Be Here Now: New Albums 10-4-19 – 10-11-19 Reviewed

Written by | October 8, 2019 4:30 am | No Comments


All Mirrors – Angel Olsen – When she is on, Angel can write a song. But it is all so dreary, plodding and boring, when is she ever on? Well, “New Love Cassette” for one – C+


Fire & Brimstone – Brantley Gilbert – Outlaw country and southern boogie – C+

Indigo (Extended) – Chris Brown – Just what the world needs, more Chris Brown songs – C

Closer To Grey – Chromatics – seven years later, a monochromatic ambient whirl of late night sounds, “Twist The Knife” is a good starting place – B-

Live out Loud – Dan Whitley – Dan is a master guitarist but he isn’t flashing the leather here, instead it is all tight as a drum southern boogie featuring easily his best singing ever, a raspy timbre and edginess. The best solo here is on keyboards. Go figure – B+

uknowhatimsayin¿ – Danny Brown – Whatever you can expect from Danny, you can expect some hardcore stuff. Here, with Q Tip executive producing, his usual art and artistry doesn’t include a coupla killer tracks. “Dirty Laundry” is the closest he gets to a hit and “Negro Spiritual (with JPEGMAFIA) is as great as he has ever been… but not a hit  – B+

here’s the drop! – deadmau5 – an album of remixes for real EDM fans, going from the orchestral sweep of “luxuria (ov) – Tinlicker Remix” to the low key minute by minute build of “strobe (ov) – PEEKABOO Remix,” and though it could do with more drop itself, perhaps a coupla industrial remixes, if your scene is the real thing dance, as opposed to, say, Calvin Harris crossover, this one’s for you – B

Without Fear – Dermot Kennedy – Irish folkie, a deeply immersive snore – C

Deceiver – DIIV – The rock indie band is better than ever and still a little too much wall of blur shoegazey in a lowercase way – C+

Blood Harmony – FINNEAS – singer songwriter confessional snooze – C

Novo Sonic System – Gesaffelstein – The last album, Hyperion, earlier in 2019, was a huge breakthrough, sort of industrial pop. Here he returns to his roots with noisy dance music, zoom synths, and heavy, heavy beats – B

The Third Ascension – Glenn Branca – The late great Branca invented electric guitar symphonies. A post-minimalist with one foot in some variant of new wave, he had received more than 25 commissions before his death last year. Though when I interviewed him in the 80s at his apartment , with then girlfriend, Barbara Ess of the Y Pants, we were eating cheese courtesy of Uncle Sam food stamps! His first posthumous release is a towering and terrifying cacophony of rock band instruments to build wall of sounds. It isn’t too late to listen – A-

Llegó Navidad – Los Lobos – The first Christmas album of the year might well be the best. The always great Los Lobos performing old fashioned Spanish language  holiday songs from Veracruz to Panama to the Texas border, and from smooth jazz “¿Dónde Está Santa Claus?” to the absolute classic “Feliz Navidad”. We can consider ourselves fortunate if we hear a better one this season – B+

My Name Is Michael Holbrook – MIKA – Orchestrated pop maneuvers, self-revelatory, and up to nothing much – C+

It’s Such A Good Feeling: The Best Of Mister Rogers – Mister Rogers – Lots of wonderful and warm hearted songs from the beloved children’s television program. I see no reason for you not to give the songs to your children and for us adults? The November release of Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers is gonna be a real thrill – B+

Sigh No More Sessions – Mumford & Sons – Not really sessions, right? Some live takes, so maybe pre recording. Sounds fine to me – B+

Ghosteen – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Welcome to Nick’s living hell, his post loss of his  teen son album that picks up where Skeleton Tree left off and rids itself of anything approaching commercial sounds, rather is an electronic sonic horrorshow waiting patiently for obliteration of being into nothingness – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

BLOODLUST – nothing,nowhere., Travis Barker -soundcloud emo rapper meets Blink 182 rapper, and it should kill, but it doesn’t click as more than rock 2019 by the numbers – C+

Live at The Ryman – Old Crow Medicine Show – Why do shows at the Ryman always end with “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” -after Ken Burns I am sick to death of the song? “The 11-song set features material from the troupe’s numerous performances between 2013 and 2019” per Billboard, not unpleasant but awful redundant – B-

Fuck Yo Feelings – Robert Glasper – Glasper stops messing around and releases as much a fusion album with rap as Weather Report once did with rock. It works very well, especially YBN Cordae and Yasiin Bey. He should book a big room, a Radio City, invite his featured artists, and perform the entire album. Easily his best work to date – B+

Truth Is – Sabrina Claudio – strong chill r&b, she had a good song with Zayn recently – B-

Over It – Summer Walker – great voice, very hip hop production values, very built to a beat, and sung to it. And a gorgeous voice as well – B

Old LP – That Dog – LA indie poppers return and what  a big and lovely sound it is; try opening track “Your Machine” with a stunning coda – B

Closer Than Together – The Avett Brothers – Two good songs on this wishy washy political Americana  – C+

Easter is Cancelled (Deluxe) – The Darkness – They’ve been doing this glammy hard rock meets metal high pitched thing since 2000, so you know what you’re getting – C+

Hello Exile – The Menzingers – If all the Menzingers ever do is “America (You’re Freaking Me Out)”, it is enough for one lifetime, an anthemic, must hear scream and shout triumph. They never get another song that great, though the quality doesn’t dip a whole lot, a great rock and roll lead singer, a smart tight rhythm section, and tunes upon tunes upon clever lyrics – B+

The Kids Are Coming – Tones and I – Aussie busker broke pop and has the pop with beats songs to prove it – C+

Ode to Joy – Wilco – Slow and boring, middle aged snooze – MUST TO AVOID – C-

So Removed – WIVES – Sounds like a teenage Velvet Underground influenced early 80s New York band (so I guess the VU reference is redundant) – B



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