This year, I will be employing a new strategy -- posting about one album at at time. I've got some 2012 albums to run through, which I'll start here. Hopefully there will be 12 Blogs of Christmas, but I was never very good at math.
We'll start with Bush - The Sea of Memories (2012).
There are a few axioms in rock. The Who will reunite. Keith Richards will never die. The greatest band in the history of rock is (of course) Loverboy. And Bush sucks.
It's a pretty simple premise: Bush is synthetic, overproduced pop sacchrine with no soul. There's no bite, no edge, no rough bumps over the impossibly smooth surface. It's slick style with no substance.
Enter legendary producer/engineer Bob Rock (Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, The Cult, Mötley Crüe, 311, Metallica, and, of course, Loverboy) for Bush's latest, The Sea of Memories. I'm giving him all the credit on this: that same grit that Bush has lacked for so long has magically appeared on this album. Coincidence? Probably not.
Thus, "The Sound of Winter" and "The Afterlife" are, without a doubt, actual rock songs. Rock brings to the front a great rhythm section (including original Bush drummer Robin Goodridge) and an ace guitarist (Chris Traynor, formerly in Helmet), giving the album a much more "live" feel rather than the over-produced one that other Bush albums have had. There's really not a bad song on the album; and not only are Gavin Rossdale's lyrics 75% less cliche than usual, they are actually a plus here. Go figure!
As Scott B pointed out, if this album had been Bush's first, we'd mark this as a band to watch over the coming years. I just can't believe this album is this good, and is so consistent front to back. You can't take Gavin Rossdale's indie cred card away from him now; he's produced something truly great. Even a potential dud like "All Night Doctors" is a great slow number. Now if Rossdael would just start wearing shirts like most normal human beings do and get on with it.
Verdict: Car CD Changer