Be Here Now: New Albums 9-18-19 -9-24-20 Reviewed

Written by | September 24, 2020 4:30 am | No Comments


Origins Vol.2 – Ace Frehley – sure he’s a first class idiot, but this rocking little sucker, covering everyone from Humble Pie to the Stones to… The Beatles,  is as good a way to shake your booty as any – B-

Apple – A. G. Cook – you may know Cook through his work with nu-pop avatar Charli XCX, his solo work is more rooted in guitar pop plus electronics, both melodic and strange – B

ALICIA – Alicia Keys – it seems as though Alicia Keys isn’t as boring as she once was, she slowly (no surprise there) went from r&b 90s style drag to hip hop produced chill r&b,  and it suits her –  C+

THE LIZ – Armani Caesar – when you’ve been hearing a woman rapper on Griselda Records, you’ve been hearing Buffalo’s Armani. Now she gets the spotlight on a featured peak set of boom bat and anger raps – B+

Heaven & Hell – Ava Max – she has been knocking on Dua Lipa’s former Eastern European goes pop in London door since 2018’s “Sweet But Psycho” and I can definitely see the US getting the message on her debut album,  a business as usual aim for dancing teens – C+

State of Emergency – Babylon Circus – The French ska band also add jazz and swing to the mix for a strong hybrid cooking for over 25 years and still am alluring sound – B

To Myself (Deluxe) – Baby Rose – adding songs to the original, this is chill r&b with backing sounds comfortable in electronic settings – B

Find The Sun – Deradoorian – former Dirty Projector Angel Deradoorian offers up a boring 50 minutes of art Americana – C

Why Do We Shake In The Cold? – Elderbrook – electronic dance album tries to give out hope but could be, almost should be, livelier – C+

BREACH – Fenne Lily – livelier than her debut, Lily performs singer songwriter confessionals with a sound relatively rocky and large – B

Shore – Fleet Foxes – lovely, literally Autumnal though written in June, indie folk by Robin Pecknold… A strange and pretty thing with a rock band’s demeanor but a folk bands closeness to the ground – B

Orca – Gus Dapperton – bedroom pop from the singer songwriter – C+

Petite Terre – HK – impressive take on world music via France, it sounds less South African and more a match of French pop and the kitchen sink – B+

Rester le même – Jean-Baptiste Guegan – A Johnny Halliday cover artist and if you don’t know the late great Johnny read about France’s Elvis Presley here , if you’re a fan in France it might be cool to catch Guegan, but if you are uninitiated go directly to the source – C

THE SPEED OF NOW Part 1 – Keith Urban –  Keith Urban widens his palate again and goes one step too far on the modern pop doesn’t go country, adding Niles Rodgers on one song and P!nk on another does not Max Martin make you –  C

20/20 – Knuckle Puck- emo rockers, no really emo guys, and  sounds like a cross between the 00s and the 10s… without the clever song names – C+

I AM – Koryn Hawthorne – The Voice contestant sings about God and praying (“When I don’t think I’ll make it…”), and she has a gorgeous and soulful voice – B-

Virgo World – Lil Tecca – the eighteen year old Queens rapper second release is feature packed emo trap, Internet Money founder and super-producer Taz Taylor [XXXtentacion, Juice WRLD] is on board, and the album is very strong, straight ahead with punchlines about life in a world where your Uncle is murdered in a hail of bullets and Taz himself has a history of losing rappers early – B+

mags – mags – in the UK they renamed the Scandinavian sadgirl meets Robyn’s debut your girlfriend´s in the bathroom, i´m trying to kiss you, here we called it after her name, Mags, but it remains a pleasant, emotionally valid dance album – B+

Code Red – Moneybagg Yo, Blac Youngsta – “bitch,” “ho” – yes young black men, terrified of women, pull out their gak’s and get revenge the old fashioned well, features include Yo Gotti, 42 Dugg, City Girls and DaBaby, and the Memphis rappers are badass obvious, though both of their souls are hook ladened voice maneuvers – B-

Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism (Bonus Tracks Version) – Napalm Death – if  what you want to do is hear what nihilism and horror sounds like, listen to this UK horrorcore band decades past their peak and still one of the best at it – B+

Live at the Roundhouse – Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, Nick Mason – I caught the concert at the Beacon in April 2019, loved it as well (here), especially all that Syd Barrett stuff. It loses a little something without the light show – B

MUNAY – Pedro Capó – The Puerto Rican singer went to the Amazon and came back with meditations on love, which aren’t as bad as that sounds – C+

Protean Threat – Osees, Thee Oh Sees – post-punk, drone psyche garage rockers do what they do, and I do what I do – C+

Untitled (Rise) – SAULT – The Guardian just called this dance album the best of 2020, and the “mystery collective” are certainly an assured sounding electronic muse band – B

Down to the Lowest Terms: The Soul Sessions – Steve Arrington – Arrington’s first solo album in years and years is perfect, and also state of the art r&b, with jazz somewhere in there. And as you’d expect from a drummer, the bottom is otherworldly – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

folklore: the yeah I showed up at your party chapter – Taylor Swift – The acoustic “betty” from the ACM Awards is the calling card and you would have to be deeper into the album than I am to see why she called the EP a chapter, but since it includes two of the best songs off the album, “cardigan” and “the one,” I’ll take her word for it – A

Teenage Halloween – Teenage Halloween – fast, loud, with a touch of emo to their pop punk, the queer identified energized sound consider themselves political bound (though they sure ain’t the Tom Robinson Band), and are a whole lotta fun whatever it is they’re doing – B+

Palo Alto – Thelonious Monk – classic, newly discovered live tape from when Monk performed at a High School – A

Long Violent History – Tyler Childers – country side of Americana, not dissimilar to his buddy Sturgill Simpson though more purely musical because, well, it is a rootsy and beautiful instrumental album that places the Kentuckian with his fellow country person Breonna Taylor through auxiliary statements – B+

A Day in a Yellow Beat – Yellow Days – throaty neo-r&b and soul tracks with a great singer singer great though the songs are a little weak – B

Tea For The Tillerman² – Yusuf / Cat Stevens – Reworkings of the classic album, but they won’t replace the originals – B

More Family Time – Ziggy Marley – In the wake of new albums by Toots Hibbert and Buju Banton, nobody is going to consider Ziggy Marley’s new album, , with plenty of featured friends, anything special though amazingly enough it may well be, a feature that is simply terrifying on paper, Ben Harper joining on “Play The Sky,” is a lovely and unassuming song, and Ziggy uses Alanis Morissette on “Please Excuse Me Thank You” for her sweetness not sarcasm, on the pretty good children’s album – B


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