ZZ Top

Tres Hombres

1973

Album Rock

ZZ Top's first inarguably great album, 1973's Tres Hombres was where the Li'l Ol' Band from Texas perfected their formula of chunky minimalist blues coupled with inspired tall tales and the gritty splendor of Billy Gibbons' guitar work. Few bass players did more with less than Dusty Hill, and while Eliminator's chopped and channeled sound made them superstars ten years later, they never gave more bang for the buck than they did here.

- Mark Deming

Brandon Flowers

Flamingo

September 4, 2010

New Wave/Post-Punk Revival

A little corny, a little overearnest, but entirely within the Vegas showman's wheelhouse. On this 2010 solo debut, he takes his Springsteen devotion out into the dusty desert for a pleasant collection of wide-eyed storytelling gems that end up being more satisfying than all of the Killers' 2010s output. Highlights include "Only The Young," "Crossfire," and the four bonuses on the deluxe edition.

- Neil Z. Yeung