Critic picks albums for older listeners
NEW YORK — Music journalist Jim Fusilli calls them the generationally biased — or Gee Bees.
He is referring to the folks who lose touch with popular music about the time their first gray hairs sprout and who are convinced that nothing can compare to the music of their youth.
Some are boors, no doubt. But not all have closed minds: The pressure of jobs, kids and mortgages is what caused some Gee Bees to lose their musical adventurousness.
Fusilli, the pop and rock critic for The Wall Street Journal, has made it his mission to coax such folks back into the present through his website, ReNewMusic.net, and a focused collection of his stories in the book Catching Up.
For those seeking insight, here are four albums recommended by Fusilli:
• Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color. It’s their second album, but “Their well-deserved reputation for old-school blues, soul and rock makes it seem as if Brittany Howard and the band have been around forever,” Fusilli said. Shaking things up with “a bold application of clatter, eccentricity and wit,” he gives the band props for the courage to change.
• Floating Points, Elaenia. Floating Points is actually Sam Shepherd, a classically trained musician and disc jockey. His music mixes electronica, jazz, R&B and rock. On Shepherd’s “highly textured pieces, noise and beauty coexist without conflict,” Fusilli said.
• Lettuce, Crush. The band name doesn’t conjure up the classic funk that it dishes up, with singer Alecia Chakour shining on Bobbie Gentry’s He Made a Woman Out of Me. The album should appeal to fans of the Meters, Stuff and Tower of Power.
• Laura Marling, Short Movie. Marling is a 25-year-old singer-songwriter who, on her latest album, "toughens her sound for some songs with the addition of rock instrumentation, but her voice, novelistic storytelling and agile guitar remain the centerpiece."