Fresh Audio For Your Ears – Friday, Feb. 26, 2016

Steve Poltz - FolksingerSteve Poltz “Folksinger”

The satirical singer-songwriter Steve Poltz dropped a new album this week, “Folksinger,” on Thursday, Feb. 25. During a standout set at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 2014, Poltz performed a number of the tracks on “Folksinger” including the title track and “I Want All My Friends To Be Happy.” Best known for co-writing “You Were Meant For Me” with Jewel, Poltz is an former punk rocker from Canada. He released “Folksinger” on his own 98 Pounder Records (Poltz wrestled in the 98-pound weight class in high school). Get it on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

Willie Nelson - SummertimeWillie Nelson “Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin”

At 82 years old, if Willie Nelson wants to dedicate an entire album to his love for George and Ira Gershwin, let ‘em. On Friday, Nelson released “Summertime,” an album of Gershwin classics after he was  awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song last year. As a alumni of Holy Spirit High School’s production of “Crazy For You,” I loved listening to Nelson sing “I Got Rhythm,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” and “Embraceable You” featuring Sheryl Crow. Get it from Willie Nelson, iTunes and Spotify.

The 1975 -I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of ItThe 1975 “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It”

The sophomore album by the funky English rock band The 1975 is unpredictable and tests the band to see what it can do following its breakout debut album. “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It,” has a little bit of everything from indie rock to synth-pop tracks. The doesn’t focus on one sound and jumps from rock to R&B with similar thrust. The band is good and the albums will improve once they find a concrete direction. Get it from The 1975 and iTunes. The album will be available from Spotify on March 11.

Bonnie Raitt - Dig In DeepBonnie Raitt “Dig In Deep”

Bonnie Raitt is one of those names that just keeps coming up lately. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter and guitarist released her 20th album “Dig In Deep” on Friday. After 45 years in the music business, Raitt really does “Dig In Deep” on her latest release on Redwing Records. In addition to her originals, Raitt and her band set the groove with covers of “Shakin’ Shakin’ Shakin,” the Los Lobos’ hit, and “Need You Tonight,” by INXS. With nothing left to prove, Raitt seems focused on making good music that flows. Get “Dig In Deep” from Bonnie Raitt, iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

Yuck - Stranger ThingsYuck “Stranger Things”

London-based indie rock band Yuck released its third album “Stranger Things” on Friday. Dripping with 90s-era fuzz pedals, these guys were born in the wrong decade. After singer and guitarist Daniel Blumberg left the band in 2013 and the release of “Glow & Behold,” the band seemed faced with two paths. Taking the grungy path with the knees of their jeans ripped and flannel shirts, Yuck is trudging on, recording “Stranger Things” in the basement of singer and guitarist Max Bloom’s parents. Get “Stranger Things” from Yuck, Amazon, iTunes and Spotify.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - This Unruly Mess I've MadeMacklemore & Ryan Lewis “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made”

The boys from the “Thrift Shop” are back. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have put more than a year into their latest project “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made,” released Friday. The rapper-producer combo that beat Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid, m.A.A.d. city,” at the 2014 Grammy Awards for best rap album have worked hard to fight back the critics. Featuring an all-star supporting cast including KRS-One, DJ Premier, Ed Sheeran, Leon Bridges, Chance the Rapper and YG, “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made,” is getting a lot of bad press. I only wonder what the reception would have been had he not released “White Privilege II” as a single last month. Get “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made” from MacklemoreiTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

Anthrax - For All KingsAnthrax “For All Kings”

Thrash metal is still alive and raging thanks to Anthrax. Scott Ian’s beard is a little more grayed, but “For All Kings” shows no signs of aging. The 11th studio album by the legendary metal band is the first to not include Rob Caggiano, who joined the band in 2001; he has been replaced by lead guitarist Jon Donais. Fast, aggressive and loud, Ian said his concept for the album is that everyone can be the king of themselves by taking control of their destiny. Donais does well and the sound is unadulterated Anthrax. Get “For All Kings,” from iTunes and Amazon.

Santigold - 99 centsSantigold “99¢”

Remember the Philadelphia-based singer Santigold? She released her third album “99¢” on Friday and marked her return to the pop world since releases in 2008 and 2012. With songs like “Can’t Get Enough Of Myself,” “Who Be Lovin’ Me” and “Chasing Shadows,” “99¢” is an enjoyable album full of danceable pop tracks, R&B beats and electronic ideas. There are some unexpected turns along the way, like “Who I Thought You Were,” but the album puts Santigold’s passion first; that’s what makes it so compelling. Get “99¢” from iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
What happens when an album release date gets pushed back? I put a link down here:

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