Be Here Now: New Albums Reviewed 9-7-18 – 9-13-18

Written by | September 11, 2018 16:16 pm | No Comments



Welcome to the Neighbourhood – Boston Manor – Blackpool rockers see complacency and depression all around them, and that’s just their album about the flowers in the dustbin. The sound is good but the vocals are the Soundgarden whine that is the de rigueur in rock circles and cutting it off at the legs –  C

Book of Bad Decisions – Clutch – listening to this back to back with Boston Manor, it is clear that the biggest difference between rock bands is the lead singer, Neil Fallon is a monstrously good  singer with none of the falsetto whine that inflicts so many other bands over the years. He roars through this album with a tough minded bellow of a voice more like James Hetfield than Chris Cornell and it carries an album that doesn’t need carrying, one knock out punch after another for nearly an hour straight -ALBUM OF THE WEEK – B+

Lovers Rock – Estelle – Lovers Rock is to non-denominational reggae,  sweet and spritely, and Estelle (of “American Girl” fame) is a master practitioner. It could be a little more tuneful, and there isn’t that one song to reignite a genre, but it is worthy for fans and for new arrivals – B

Nina Cried Power – EP – Hozier – The “Take Me To The Church” guy, is soul Americana with first rate pipes, so strong that he dares to  invits Mavis Stapes along for one song. Still, if you are only releasing four songs they should certainly be better than this four – C+

Magick Songs – JEFF The Brotherhood – I saw these guys live once, opening for Wavves, I thought my head was going to explode. That was then, these are instrumental psychedelic mood compositions – C+

Side B ep – Jillian Jacqueline – Country singer continues to break through, “Sad Girls” is the fan fave, but lead off “Priorities” is money – B

QUARTERTHING – Joey Purp – Brooklynvegan’s Andrew Sacher is tops on rap, I always learn from him. He pointed out Chance friend Joey Purp is onto something in a fine review (here), the Gospel stuff is awesome, the rest less so – B

Mothe – Kilo Kish – Arty rather than eclectic or experimental, this is moody but sturdy songs about her life in transition (to LA, somewhere between a moth and a butterfly), the songs are a fine collection of eh without weakening the songs too much – B

Dove EP – Lala Lala – Singer songwriter major downer, “Destroyer” is ace – B-

Look Up Child – Lauren Daigle – Middle of the Road popster for middle-aged Celine fans who find Celine too overblown, this is overdone too, but the singing is restrained – C+

Raise Vibration – Lenny Kravitz – I steeled myself and listened to the sucker from one end to the other, even the Santana redux “Who Really Are The Monsters?”. I admit that I couldn’t quite get through “Johnny Cash” – MUST TO AVOID – D

Something to Feel – Mac Ayres – Blue eyed soul with a smooth jazz feel – C+

Kingdoms In Colour – Maribou State – UK duo sophomore album is electronic world sounds that never fail to captivate as it samples and shades sounds to an intense and mellow medium – B

Lady Lady – Masago – Masago sites Cab Calloway as influence? If he says so, this is chill r&b – B-

This Is Morrissey – Morrissey-  The  July compilation budget album reaches streaming services, not at all bad either: “Morrissey is never one to do things the accustomed way, instead throughout his career he’s carved a niche in the musical landscape which only he can occupy. And his decision to curate a brand new compilation at very short notice ahead of his tour dates, with new liner notes and a few surprises in the tracklisting, shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. So here it is, This Is Morrissey. A collection of studio classics, live tracks and the alternative Mael mix of the ever-popular ‘Suedehead’, all chosen by the man himself. He explains all on this brand new interview for, with this neat little summary of the tracks he’s chosen:“The album is so full of life, and worthy questions, and great choruses, and quite playful.” – B+

Egypt Station – Paul McCartney – I was just listening to New (his album before this) and it was definitely better than I remembered, so maybe the same will become true of this. But show me an album with a piece of slop as terrible as “People Want Peace” and I will show you Driving Rain. And despite one good song and two fair ones, this isn’t worth defending – C+

In the Blue Light – Paul Simon – So delicate and tasteful all you want to do is stomp all over these re-recordings of not great songs to start with – C

Art of Being a Girl – Rebecca & Fiona – At its best, this is top notch modern EDM anchored by two women DJs, which is rare enough to be worth noting. At its worse, it is no worse than anyone else – B

Broadway – Renée Fleming, BBC Concert Orchestra, Rob Fisher – “Children Will Listen”? Again? A lot of this is obvious, but not all of it. The Adam Guettel song is welcome, as is the one from “Nine,” and all of it is sung so well that yes, folks, there is life after opera – B+

Lost in My Mind – RÜFÜS DU SOL – A taster for album number three, it is like have an army of squirrels scarpering on your wig – C-

ZOO – Russ – Not only “The Flute Song” but also “Outlaw” nags like hell, it is somewhere around really irritating and really really irritating, but even so white boy Russ is coming up big time three years after his breakthrough. I don’t hate it and I know many 20somethings who adore it (his set at Governors Ball was mobbed) – B-

Dying Star – Ruston Kelly – If you can get past the hype, Ruston  has his moments. “Son Of a Highway Daughter” is ace. But if you were disappointed by Jason Isbell’s last two albums, why will you buy into this hype? – B-

Through a Wall – Single Mothers – Punkcore? Loud, brash, Drew Thomson’s scream sing speak vocals,  fast hard punk much like life, brutish and short. Works every time – B

Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune – Swamp Dogg – Swamp Dogg goes electronic, and it hurts more than it helps, but when you’ve been recording since the 1950s I guess you have to keep yourself amused some way or the other… this is one of his weaker efforts, not the songs, but the electronic stuff is a buzz kill – C

And Nothing Hurt – Spiritualized – “A Perfect Miracle” sounds so much like “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are  Floating In Space” that Jason Pierce should sue himself for plagiarism. Still, if this is all Jason can do, he still does it better than anyone – B

I Want To Die In New Orleans – $uicideBoy$ – They call it horrorcore, and these two white kids from black hoods look scary enough as they mix rap, rock and spoken word, to make you wonder – B

DANCEHALL – The Blaze – EDM producers from France with a haunting electronic mood piece – B-

Sierra Burgess is a Loser (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Various Artists – The movie was a huge disappointment, the music is a little better and Allie X saves “Sunflower” from the pathos ridden version in the YA Net flicks – C

Great Thunder EP – Waxahatchee – I met Katie Crutchfield once and made about as strong an impression on her as this folk singer songwriter EP has made on me – C+

Safe In The Hands of Love – Yves Tumor – Ambient sounds and solid beats, if you like Flying Lotus youll love this – B-

RINGOS DESERT – ZHU – Experimental ambient electronica meets Sergio Leone – B-


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