I’ve diversified the music I’ve listened to since running through Aerosmith’s discography, but my playlist this week is dominated by Alvvays, who delivered what has become one of my favorite albums of all time in 2014. Three of the LP’s nine songs are featured in Burnes’ Turns this week, and they are accompanied by a late holdover from my Aerosmith marathon and a groovy gem from Arctic Monkeys.
“Archie Marry Me” – Alvvays
Alvvays’ self-titled debut from 2014 is one of my favorite albums of all time, and its undeniable centerpiece is this, one of the most sentimental, requital love ballads ever written. The Phil Spector-esque wall of sound the band utilizes throughout would make even Brian Wilson jealous, and the whole production is laced with Molly Rankin’s love-stricken vocals soaring overhead. Quite simply, it’s perfect.
“Next of Kin” – Alvvays
That intro alone hits as hard as Springsteen’s greatest masterpieces, but the chorus, which contrasts “Archie Marry Me’s” happier story, tells the tale of a love gone wrong with smart, poetic imagery, gorgeous musical backing, and Molly’s signature sigh. In many ways, it’s the anti-“Archie,” but it’s no less good.
“Oh Yeah” – Aerosmith
I finished up with Aerosmith on a high note last week, but I’d be remiss if I let this rollicking Stones-esque, straight-ahead Rocker slip through the cracks. Joe Perry wrote the whole thing on his own, but it’s that backing choir that takes this one into the way-out-o-sphere of Aerosmith’s greatest triumphs.
“The Agency Group” – Alvvays
Another example of Alvvays’ Surf-Rock perfection. Here we find Molly Rankin and a near-sighted “outcast of modern society” professing their mutual lack of feelings for each other. Ouch. Despite the doom and gloom lyricism, though, the band creates an atmosphere that suggests the two may make it work despite Molly’s “nervous ticks.” Here’s hoping.
“R U Mine” – Arctic Monkeys
Easily my favorite Arctic Monkeys song (and a perfect transition into the rest of AM following their mega-hit “Do I Wanna Know”), “R U Mine” provides insight into what Black Sabbath might have sounded like had they gone in a more groove-oriented direction. The bass-heavy production works perfectly in tandem with Alex Turner’s stone cold flow that could make even the greatest MC work on his delivery.
For more playlists, including my master Burnes’ Turns playlist that contains over 2,000 songs, search for Andrew Burnes or Burnes’ Turns on Spotify.