Be Here Now: New Album Releases 2-1-19 – 2-7-19 Reviewed

Written by | February 6, 2019 4:35 am | No Comments

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Seasons – American Authors – Apparently the Brooklyn boys rock sound is more up against the wall then pop fodder, and apparently it suits em well enough (they haven’t lost their knack for a solid melody) but it is still too vanilla for their faith in activism – C+

Gallipoli – Beirut – we know the drill, Zach Cordon has been using it for over a decade, indie, twee, Americana exercises in sound with superb singing and performances – B

Half Way There – Busted – The UK pop punkers who followed the money to synthy boy band and here return to their pop punk roots only much more serious and less fun – C

stages – Cassadee Pope – She won “The Voice” in 2012 and it has been six years since her last album, this country pop won’t do though “How I Feel Right Now” is a terrific song – C+

Stuffed & Ready – Cherry Glazerr – I thought this would be a lot more fun, maybe their name threw me off, or maybe their last album. This is a boring rock drag and a huge disappointment – MUST TO AVOID – D

mau5ville: Level 3 – deadmau5 – “Are You Not Afraid” with the terrific UK rapper not grime related Shotty Horroh is so great that deadmau5 remixes it twice. The rest of it isn’t – B-

El Hajar – Dudu Tassa, The Kuwaitis – If this is an Israeli rock band, why is it mainstream Lebanese pop sounding with heavier drums and arrangements, sung in Arabic? Still, this is a spectacularly great album and if it isn’t what I’d call rock, it is what we called it in clubs like Venus in the 1970s back when Beirut was heaven on earth – B+

Muddy Dragon on the Road to Heaven – Deptford Goth – UK Americana, lovely, sad, wall of echoey  electronic sound stuff, but a little boring in this James Blake era – B-

Scenery – Emily King – Blue eyed r&b songs, I preferred her earlier when she was more synthy – B-

Still Swervin – G Herbo – The Juice WRLD track is killer and the production, by his buddy Southside, is as tight as you can get though drill always has that going on, and it never moves from the Chicago Southside so it has the pops and drops but with a real feel – B

What Chaos Is Imaginary – Girlpool –  Very buzzed, beyond tedious, dream pop – C

Zeppelin over China – Guided By Voices – Never liked this dusty old indie folk pop stuff, they’re like the US Teenage Fanclub (that’s an insult) – C-

bi/MENTAL – Le Butcherettes – Alyson Camus fave (here), when they are falling off the edge of the plane, like the opener experimental, post punk featuring Jello Biafra “spider/Waves”  or the late set song  “mother/Holds” with Alice Bag as punk emeritus, otherwise the classicism of of a rock band is where it’s at with varying degrees of success that you probably have to see live to appreciate – B

Live In Hollywood – Linda Ronstadt – Is this all they have in the closet? Twelve fucking songs? There is 20 songs from the HBO recordings, why do we only have this? Plus the ’78 tour (which I caught at the Meadowlands) was the one, not 1980’s  Get Closer. I swear, if it was one or the other, this would be the album of the week… even the band is a little tinny sounding. On the other hand… that voice! – B+

VIDA – Luis Fonsi – This is pure pop for now people 2019, a move right into the heart of US pop grooves that if “Sola” hits will make the promise of 1990s reggaeton fulfilled – album of the week – B+

Utopia – Martin & Bell – Spoken world plus powerful background music from the former New Musical Express writer and his instrumental partner. Agitprop of the first order, this is both angry and thoughtful – B+

Flicker Featuring The RTÉ Concert Orchestra (Live) – Niall Horan – The Flicker album with a full orchestra behind it – B-

The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change – Nina Nesbitt – Scottish singer songwriter mining that somewhere between confessional and EDM on a slow track, great album title – B-

January 30th – Payroll Giovanni – Detroit street gangsta with his Doughboyz Cashout band, all of the living ones show up here on this violent hardness with a taste for 90s rap – B-

Encore (Deluxe) – The Specials – They never improved on their first album and with no Jerry Dammers they aren’t likely to. The deluxe includes a live album – C+

Resist (Extended Deluxe) – Within Temptation – This is how metal sounds in today and it is also a little more than that, loud but not bombastic with a serious idea treated with care and concern: freedom under siege – B+

Don’t Tread On We! – The 1865 – Tying the antebellum to the Trump era in a neat bow of  hard rock, punk rock, and post punk elements, till the sound becomes a rebuke and the rebuke becomes the revolution and the revolution is a one liner: STOP PICKING COTTON… Amen – B+

 

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