Kevin Bryan gives his verdict on several CD releases this week.
American Aquarium, “Lamentations” (New West) – The creator of this fine outfit, BJ Barham, has been hailed as “The Southern Springsteen,” and the North Carolina-born singer and guitarist is sure to have his finger on the collective pulse as he the increasingly marginal events chronicle the lives of millions of ordinary people who have discovered that the much-vaunted “American Dream” is little more than an illusion. He was endorsed and endorsed by Grammy Award winning producer Shooter Jennings, and the finished product must be considered the most impressive offering from American Aquarium to date, as you will see for yourself when you check out standout tracks like “Me +” Mine (Lamentation) “,” The Long Haul “or the Tom Petty flavor” Starts With You “.
Annie Keating, “Bristol County Tides” (Self Released) – Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Annie Keating spent the early months of the pandemic in the usually blissful neighborhood of rural New England, where forced isolation inspired her to compose her eighth album, “Bristol Country Tides.” The life-improving content takes the listener on a beguiling musical journey that makes it easy to understand why their work in the past has led to comparisons with the likes of Lucinda Williams and Gillian Welch. The eloquent guitar work of producer Teddy Kumpel reinforces the subtly memorable “Kindred Spirit”, “Marigold” and “Lucky 13”.
“Oh! You Pretty Things – Glam Queens and Street Urchins 1970-76” (Cherry Red / Grapefruit) – The latest multi-disc anthology from the good folks at Cherry Red is Oh You Pretty Things, a highly entertaining 3-CD – Set of performances by a slew of artists who may be loosely categorized in the glam rock firmament, broadcasting an interesting selection of hits and ambiguities including archival gems like Roxy Music, Slade, Lou Reed and the New York Dolls, to name a few.