Johnny Orr assumes the role of an autistic boy and says what that boy might say if he were able communicate like a neurotypical kid in his gently swaying ballad, “We’ll Get By (The Autism Song).”
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Though he’s long been associated with California as a member of the Eagles, Don Felder was born and raised in the swampy milieu of Gainesville, Florida. You get a sense of the profound impact that period had on him (both as a youngster and as a guitarist) via “Southern Bound”
Draped with a David Gilmour-like diaphanous reverie — fitting, considering the band leader’s connection back to Pink Floyd — “Fragile” illustrates once again how the ever-malleable, at times almost faceless Alan Parsons Project continues through loss.
This sound, in the dead of night, comes rushing out of my radio — a tornadic gust of horns. Then there follows a devastatingly cool lyric, amid a suave and spacious groove. But who is it? 45 seconds in, I finally peg “Can’t Hide Love” as the new Earth Wind and Fire song; I knew Maurice White’s “yow” anywhere.
When all of the talk about concepts and recurring characters is done, an album like Ian Anderson’s forthcoming Gerald Bostock-themed Homo Erraticus must still have the musical goods — must still hold up on its own. The frenzied, very modern creativity surrounding “Enter the Uninvited” signals that it will.
That there was unheard music from Nick Drake, dead four decades now, is one thing. That is as delicate and funny as “Reckless Jane” makes it all the more of a wonder.
One Track Mind: The Hooters’ David Uosikkinen, “Beat Up Guitar” from Essential Songs of Philadelphia (2014)
David Uosikkinen reunites with fellow founding members Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian for an anthematic reworking of “Beat Up Guitar,” originally the closing track from the Hooters’ folkier, more personal 1989 release Zig Zag. There could perhaps be no better concluding song for Uosikkinen’s new Philly-focused set of songs.
A heart-wrenching tale of the search for redemption, with a calescent riff to match, John Wesley’s “Mary Will” is for everyone who ever worried they’d never overcome the mistakes of the past.
A gloriously off-kilter instrumental blues from Jack White, “High Ball Stepper” advances the rootsy weirdness that made 2012′s Blunderbuss such a fizzy wonder. It will catch a groove, then devolve into a wide-open space of ruminative piano, then evolve again into a blister of smeared guitar sound. Is there such a thing as prog blues?
By all rights, this should not be my kind of thing. A synth-pop band fronted by a singer who’s bubbling over with earnestness? Sometimes, the “rules” just do not apply.