Tesla | Simplicity (Tesla Electric Co.)

cd teslaSimple is best, and Tesla does it quite well.




Tesla is back with a new album and a new outlook. In an age in which music has been run over by technology, making it possible for just about anyone to be a recording artist, actual talent seems to be last in line sometimes. Not so with Tesla. With their new release, Simplicity, the word is much more than a title: It is the theme of the album. Simple is best, and Tesla does it quite well.

Songwriting for this album stretched over a short two weeks at the wooded estate of A&R man supreme Tom Zutaut, who coproduced the disc with the band. In that seclusion, Tesla found that music still flowed through them in an organic way, as opposed to the sometimes-forced delivery achieved from excessive technology.

Simplicity rocks with a bluesy, Aerosmith -type feel. Vocalist Jeff Keith still sports his gravelly, nasal sound, and while a little on the blues side, it peaks and valleys nicely—and simply. From the opening track, “Mp3,” which cries for a return to easier and simpler days, the five members of Tesla have no doubt what they are want to say and achieve with this disc. Catchy and melodic, it is almost an instant sing-a long. Strong, basic riffs embraced by Jeff Keith’s raspy hilt and that undeniable Tesla sound, and Simplicity hits you in the most basic of places; with rock ’n’ roll music, that’s the main point. With guitars both scathing and beautiful, this is an album of straight-forward hard rock.

Other spotlight tracks include “Cross My Heart,” with its rockabilly-style piano riffs; the first single from the album, “So Divine”” and “Flip Side,” which professes “We are right, it’s the world that’s wrong.”

Although many bands today cannot record without the use of technology, here, Tesla goes back to the future in a sense. Eschewing said technology, they welcome organic song crafting, and flourish within those boundaries. The results are honest, down to earth, and quite enjoyable to hear. It will be curious to see if Tesla start a trend here, and even more curious to see is which of today’s artists can pull this off.

A very good album, indeed. B+ | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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