Be Here Now: New Albums 12-6-19 – 12-12-19

Written by | December 9, 2019 4:30 am | No Comments


HAPPIEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WIDE WEB – Adé Hakim – where boom bat meets dada, a cut and paste 24 track, hour long study of how to be happy, with great rhyming, terrific cut and paste… the vocal tone should be stronger – B-

Doom Days (This Got Out Of Hand Edition) – Bastille – UK electronic rock band, double the tracks to 22. Thanks guys – MUST TO AVOID – D

Tunes 2011-2019 – Burial – Burial is an electronic DJ and here he takes EPs he has released over the decade and compiles em into two and half hours worth of radio frequencies and mood sounds – B

Romance – Camila Cabello – the DaBaby feature is a good song, so is “Living Proof,” but otherwise it lacks the personality it needs, and it needs a masterpiece, a “Havana” or a “Never Be The Same” and without it, Camila is as manufactured as her romance with Shawn Mendes – C+

MTV Unplugged Live In Melbourne – Courtney Barnett – And what, exactly, is the difference between Barnett either plugged or unplugged?

The Odd Czar Against Us – CZARFACE – Inspectah Deck’s other band, also a Marvel comic superhero. Playful beats, and multi-verse storylines – C+

The Last Album – Don Omar – a purest’s reggaeton sound, a little boring but at only half an hour it does make its point without overstaying its welcome – B-

Songs from ‘Tullahoma’ – Dustin Lynch – His albums hit big but they don’t last and he keeps on getting nominated for awards he fails to win, this sampler from the  upcoming January 2020 third album is more of the same, which makes it resolutely average but in a professionally twangy way – B-

Remember the Silver – Emily Yacina – sad songs, indie pop melodies, a sweet throb of the heart on a short (28 minute) but rewarding album – B+

MONTANA – French Montana – The Kodak Black and Kevin Gates featured “Lifestyle” is good, and the Moroccan superstar, currently leaving hospital after serious heart issues (at the age of 35!),  is as good as ever, maybe a little better, on a packed to the gills with featured stars (yes, that’s Drake, and Kodak again, and Swae Lee)  and nonstop bangers that seems a touch old fashioned – B

Pleaser – Georgia Maq – Her bio on Spotify reads the self-evident truth, “Epstein didn’t kill himself” -I agree, but the question remains, how did they get two employees to take the fall. Meanwhile, Maq, the Camp Cope lead singer, has her first solo collection, bummer songs with electronic beats and walls of sadness. Plus, really, she is some singer – B

Open Book – Kalie Shorr – Playing catch up on her second solo album, country sad songs for girls who are pissed off, and on “F U Forever” she even channels the Rolling Stones and out rocks Miranda Lambert and Alanis Morissette recent releases  – B

Heavy Rain – Lee “Scratch” Perry –  Made with Brian Eno,  “Here Come The Warm Dreads” immediately makes the dub/remix of Rainforest more than an also ran, and Adrian Sherwood is up to his neck on this rub-a-dub rethinks – B

LP1 – Liam Payne – a pop move onto the charts with generic hip hop dance tracks and mainstream MOR ballads, but with some gems here and there, on his first solo album – C+

You + I – Madison McFerrin – The a capella singing saves us from Pentatonix while not quite being a capella anymore, singing, in a warm, lush voice, over beats and electronica on what will hopefully push the multi-talented r&b singer to further glories – B+

Libertad 548 – Pitbull – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So Pitbull doesn’t fix his position at the very top of crossover Latin dance and pop. Bangers all, and not unpleasant while completely obvious – B-

Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial – Roddy Ricch – “Perfect Time” is a goodie but otherwise the Compton native uses trap to mirror the sounds of the day, in an average sort of way – C+

Send Nudes – Sammie – smooth r&B on a fair enough EP – B-

Mirror Maker – Savak – You can always tell when Savak are gonna get arty mid-song, they are the kings of dramatic key shifts and off tune -when I caught them at Cake Shop mid-10s I was verily impressed, here they are as mainstream as alt can be, and I am less but not unimpressed in their difficult rock jones – B

World War Joy – The Chainsmokers – Not as good as their debut hit, smash, blah blah, blah, but better than the sophomore jinx, a ton of potential EDM pop hits, and my bet is the Blink 182 feature will hit – B

WHO (Deluxe) – The Who – Pete Townshend faces down mortality, and a life’s work, with the Who’s first album in thirteen years, a nearly an hour of the best Whoish heavy rock performed since The Who By Numbers (it’s superior to It’s Hard for certain). Not a Who masterpiece as such (though some songs are great), it lacks the pop skills of a “I Can See For Miles” or even “Who Are You,”  it is an artistic statement of immense integrity. Who goes on way too long, starts with a blast, sags in the middle itself, and steadies itself towards the end. But it is a real, album length, triumph as testament to a man who knows how to do it. Plus, Roger Daltrey is in astonishing voice, and while the problem is mostly the performances, it clicks when necessary as Pete contemplates hope I die after I get old – A-

Bad Vibes Forever – XXXTENTACION – Not bad, but let’s hope this is the end of  XXXtentacion. Who knows what the sad rap guy might have been, but we know it isn’t this somewhat thin stuff chocked up with featured artists – B-

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