Far (pt.4): Featuring Cory Branan, Springsteen, GravelRoad, Howlin Rain and more…
We asked various members of the Classic Rock team to come up with their Top Five Albums Of The Year So Far. We’ve already had selections from Sleazegrinder, Geoff Barton and Henry Yates. Now it’s Scott Rowley’s turn to list his five (well, er… four, actually) faves.
This is, I swear, a real conversation from the CR office:
“Albums? I don’t listen to albums any more! I’m down wiff da kidz!”
“Me too. And I don’t read novels any more either. I just read the beginning and the end. And the dirty bits.”
“You ever read any of them books without pictures?”
“No way. Why would I do that? I’m looking for a fully immersive multi-media experience – why would I close myself off from that?”
Beyond the piss-taking, one thing’s for sure – it’s changing times. The album is dead on its feet. Of the albums on my list, there are probably only two that I genuinely play from start to finish.
1. Cory Branan – Mutt
On my way to Download this year I got stuck in a traffic jam and ended up taking three hours to drive 15 miles. All I had in the car was a copy of Mutt and Howlin Rain’s The Russian Winds.
I got to know them both pretty well. I already liked Mutt – the song Survivor’s Blues, a rollicking Replacements-style rocker had stuck in my head; I’d arranged for Badman to appear on the CR website; I’d been threatened with a ban from Facebook for posting a picture of the album sleeve… but sitting in the car I had time to read the lyrics, and soak it all up: the Mellencamp/Summer Of ’69 pastiche/tribute of Yesterday (“I was cranking up the Mellencamp/You were dancing barefoot on a picnic table and/Dammit girl truly goddammit girl truly goddammit girl truly goddam”), The Snowman‘s drunken jazz, Darken My Door‘s pretty country, the better-than-Tom-Petty’s-done-for-years Hold Me Down.
If you like rock’s writers, tunesmiths and craftsmen – Westerberg, Ryan Adams, Mellencamp, Petty, Waits, Springsteen – then you have a new favourite artist. And if anyone writes better lyrics than the Raymond-Carver-rewrites-Born-To-Run Survivor’s Blues this year, I’ll be astonished. (“She struggled to read his knuckle tattoos/Beneath the ring and the scar/But the left said LOVE and the right said TRUE/She said, Please say you got a car…”)
Tags: alabama shakes, Bonafide, Bruce Springsteen, Buffalo Killers, Cory Branan, Gary Clark Jr, Ginger Wildheart, Gravelroad, Hat Fitz And Cara, Howlin Rain, jack white, Joe Bonamassa, Joey Ramone, Monster Truck, Phantom Limb, Rival Sons, Shooter jennings, Slash, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cult, The Darkness, ZZ Top