25 September, 2014
Welcome to American Mosaic from VOA Learning English. I'm Caty Weaver.
Our recent story about popular American music of the moment seemed to get our web visitors talking. Many of you told us about your favorite pop, country and rhythm and blues performers. But a few of you also asked, "Where is the rock and roll?"
Phong from Vietnam said he likes what is called "hard rock" or "metal." Evgeny from Ukraine agreed. Both posters said they like the Scorpions. The German metal band formed in 1965 and has released more than fifteen studio albums.
Yevgeny also said he would be interested in hearing about today's American rock. One of the current popular American metal bands is Godsmack. The four musicians came together just under 10 years ago in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Their new song "1000hp" remembers the band's beginning. It goes: Time to rewind /Back to 1995 when we were nothing / Walking through the streets of Boston no one listening..."
People sure started to listen. Godsmack's new album, also called "1000hp," entered Billboard's hard rock chart at number one. It is now in the number three position. The Swedish hard rock band In Flames is number one with its new album "Siren Charms." Number two is "The Physical World" from the Canadian group Death From Above 1979.
American rocker Ryan Adams is also enjoying a successful new album. His self-named record sold 45,000 copies in its first week on the market. It is number four on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart. It is Adams' highest position ever on that chart.
Ryan Adams is currently performing in a series of shows to support the new album. Last week in London, concertgoers saw a famous actor perform with the musician. Adams' good friend Johnny Depp played guitar on two songs.
Such appearances are not exactly rare for Depp. He has also played with artists including Aerosmith, the Black Keys and Elvis Costello.
Swedish singer Tove Lo is also gaining popularity in America. Her single "Habits (Stay High)" was one of the biggest rock hits so far this year. She sings a sad story of someone who drinks a lot of alcohol a lot of the time. The person stays "high" on the drug to avoid thinking about someone who is gone.
"Habits" is among the top five best-selling singles in the United States right now. This is a good sign for Tove Lo's new album "Queen of the Clouds." A full release is set for September 30th. Lo released it for streaming on iTunes a week early.
Tove Lo says she sings all about her personal life on the record. She told Billboard magazine that she uses songwriting as therapy. She said everything she does not dare to say, she can sing about.
The Swedish singer will open for Katy Perry during her tour in Australia in November.
Keep your music comments coming. Let us know what you would like to hear.
I'm Caty Weaver.
Words in this Story
moment – n. the present time; a particular time : a precise point in time
studio – n. a place where music is recorded
remember – v. to think about the past; opposite forget
flame – n. the hot, glowing gas that can be seen when a fire is burning
personal – adj. relating to a person's private feelings, thoughts, problems, etc.