here they are:
"Broken Heart" by Dr. Dog: There are many things to love about Dr. Dog, a band whom I had the pleasure of seeing in concert about a month ago! One of the best things about them is that there isn't a single song I've heard of theirs so far that doesn't sound fun or upbeat! Don't let the lovelorn title of Dr. Dog's latest song fool you, it still continues in their typical musical style. Quirky, clever lyrics are also a defining feature of their music, and the faux-literal opening lyrics to "Broken Heart" ("I never really had a broken heart/I always played it kind of close to my chest") already steer the song in a good direction.
"Come A Little Closer" by Cage the Elephant: In the summer of 2009, Cage the Elephant debuted with their slide guitar laden stomp-rocker, "Ain't No Rest For the Wicked", which is probably their best known song so far. It seemed like that song pigeonholed CTE into being labeled a "frat rock" band, and although many of their songs follow this pattern, some of the material I consider the best from them does not sound like "frat rock" at all! "Shake Me Down", for instance, sounds like it could have been a "Magical Mystery Tour" bonus track. CTE's latest song, "Come A Little Closer", could be their most indie rock influenced song yet! Its pseudo-psychedelic pop sound recalls groups like Grizzly Bear, The Kooks, and The Shins, among others. Another thing to take notice of is that CTE's "softer" tracks (like this one) have smoother vocals, in addition to having a smoother sound.
"Love Won't Bring Us Down" by Ed Roland and The Sweet Tea Project: Ed Roland's post-grunge hit making machine band, Collective Soul, might have been labeled "alternative" during the time they debuted, but Ed's music owes more to the theatrical, in-your-face presence of '70s arena rock than it does to the more aloof, dismal features of grunge and post-grunge. Once the post-grunge phenomenon subsided, Ed seemed to embrace his inner rocker (and occasionally even his inner pop star) a little more, but in my opinion, his latest tune, "Love Won't Bring Us Down", is the most unabashed tribute to 1970's rock he's done so far in the 21st century! The song seems to be influenced by contemporary blues-rockers like Gary Clark Jr. and Susan Tedeschi, albeit with a slightly more pop influenced beat. It has a positive message and a fun sound! What more could you ask for?
"Made Up Mind" by The Tedeschi-Trucks Band: Funny I mentioned Susan Tedeschi during my previous entry for this week, because the next song I'll be talking about just happens to be one of hers! Unlike the more soul inflected "Part of Me" from earlier this year, "Made Up Mind" has a more blues rock influenced sound, like most of the TTB's material. The song's combination of Chuck Berry-ish chord progressions and chug-along rhythms recall many classic rock songs of the '70s, but the guitar solos in the song can't possibly be attributed to any band other than The Tedeschi-Trucks Band. I think I've got a "made up mind", too. My mind's made up, and it's ready to rock!