After what seems like decades of enticing progress reports from the recording studio, ZZ Top's first new album in eight years, 'La Futura,' has arrived.
The flood of "return to glory" talk may run counter to the proper enjoyment of this record, which after all that time and effort somewhat surprisingly reveals itself as more of a low-key and charming affair.
Fifty years on from their debut album, 'Surfin Safari,' the promise of the Beach Boys making a definitive masterpiece of some sort seems not only unlikely, but impossible. To be honest, the odds of them even making a 'good' album were stacked against them, but let's roll the dice, turn it up, and see what we've got.
During the opening notes of 'Oh Susannah,' it sounds like Neil Young and Crazy Horse are figuring out how to play their fabled instruments. Once they get acclimated though, the relentless Crazy Horse groove kicks in full force as if no time had passed.
More than ten years after his death, George Harrison has a "new" record on the racks, 'Early Takes: Volume 1,' which gathers together demos from some of the artist's most beloved albums. It's a sweet if slight gathering of material that reflects the beauty of Harrison's music in its stripped-down versions of classic tracks.
To quote Ian Anderson, "If someone had suggested that I might release a prog-concept album in the year 2012, I would have thought him seriously, dangerously even, off his trolley. But that is precisely what happened."
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