Olympian
Olympian

Gene

Olympian

June 6, 1995

Alternative Pop/Rock

Both dismissed and praised with easy Smiths comparisons, Gene's debut unveiled a much more nuanced self-portrait. Showcasing the emotive warmth of singer Martin Rossiter, whose lyrics evinced the doomed romanticism of Rimbaud, Olympian introduced the band's finely attenuated guitar-based anthems, rife with jazzy harmonics, baroque asides, and bit of grunge muscularity. A rare album back-loaded with the best songs -- "Sleep Well Tonight" and "Olympian" are bookend perfect -- it remains a maliciously overlooked classic of the Brit-pop era.

- Matt Collar

The Land of Spirit and Light
The Land of Spirit and Light

Michael White

The Land of Spirit and Light

1973

Avant-Garde Jazz

Ambitious, outrageously creative, and aesthetically restless, this is a spiritual jazz classic from the violinist, and one of the finest outings on the Impulse! label. Beginning with an unusual ensemble that included classical guitarist Bob King, bassist Cecil McBee, percussionist Kenneth Nash, Prince Lasha on woodwinds, and pianist Ed Kelly -- along with vocalist Stanley Nash and some unidentified others -- the set walks the line between improvisation and groove-based playing.

- Thom Jurek