Top 15 Rock Albums, May 2012

It should come as no surprise to any and all rock fans that Jack White's Blunderbuss is the No. 1 album in this month's Top 15. Brash and wildly talented, White is far and away America's preeminent rock star. Even if he isn't the most popular in terms of sales and plays, he's the most rawk, ya dig?

The last several weeks have also seen the release of several wonderful reissues. The Pearl Sessions, an expanded edition of Janis Joplin's finest moment in the studio, is a must-hear for fans of rock's Woodstock era. Another keeper is the digital version of Tejas, one of ZZ Top's mid-'70s gems. Though not as searing as Tres Hombres or Deg├╝ello, it's a fine record nonetheless, featuring some seriously groove-heavy jams, like "Arrested for Driving While Blind" and "Avalon Hideaway."

Possibly because it's spring, rock's lighter side has recently produced a string of high-profile titles as well, from Jack Johnson & Friends' Best of Kokua Festival to Jason Mraz's Love Is a Four Letter Word to Train's California 37. All of these will make appropriate beach soundtracks when the temperatures really begin to spike.

For all you lovers of roots rock, don't sleep on two titles appearing in the Top 15: Hiss Golden Messenger's Poor Moon and an expanded version of Wooden Wand's Briarwood. Though both sit left of the dial, they are truly excellent examples of modern folk rock and Americana.

Last but certainly not least, the lead single from Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels (due June 6) is now out. It's called "Headlong Flight," and it is AWESOME. Crank it.

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