Be Here Now: New Albums 9-14-18 -9-20-18 Reviewed

Written by | September 17, 2018 14:51 pm | No Comments



East Atlanta Love Letter – 6lack – It took a coupla spins, something maybe not worth doing if all you know is “Ex Calling,” but if you’ve seen the neo-r&b nuovo classicist live you’ll give it up for him. “Stan” should be a hit, and everything here maintains a deep blue hue – B

The Crossing – Alejandro Escovedo – The crossing is a border crossing, one on the Mexican and the other at Ellis island,  admirable but he goes on for an hour and it is unsustainable even with “the beautiful and brutal blend of distorted guitars and strings”. Plus, good intentions can’t save the one too many indifferent song… “Teenage Luggage” is a keeper – B-

New Routes – Asleep At The Wheel –  Texas swing with two good singers on their first new material in a decade. If you haven’t heard the single, an ode to weed, “Jack I’m Mellow” it is terrific, then the harder it swing the better it is – B

Immortal – Ann Wilson – From Lesley Gore to Leonard Cohen to the Eagles, the Heart leader, helped by the likes of Warren Hayes and Ben Mink (the Canadian producer),  has made an album of art-rock hard rock style and gets her due on a terrific cover of Bowie’s “I’m Afraid Of Americans” – B-

Live At The London Eventim Hammersmith Apollo – Bananarama – The original trio reformed last year, and they sound less pop more hard dance then back then so if you liked em then… – C+

Collapse EP – Aphex Twins – Has it really been four years since Syro? About as skittish and strange as beats can be, though really, they should sell em to Kendrick or someone – B

Ancient Transition – Beta Radio – Indie folk or maybe Americana, whatever you call it and for all its quietness, it has an intensity and also a tunefulness that makes it consistently arresting, try “Bees and Swans” – B

As the World Turns – Black Uhuru – Black Uhuru toured in 2016 and I missed it, which I regret because the reggae band are living legends and this is their first album that is  neither live nor dub since 2001, and it is excellent. Duckie Simpson is in great voice and the Rastaman vibes are overwhelming on this political slam dunk  – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Mother Of My Children – Black Belt Eagle Scout – According to Pitchfork it was “written as her loved ones protested at Standing Rock, during the dissolution of a queer romance, and after the death of a beloved mentor.” The her being Katherine Paul, and Black Belt Eagle Scout being her solo project. Intense sure though the songs are a little too strum strange. An exception: the first single “Soft Stud” – C+

Cry Pretty – Carrie Underwood – I know, I know, she’s a lovely woman and folks like her, they really like her. But she is MOR country and a straight drag on yet another overblown piece of crap – MUST TO AVOID – D+

7 – David Guetta – 27 songs, one album new world EDM pop songs with a hit to miss ratio anybody, even Calvin Harris, would envy, and the second album features House master Jack Back on a full length full of state of the House Music – B+

Heaven – Dilly Dally – Indie rockers with a terrific frontwoman and a great sound, three years after their debut they sound very strong and certain… some of the songs not so much – B

The Ballad Of The Runaway Girl – Elisapie – Quebec native suffers from post-partum depression and lives to sing about it somewhere between folk and noise rock – B-

Tender Offerings EP – First Aid Kit – They never quite managed to follow up “Silver Lining” though the quality of the duo’s songwriting is never in question. It isn’t in question here with “I’ve Wanted You” being as good as they get – B+

Aftering – Fred Thomas – This has been a good week for song and Fred Thomas’s first five songs here are as quality as songs get, all of them are slim without being lightweight, and easy to connect to. The rest is a little too out there for my tastes – B

Generation Rx – Good Charlotte – Jesus, Good Charlotte get serious – C

Road To Utopia – Hawkwind – Excellent re-recordings of the Hawkwind catalog for, er, surely not, orchestra. It works  as well – B

Together Alone – Howard – Electronic dream poppers who keep on adding touches till that’s not what they are at all, this is a catchy, pleasant collection – B

Unbroken – Joanne Cash – Johnny’s kid sister is a talented Christian singer given to Carter Familyish country Godisms. It starts off great and reaches a height with “Down The Valley To Pray” and then doses off – C+

For Ever – Jungle – Modern disco seven piece – B-

no kap – Kap g – Iffy bi-lingual rapper dealing in trap, Playboy Carti is only on one track and still steals the album – C

Double negative – Low – Obstreperous art rock like Sonic Youth without the accent on guitars and worse – C+

Songs Of resistance 1942 – 2018 – Marc Ribot – Protest songs arranged by Ribot and sung by the likes of Tom Waits and Syd Straw… pity about the songs – C

Heaven EP – Mosaic MSC –  Not bad for CCM, catchy and not overburned songs of worship with a synthy quality – C+

Room 25 – No Name – Noname is an excellent woman rapper and at 34 minutes Room 25  is everything it needs to be without an ounce of waste. Noname made the move from Slam Poetry to Chicago rap two years ago, here she goes to LA and her flow is immediately the envy of everybody on this consistently entertaining rap album – B+

True Meanings – Paul Weller – I usually find Weller way too much for my tastes, but this is sweetly modulated English singer songwriterly confessional and his best effort since Sonik Kicks (word of advise: stay away from the deluxe version) – B-

13 Rivers – Richard Thompson – He hasn’t done a great album since 1996, though he has done a couple of good one, and this isn’t one of them – C

Sleaford Mobs -Sleaford Mobs  – What’s the difference between a Sleaford Mods EP and album? Around 20 minutes – C+

Let The Cards Fall – The Breath – The acceptable face of Americana as well sung folk with songs strong enough to carry you – B

Waiting For The Sun (50th Anniversary Deluxe edition) – The Door – as a popster, this is my favorite Doors album. really: “Hello, I Love You,” “Love Street,” “Five To One”  and the ultimate LA song, “Summer’s Almost Gone” -really, I prefer it to the others and I love the others, even the long ones. At triple the length of the original this deluxe isn’t long enough – A

When The Bird Sees The Solid Ground EP – The Tallest Man On Earth – Five songs, all great, especially “Somewhere In The Mountains, Somewhere In New York” – A-

Palms – Thrice – Prog rock but with enough of their punk roots where you don’t want them dead… try the intros to “The Grey” and “Hold Up A Light” – C

Love Is Here To Stay – Tony Bennett, Diana Krall – Before you jump too far off the deep end, think of this: Frank Sinatra was gonna die one day as well and Duets still sucked. This isn’t terrible, it is just useless – C+

Hiding Place – Tori Kelly – Nice lungs and CCM stars Lecrae and Kirk Franklin are along for the ride… the material is naff -C

Living The Dream – Uriah Heep – Coming up to their 50th anniversary and I haven’t like one second – D+

Free Lunch – Wale – Why does he pronounce his name Whalley? That makes no sense, Three of the songs here are really, really good  – B

My Way – Willie Nelson – Sinatra is doing cartwheels and Dylan is astonished any one would dare to attempt what he perfected – D+



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