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The Weekly Wants
Weekly Wants - The Four Picks Fix
WILLIE NELSON
RIDE ME BACK HOME
$11.99(sale priced)
Willie sings with a kind of chagrinned humor, as if nobody is more surprised by his longevity than he is. Thats a welcome trend that continues on Ride Me Back Home, which features three newly penned tunes. That doesnt seem like very many, but they frame this album with warmth, empathy, and humor. Come On Time finds him challenging the very notion of time to a fight, as though he might spar his way to another couple years on earth. I say come on, Time/Ive beat you before, he sings over a chugging rhythm section. Come on, Time, what have you got for me this time? His desperation barely veiled by his humor, he knows hes bested before the fight even begins, and all he can do is try to make something out of it: Ill take your words of wisdom and Ill try to make them rhyme. Buying the farm, at least for Willie, is inextricably linked with making music. One More Song to Write sounds so breezy that its insights might initially sound modest, but this gracefully melodic tune might hold the key to his long career. Ive got one more song to write, Ive got one more bridge to burn, he sings. Ill know when its right, Ive got one more song to write. For all his prolificityis there even an authoritative album count anymore?hes always chasing that next tune, that next rhyme, that next show. Hes always thinking about the future.
RACONTEURS
HELP US STRANGER
$11.99(sale priced)
Help Us Stranger arrives 11 years after Consolers and finds White at a very different place in his career from when the band first started. Hes created what can only be described as a musical empire of record labels, pressing plants and, not incidentally, a bustling solo career that included 2018s Boarding House Reach. Theres but one reason to explain the return of the Raconteurs after such a lengthy absence: it appears Jack White is ready to have some fun again. From the first notes of opener Bored and Razed, its clear that the mood on Help Us Stranger is an overwhelmingly playful one. You can sense the giddiness on Razed, where frenzied guitars carry the moment and the bands metropolitan muse, Detroit, gets an early shout-out. The tracks tongue-in-cheek title further speaks to the notion that while White and company arent positing that these songs should be taken as jokes, theres no need to be too serious about them either. Its probably safe to presume that most reviews of this record will make a special point of highlighting the contributions of Benson. Though hell never have the top echelon fame of his bandmate, Benson is just as integral to the Raconteurs as White. Not only does his presence serve as a foil for some of Whites more indulgent tendencies (look no further than the contrast between Help Us and Whites sprawling Boarding House for additional proof), but Bensons affinity for more melodic, pop-adjacent tunes gives the Raconteurs an added bit of sparkle.
BLACK KEYS
LET'S ROCK
$11.99(sale priced)
They strip away all that extra stuff on Lets Rock and put the focus back on guitar and drums. Apart from some backing vocals, Auerbach and Carney played everything on Lets Rock, and produced it, toothe first time in a decade that theyve made an album without production help from Danger Mouse. Given his resum (Gnarls Barkley, Broken Bells, Danger Doom), its not hard to see how Danger Mouse helped The Black Keys shape their sound on the four albums they made with him. But they didnt really need him for this one. Theres nothing particularly complicated or out-there about Lets Rock: its a rock n roll record, stuffed full of guitar riffs. Thats not to say its a return to their garage-rock days. Back then, Auerbach and Carney pretty much did one thing, and they did it well. Lets Rock is more like a sampler of the other stuff they can do, particularly Auerbach. He excels at volcanic sounds on a handful of these 12 new songs, dialing in an earth-shaking, anthemic riff over a stomping beat on opener Shine a Little Light, and then providing his own musical counterpoint by playing a scabrous, grit-covered lick over the top of the riff. Auerbach goes for sultry and slow-burning on the measured Walk Across the Water, holding himself a little bit in check as he plays a riff saturated in superheated fuzz, as though his amplifier is turned all the way up and starting to give off smoke.
PEPPER
LOCAL MOTION
$10.39(sale priced)
Local Motion is Peppers 8th full length studio album, due out on the bands tastemaker imprint LAW Records. The album title, Local Motion, has taken on so many meanings for the 3-person rock band. Originally from Kona, HI, Local Motion is an ode to their hometown. It is a tribute to the many days and weeks they spend on the road touring their Aloha vibes for all of their fans. And it is the Ohana spirit, the brotherhood and sisterhood, they have forged from the creative collaborations that happened both on the new record and on tour. Reflecting back on the new album, Pepper comments, Recorded at Great Stone Studios and their own studio, Kona Town Recording, Pepper took a more stripped down approach to production compared to previous releases. The band found themselves returning back to their reggae rock roots and in collaborations with life long friends. The ten track album is stacked with killer collaborations including Stick Figure, E.N. Young, and Micah Brown of Iration. Working with the community on this album it led us to places musically we never would have gone on our own. You get set in your ways inevitably, muscle memory etc, so right away we were at a different starting point than normal, out of our comfort zone ready to grow, so the process of Local Motion was very different, and the end result sounds like us condensed down to our purest form, for lack of a better term.

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