Be Here Now: 6-19-20 – 6-25-30 Reviewed

Written by | June 23, 2020 8:01 am | No Comments

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Young & Turnt 2 (Deluxe) – 42 Dugg – Detroit’s waiting for his close up 42 Dogg is a killer rapper who can explode at any minute, about to break big he adds nine songs including featured stars DaBaby and Dej Loaf to the album – B

Artist 2.0 (Deluxe) – A Boogie Wit da Hoodie -adds nine song, personally I prefer Hoodie SVN but it is still the purest hip hop around – B+

cry.baby – AWA – neo r&b with a taste for 90s pop, AWA is a good singer and better songwriter, “F**kin Love Songs” is even better than its name – B+

PLANET’S MAD – Baauer – The “Harlem Shake” guy comes across like a DJ but he is more a one man band with an affinity for house and an antithesis to how Calvin Harris works – B

Translation – Black Eyed Peas – ten years after The E.N.D. changed EDM, they’ve returned with a Latin pop album filled with big time Latin pop features including Shakira on the great Latin dance groove “Girl Like Me” and the Spanish language Fergie, the entirely charming J. Rey Soul on even more including the catchy but it didn’t hit the charts “Mamacita” with, nice, Ozuma – B

Rage & Sorrow – BRELAND – A strong EP, two songs about Juneteenth and one about what it means to be a man – B

Out of Sane – Clint Black – sure “America (Still In Love With You)” is nauseating, “Hell Bent” is raucous, and the mainstream oldstream country guy still does it all as well as ever, though you could just fast forward to country rocker “What I Knew Then” and not miss much – B-

3AM – Dalex – Latin Trap, not bad EP – B-

Rough and Rowdy Ways – Bob Dylan – sure, this is the time for our tears so where is “Hattie Carroll”? If ever we wanted Dylan past personal politics and taking a scalpel to society, this is it. When you think of Dylan’s protest songs it is clear what is missing from current protest music: artistry and poetry. Since we are not going to get it, we will happily accept his best album, filled with death and anger and brutal Americana, since Love And Theft  – A-

Goldmine – Gabby Barrett – beyond brutal MOR country except “Thank God” which is a beautiful hardsell  – C+

Oneiric Diary – IZ*ONE – K-Pop is the COVID-19 of music, young members of these bands as collective , interchangeable  boy and girl bands do the opposite of social distancing, regimented to within an inch of their life, and then they kill themselves. And sure, there is a whole  structure around em, but they still die. Is it worth? This weird, high pitched art-pop is certainly different enough… – B-

Look For The Good – Jason Mraz – where?  – C-

Chapter 2 – Juke Ross – The Guyanese heartthrob left for the US and suffers from homesickness on a 70 minute sweetness that ends up lulling you to sleep – even when the sound is not what you expect it is just too soft – C+

BARE WITH ME (The Album) – Justine Skye – plenty average r&b from the record execs daughter who has been doing it since the 1990s – C+

Lamb of God – Lamb of God – five years between albums, but their eponymous tenth doesn’t sound anything but hard, hard and riff crazy,. Lamb Of God won’t change the world, not even theirs because they are at that point in the career that they know what to do and they know how to do it, especially “Memento Mori” with its “wake up wake up up wake up” hook and thundering  new drummer Art Cruz (who used to be with Prong)  on this excellent metalcore same old action – B+

Work Hard and Be Nice – Michael Franti & Spearhead – somewhere between G Love and Dispatch, Franti farms the clean mix and match of mainstream feel good(ish) soulrock (don’t even…).  “I Got You” is pleasant and the title track sports a swing and the best title on earth, but the latter sucks and bores, as does everything else here ob some level just irritate – C

Homegrown – Neil Young – recorded in 1974, it sounds more like Harvest than On The Beach, just released now, it isn’t as good as either though the “Love Is A Rose” is the equal of the version on Decades  though not Linda Ronstadt’s cover – B+

Forever And Ever x Infinity – New Found Glory – Florida pop punk greats are as catchy and swinging as ever, a very pleasurable ride with no surprises – B

Acoustic – Oumou Sangaré – The second goodie from Mali this year, African folk music and very ear catching – B+

The Avalanche – Owen – The American Football leader’s topnotch indie folk acoustic album is just like his band and a little less, but Owen remains a great and the songs take a little while but the instrumentation is ear catching and low key,  and the songs function as gorgeous background till the songs emerge as songs -which happens eventually – B+

Punisher – Phoebe Bridgers – Not bad, a coupla goodies though no “Motion Sickness” but she is the Alicia Keys of indie folk, a crushing bore whose prettiness doesn’t save her – B

Black History Month Spectacular – Sherman’s Showcase – songs from or evolving from the comedy sketch show, ordinary r&b and hip hop and I expected more – C+

The Life Of Pi’erre 4 (Deluxe) – Pi’erre Bourne – the popular hip hopper takes 33 songs to prove he is nothing very good as a rapper and autotuning doesn’t save him – C

Florida Jit – Smokepurpp – I’ve always considered him a child of Soundcloud, but that’s not what Ronny J gives the Florida rapper on this disappointing trap emo stuff. “Popshit” might have hit but he chose not to release it  – C+

Forever – Starchild & The New Romantic in an iffy week for r&b, Starchild sings like Prince in falsetto mode but his sound is too experimental and is just too weird for his mainstream chops – C+

Not Our First Goat Rodeo – Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Yo-Yo Ma – strings ahoy, fiddles and cellos oh my, on this bluegrass-y return  after nine years for the four man superband.  “Every Note A Pear” is an experimental winner  – B-

The Smartest – Tee Grizzley – Tee went from prison (three years for armed robbery) and hasn’t looked back, this is war on the streets has atures Big Sean, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, and three top producers with Hit-Boy, DJ Mustard, and Scott Storch, and, perhaps npt surprisingly, he looks with jaundice at jail and out of jail but can count his money – B-

The Album – Teyana Taylor – 73 songs, 77 minutes, there is nothing here to match “Rose In Harlem” or “Issues/Hold On” or “Hurry” from her 22 minutes Kanye West produced K.T.S.E. It is all very good, but never better than that, and the album is so long it is difficult to find the ones that might click with more than two spins – B

Trapped…In the Mess We Made – Tomás Doncker & The True Groove All-Stars – from “Church Burning Down” as a horrified singalong to “The Revolution” with Regina Bonelli on back up vocals as she wails over the coda, Doncker unpacks his 2015 classic The Mess We Made and captures a zeitgeist that feels beyond our grasp. “I’m calling bullshit on the revolution…” he claims and the Tik Tok generation would get it – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Squalor – Trash Talk, Kenny Beats – six years after No Peace,  the hardcore band releases an EP that offers no rest as it batters your brains into mush – B+

The Imperfect Storm – Wale – GoGo inspired hip hop from DC (natch) sounds like typical but not Slight Wale at the protest – B

10:20 – Wire  – “stray tracks with some dating back to the ’80s. “These are recordings of pieces that couldn’t be accommodated on regular albums,” explains a press release, which adds that it also features “compositions that – following their original studio recording – evolved substantially through live performance, and so deserved a new life on record. ” About as pure a post-punk sound as you’ll hear, try the great “Boiling Boy” – B+

 

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