Tuesday, November 22, 2022

New music: Neil Young, Richard Öhrn, The Jorgensens

Fans of classic rock, artful power pop and rousing Americana will want to check out a trio of new titles available now.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Title: World Record (Reprise)
You might like if you enjoy: Neil Young, Nils Lofgren, early Pearl Jam
Tell me more: World Record marks Neil Young and Crazy Horse's second album of new material released in 2022, coming only four months after the July release of ToastCo-produced by Rick Rubin and Young, the album is bolstered by Young's long-time on-and-off again outfit Crazy Horse (bassist Billy Talbot, drummer Ralph Molina, guitarist-accordion player Nils Lofgren). While the future of the planet is far from certain, Young carries out hope for our endangered home via the lovely opener "Love Earth." Young unleashes a sonic firestorm of blues-drenched grunge on "Break The Chain," a song that certifies Young and company can rock as powerfully as ever. The lyrics are bleak to be sure, as evidenced by the final verse: "Let's break the chain / No human home and scarce little time / Break the chain / Break the chain." Elsewhere, Young's concern for the earth is revisited via the more experimental accordion-adorned "The World (Is In Trouble Now)" where he sings: "The flowers growing from the ground / The sunlight shining down / My memories of the past delight / In all the things I found / Because the earth has held me so." Other powerful originals on the collection include the beautiful mid-tempo rocker "I Walk With You (Earth Ringtone)" anti-war plea "Walkin' On The Road (To The Future)," yearning distortion-and-feedback wrapped "Chevrolet, and gentle Americana-flavored "This Old Planet," the latter bolstered by the layered tandem sounds of accordion and piano. Information: NeilYoungArchives.com.

Richard Öhrn
Title: Sounds in English (Big Stir Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Matthew Sweet, The Hollies, Richard X. Heyman, In Deed
Tell me more: Uppsala, Sweden's Richard Öhrn is out with his wonderful debut Sounds in English, an amazing introduction to his talents as singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. A member of the Swedish rock outfit In Deed that impressed in the early '00s with At 4000 Meters, Öhrn's new solo effort allows him to celebrate the pioneering sounds of a slew of his notable heroes — The Zombies, The Hollies, Simon & Garfunkel, The Searchers —  all while fusing those classic sounds fully with his own creative songcraft. The dozen tracks that span the disc are a true delight, with melody, harmony and emotion offered up in equal measure. The jangly opener "Seal Your Move" is bolstered by the artist's work on the 12-string Burns guitar as well as his melancholy mining vocals. The lovely folk song "5th Month Announcement" and dashing power pop sortie "Time's Not Running Out" are other early highlights on Sounds in English. "The Coolest Manners" is an immersive baroque pop gem, tapping into bona fide Zombies territory. The infectious melodic rocker "Take This Bottle," jazzy "Every Shade," dramatic "If I Could Read Your Mind" and sumptuous closer "Spanish Moon" are among the other shining originals on the album. Information: BigStirRecords.com.

The Jorgensens
Title: Americana Soul (Paramour Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Johnnyswim, Americana
Tell me more: Americana Soul is the perfect introduction to The Jorgensens. A Minnesota-based group headed by married couple Kurt and Brianna Jorgensen, the troupe blends blues, soul, roots, jazz, R&B and others styles across the aptly titled Americana Soul. Opening the record is the inspired "Old Black Crow," a track featuring Kurt Jorgensen's strong lead vocals and muscular slide guitar work as well as a wonderful Latin funk finale. The followup "Miles" features Brianna Jorgensen's signature soprano positioned amidst a soundscape that includes slide guitar and the artful use of horns. The soulful "Dark Road" blends soul and gospel flourishes with some flashy guitar further enhancing the track. "Shake It" weaves and rolls via a deep groove whilst layered with powerful lead and harmony vocals. The blues ballad "Leave Your Light On" finds the couple sharing lead vocals and enhancing the traditional soundscape with creative harmonies. "State Line" is a luxurious foray that showcases Brianna Jorgensen's top-tier singing. Americana Soul is welcome addition to the growing Americana music movement. Information: TheJorgensens.com.

Robert Kinsler

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