Brian Wilson's "No Pier Pressure" is quite frankly unlistenable. I didn't expect "Pet Sounds." Hell, I didn't even expect "Love You." But this is a new low in sound and lyrics. I love you, Brian, but as our friend Jeff K. pointed out, "a record like this is an indicator that an artist doesn't have anyone around him strong enough to say 'no, that sucks" to him, like Billy Crystal after 'City Slickers.'"
Alabama Shakes new one, "Sound & Color" is even less exciting than their first. I will admit to warming up to some of their debut, though it's hardly the "Otis Blue" it's been hyped to be. "Sound & Color" is an apt title, since that is all it really is. "Songs & Hooks" is what the band really needs.
Rhiannon Giddens' "Tomorrow Is My Turn" has some really fantastic moments. People are loving this record and I can hear why. There's nothing groundbreaking here, but what it has going for it that so many records do not is heart. Giddens oozes soul and inspiration. The Pasty Cline cover, "She's Got You" should have been better, but the exquisite "Shake Sugaree" more than makes up for it.