Jeff Beck Group / Jeff Beck

Rough and Ready

October, 1971

Album Rock

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Released 50 years ago today, Beck's first album without Rod Stewart and Ron Wood dials back some of the blues influence and injects more jazz elements, courtesy in large part to the addition of keyboardist Max Middleton. Guitar parts are predictably intricate and the arena-ready vocals blast alongside the riffs, especially on the remarkably succinct ready-ready highlight "I've Been Used."

- Zac Johnson


Emily Alone

July 26, 2019

Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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Responding to the loss of her mother, a breakup, and a move cross-country away from bandmates all at once, this third album by the project of Emily Sprague is necessarily a solitary one. Unapologetically vulnerable and often devastating, its 12 guitar and keyboard songs include a mix of fond and somber remembrances, suicidal ideation, and healing introspections. Occasional sound effects and field recordings, such as the crunching footsteps of piano lament "M," flesh out quiet arrangements on tracks that, despite heavy inspirations, sometimes end on a hopeful note, including closer "Today I'll Have You Around."

- Marcy Donelson