here they are:
"Bottom of the River" by Delta Rae: Bluegrass and rock have made a charming musical "odd couple" for a couple years now, but Delta Rae's "Bottom of the River" takes the combination of genres one step further! Rather than coming off like a newer version of The Band or Buffalo Springfield like most of their peers, Delta Rae sound more like the new Leadbelly or the new Odetta! There are barely any instruments in this song, actually, aside from tambourine and a tinkling piano sound in the background. Lead vocalist Liz Hopkins bares her soul in "Bottom of the River" like a more smoky voiced, gospel inflected version of Adele, with lyrics that sound like they came from an old gospel hymn ("it's a long way down to the bottom of the river"). If "Bottom of the River" sounds like it belongs to another century when the term "rock and roll" wasn't even known, remember, it's supposed to sound that way!
"In the End" by Snow Patrol: Not to be confused with the much more aggressive (and more popular, so far) Linkin Park song of the same name, Snow Patrol's third single from "Fallen Empires", "In the End", gives off a mood that comes halfway between the chunky alt-pop of "Called Out In the Dark" and the tender balladry of "This Isn't Everything You Are", both of which are also on "Fallen Empires". "In the End" has a bit too fast a beat to truly be classified as a "ballad", but something about it still comes off as one. Perhaps this is because the fast rhythm of the song is contrasted by its reflective, earnest lyrics ("There's nothing more to life than love, is there?"), and Gary Lightbody's passionate, yearning vocal delivery. "In the End" isn't as good as the other two songs from Snow Patrol's latest album that have gotten attention, so it makes sense that it was chosen as the third single. "In the End" is still well worth the listen, though!
"Reboot the Mission" by The Wallflowers (featuring Mick Jones from The Clash): First Counting Crows gained their Neil Young-ish grit back, then Blues Traveler turned up both their amps and their sense of humor, and now...The Wallflowers get funky?!? The "softer" side of '90s rock music is really making a fresh comeback this year isn't it?! Yep, the "One Headlight" guys have traded in their typical Dylan/Petty influenced brand of neo-folk-rock for disco-inflected punk rock, a la "Rock the Casbah" and "The Magnificent Seven". And it's no wonder it sounds the way it does, since Mick Jones from The Clash helps out both vocally and instrumentally on The Wallflowers newest song, "Reboot the Mission"! Perhaps the combination might sound about as likely as John Mellencamp duetting with The Ramones, which would probably end up sounding messy and uneven, but somehow Mick Jones and Jakob Dylan have managed to make one of the catchiest songs of the summer with "Reboot the Mission"! Could a Toad the Wet Sprocket or Gin Blossoms reunion be far behind, and if so, would they change their sound as well?!?
"Tear It Up" by Delta Spirit: So, we both began and ended this time with bands with the word "Delta" in their name, though their sounds are probably on opposite ends of the musical history time scale. Actually, Delta Spirit USED to sound more roots-y and "old" than they do on "Tear It Up", which sounds more like a song with disco beats and Modest Mouse style guitars. Though I do like The Deltas' new material, I can't help but wish they would go back to the more earthy sound they started out with, instead of this new wave/disco combination they're doing now. Blondie and Talking Heads would have both beat them to such a sound many years ago. Still, "Tear It Up" is catchy, and as long as Delta Spirit continue making music with a memorable sound I'll still like what they do.