Be Here Now: New Albums 10-18-19 – 10-24-19 Reviewed

Written by | October 22, 2019 6:04 am | No Comments

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Rozart – Aaron Rose – The Pro Era  lyricist who can be strong. On “Safe” he spits with skill, a rat-a-tat of then and now, and on the melodic “World On My Shoulders” he enters the big leagues. The original member of the Pro Era crew knows how to work around his beats, and along with producers like Joey Bada$$ and Chuck Strangers, he has a sound to sell em – B

Walk The Sky – Alter Bridge – Creed without Scott Stapp – MUST TO AVOID – D

2econd Wind: Ready – Anthony Brown & group therAPy – The holy holy as extended party in praise live album, “He Always Wins” is one of the best songs of the year on this glorious that moves towards hip hop production and then moves away – B+

Juice B Crypts – Battles – electronic instrumentals – B-

Space Cadet – beabadoobee – strong EP, even the one about wishing you were a member of Pavement – B

MALA SANTA – Becky G – Becky G is the Latina go to girl when you need a verse on your reggaeton track, and here as a soloist she is still the go to girl on your reggaeton track on a pop ordinaire Latino hurt by her indistinctive vocals – C+

HAN – Berhana – R&B songs with a world of world music arrangements by the Atlanta via Ethiopia soulman on a strong sophomore effort – B

PANG – Caroline Polachek – A superb collection of melancholy and ache, with three stand out tracks, the title track “Pang,” “Caroline Shut Up” -which is almost country in its storytelling, and “Hit Me Where It Hurts”. She doesn’t reach those highlights but the former half of Chairlift stakes her claim to a deeper Charli XCX – B+

There Existed an Addiction to Blood – clipping. – Daveed Diggs  originated the roles of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the musical Hamilton, and does the rapping on a coupla DJs experimental arrangements plus beats – B-

The Wanting – Cody Jinks – independent country guys second album in as many weeks is a well twanged set of country bummers. The title track is exemplary – B

Junior – Corridor – Clangy, power pop, Byrdsy guitars and an ambient wall of shoegaze sound – C+

On a Wave – Dave Monks – The Tokyo Police Club guy has put together a nice collection of indie rock, low impact songs with melodies aplenty -though you would think the bassist would also highlight those skills  – B

Blood Harmony – FINNEAS – Billie Eilish  – Finneas is Billie Eilish’s brother and musical counterpart (he was all over the stage at Radio City Music Hall earlier this year), but his best friends would have advised him to can singer songwriter confessional, all it proves is Billie deserves top billing for sure – C

Trillium Killer – Foxes In Fiction – From Toronto, moody ambient with chinks of noise – C+

Part 2 Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Foals – “The Runner” is their best song in years, everything else is drawn out proto-prog – C

Scary Nights – G-Eazy – I’ve always considered G-Eazy a lame, white rapper. but my dislike for white rappers has always influenced my taste: I missed Post Malone, Mac Miller, Logic… it takes me forever to warm up, so I’m being more careful. The surprise drop Scary Nights , is a seven song EP of electrifying pop and rap chops – B

Woptober II – Gucci Mane – Mane has always been a money guy and his latest album finds his steadily waivering powers since the great Everybody Looking, continues apace. Of course, Gucci wavering is like most rappers peaking and Woptopia II is a commercially planned hit job with featured artists galore : B+

Dusty – Homeboy Sandman – A coupla years ago, Queens boy Homeboy was writing knockout rhymes about growing up in the ruins of New York, he still sounds distance and pained today on song after song,. It doesn’t quite click as much more than how its done, white boy confessional. And if Your Old Droog is an example, he could use more featured rappers. But he rides his bars with aplomb and a bad boy broodiness – B-

Christmas: A Season Of Love – Idina Menzel – Same ol – C+

Dawn Chorus – Jacques Greene  – Electronic mood music – C+

Thanks, Sorry! – Jeff Rosenstock – Live at the Bowery Ballroom, punky in a Billy Bragg way, Americanaish punk with lots of smarts and a soupcon of insolence – B

Surviving – Jimmy Eat World – it was emo, is now emo with an anthem rock classicism, what’s missing is the bedrock songs to sell them – C+

Stacked – Kash Doll – Born to be a featured player, at least that’s what it sounds like, the problem is Kash Doll can get overshadowed, certainly compared to, say, Megan Thee Stallion, she is a laid back and careful rapper, Featuring  the likes of Big Sean, Lil Wayne, and  Teyana Taylor, amongst other, it needed to hit harder – B-

La Santa Cecilia – La Santa Cecilia – World music via LA, but rock music not Latin Urbano, and while the sound and arrangements are fine, the songs aren’t – C+

Everywhere I’m Goin’  EP – Maddie & Tae – pretty enough and simultaneously a touch vacuous – C+

Somebody’s Knocking – Mark Lanegan – Screaming Trees lead singer in tremendous voice, all rocker bangers exploding, with the opener. “Disbelief Suspension,” a towering sound that Primal Scream would sign off on – B+

What’s Going On (Live) – Marvin Gaye – Marvin in great voice performing maybe his greatest album, live in DC in 1972; lovely but to what end? – C+

MOTIONS – Melii – She dropped off the Meek Mill (the most overrated rapper on the planet) tour because she was being disrespected and on the strength of Motions, she belongs in the same world as SZA. Melli isn’t all the way yet, but these hip hop songs are consistently, at the least pretty good – B-

Sunshine of My Life – MSTRKRFT- Five song EP crammed with beats on beats on beats – B

Celestial – Rob Halford, Halford – Metal goes Christmas goes prog –  C

The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Pt. 1 – Saint Motel – Saint Motel remain way too clever for their own good, a glam and world music veneer over deeply intelligent though somewhat cold songs. They should come from Canada – B

Singles Too – Screaming Females – Both meaty, beaty, big, and bouncy, the great indie rockers, with one of the top guitar shredders to boot, are still great on this B-Sides, singles, and obscurities album – B+

The Decalogue – Sufjan Stevens, Timo Andres – Beautiful piano based instrumentals for a ballet – B

Twilight Animals – Sylvia Black — techno Goth – C+

War Music – Refused – Steampunk? Sounds like biting hardcore screamo – B-

Self Portrait – Sasha Sloan – Very melodic singer songwriter indie bummer pop, living up to her sadgirls moniker – B

Watch Yo Back – Slushii – Playful electronica, manufactured at home (at least it sounds like…) – B-

SuperM – The 1st Mini Album – SuperM – K-POP’s answer to NSYNC – B-

The Only Ones EP – The Milk Carton Kids – A truly wonderful seven song EP, the duos harmonies are better than The Avetts, and the songs are tender and moving. Folk yes, but folk with a subtle hint of country – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

No Holiday – The Muffs – The late Kim Shattuck’s final album, it is just as good as ever -pop punk melody and fast punk performance, with one of the great voices in rock – B+

Screamer – Third Eye Blind – wait a second, THAT Alexis Krauss? She sounds good as well, on a surprisingly smart and fun collection from a man who should be as irritating as the spelling of his first name, Stephan Jenkins. It ain’t great but it is a pleasant ear candy rocker album, especially the first two tracks – B-

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical (Original Cast Recording) – Various Artists – The Broadway show was only OK, but Adrienne Warren as Tina was really great and her version of “River Deep-Mountain High” is breathtaking – B

Vagabon– Vagabon – The Cameroon natives second album is electronic melded world soul music, well worth your time – B

Saved 15 – Various Artists – Saved records deals in deep house, for their fifteenth anniversary they brought together their top DJs and if it’s your scene you’ll flip out – B

You Deserve Love – White Reaper -first rate rockers from Louisville, a sweet glammy sound and catchy, energetic rockers all – B

the underrated youth – YUNGBLUD – YUNGBLUD is a unique yet samey rocker, much loved in the US because whenever he appears on the track , the track goes off the rails… strong, though not as strong as we’d hoped for after “Parents” – B-

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