Be Here Now: New Releases 11-13-20 – 11-19-20

Written by | November 19, 2020 4:30 am | No Comments


The Night Before The Morning After – 11:11 – Toronto based singer exists to make PARTYNEXT DOOR sound like LMFAO – a low key set of  romance and sex songs – C+

So Help Me God! – 2 Chainz –  everybody loves 2 Chainz, he can spit out some of the most egotistical raps known to man and make em stick, here he struts long and hard as the 43 year old superstar gets like minded superstars like Lil Uzi Vert, and unsimilar superduper stars like Kanye, who add to a really fun album – B+

POWER UP – AC/DC – Brian Johnson still has tinnitus so even if they were touring he would be risking his hearing entirely even with earplugs and could they get Axl back? (my review of GUNSNAC here), he isn’t Vince Gill…  so this album of fresh rockers called a response to the death of Malcolm Young, what it plays as is a formula perfectly returned to. If you love the Aussie hard rockers, you’ll love it – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Believe (Deluxe) – Andrea Bocelli – the great Cecilia Bartoli adds her voice (she is a mezzo-soprano) to a couple of tracks from the sort of big time middlebrow artiness typified by opening this dog with “You’ll Never Walk Alone” – MUST TO AVOID – C-

Hey u x – BENEE – from New Zealand, an odd mix of woman singer songwriter and hyperpop electronica, try the Grimes featured “Sheesh” – B

F*ck Everybody 3 – Blac Youngsta – everybody here can rap, and Blac Youngsta has a flow that integrates well, but nothing here is special and the features while sometimes interesting are mostly bland – C+

Starting Over – Chris Stapleton – There are two things you really shouldn’t do: 1) oversing and 2) get tangled up in hype, and Stapleton managed both, add a live show where he lead by his beard (here) and  I was ready to dismiss a new album, but the title song was a sweet and mellow surprise and listening to the album I was pleasantly surprised that Chris had calmed himself down. Better at Americana country than roots, this isn’t a giant leap forward album, nor a back tracking, it is the work of a 44 year old superstar who figured out how to do it – B+

Puro Teatro (Deluxe) – Daniela Spalla – The Argentinian popstar has a set of intricate and pretty Latin Pop big in South America and here is a constantly low key pleasure – B

MOVIE – DaniLeigh – Prince mentored her when she was 18, and she has maintained a respectable career in neo-r&b with top featured Gunna, Fivio Foreign and daBaby right in the middle, it is  obvious modern r&b without an outstanding track – C+

Dutch From The 5th – dutchavelli – catch Stefflon Don’s brother before robbery charges and street legal argy-bargies comes back to haunt the London drill rapper on maybe the best rap album of the week : a street level set of haunting sounds and dangerous raps with the backstory to make it real – A-

Jewel Box – Elton John – useful, all songs you have no interest on in one place including rarities from the first six years and stuff that aren’t rarities but certainly should be. The hit miss ratio on this nearly nine hour behemoth have been depressingly, at least in the two hours before I gave up listening – D+

In The Darkest of Nights, Let the Birds Sing – Foster The People – a three song EP which should make me feel good and doesn’t – C

Pluto x Baby Pluto – Future, Lil Uzi Vert – Future seems to have peaked, there is a place where your cold drawl is just Nyquil, Lil Uzi Vert is a new pop guy and has been for years (the time I saw him on stage the audience lost their collective shit), they trade lines and songs and it is a consistently fun effort, though not the sort of flat out genius we are used to – B+

Weekend in London (Live) – George Benson – , a Lionel Richie without as many hits at first glance, this live one from 2019 finds the  76 year old in amazing form, “Give Me The Night,” “Turn Your Love Around,” are both here, as well as a sparkling “Never Give Up On A Good Thing,” jazz jam “Affirmation” and they all sound better than ever – A-

Boots No. 2: The Lost Songs, Vol. 3 – Gillian Welch – when I first saw that we had a volume three from the luminous Welch’s backpages, I thought alright, woman, we got the point. But I have a lousy habit of underestimating Welch (a review from 2017 gets a dumbfounded A Grade here), and it is, of course,  a gorgeous folk Americana of the first order – A-

Girl Eats Sun – Hope Tala – until Amine joins on a song, it feels if the UK’s update of bossa nova was perhaps not quite right for the times, but she settles down and offers an excellent collection of Jobim aware clear mood dance – B+

love + everything else – John K – blue eyed soul via Florida, with a soft and cool charm but not many good songs – C+

Johnny Cash and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Johnny Cash, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – all of those Royal Philharmonic bring out your dead albums are atrocious and this is worse, lachrymose, meaningless, horrors one after another – MUST TO AVOID – F

The Highway Kind – Josh Abbott Band – “These songs were brought to life and curated to reflect where my life is now: happy, fulfilled, blessed. From love songs to songs about friendship, from ballads to bangers, this album has it all.” Yup, and they are all singer songwriter country crafted boring – C

Kameron Marlowe – EP – Kameron Marlowe -most of the time new country guys leave me cold, it is a long wait  between Luke Combs, but Kameron could well be around that level in a year, his debut EP is just about perfect dor what it is, even his drinking song doesn’t stink – A-

Live at the Hollywood Palladium – Keith Richards, X-Pensive Winos – an old school, hard rocking, borderline Stones without the blues and without a lead singer, re-released for its 20th anniversary with three additional tracks – B+

30 Aniversario – La Adictiva Banda San José de Mesillas – La Adictiva are a Sony signed  regional Mexican band who excel at bolero but adept at the whole form with nary a whiff of Urbano – B+

Libra – Lali – The Brazilian singer adds urban Latino in huge measure, and is the better for it on her fourth album, Cazzi makes an appearance on must hear “Ladron” – B-

Seed of Joy – Marc Scibilia – this must be helpful for the Buffalo singer songwriter, his dad died and his  child was born, always good seeds of something or other for a pro, and he takes advantage with a coupla songs that will catch your ear, including one that references JFK Jr -a name we don’t hear anymore – C+

Young Dumb Thrills – McFly – always a boy band never a bride, ten years after their last album of original material they return with an addictive alt pop winner for the return of the 30 somethings were boy now menband. With a clear ear for catchy rock poppers and including a pop punker of some distinction: Mark Hoppus – B

wilted – Paris Jackson – Michael’s daughter has a pretty voice on these wispy, not at all unpleasant collection of singer songwriter confessionals – B

Afrodisíaco – Rauw Alejandro – features aplenty for the easy going Puerto Rican with  Anuel AA, J Balvin, and Trippie Redd among others, trap pop and pretty ace – B

Black On Purpose – Salaam Remi – Black Thought, Common, Busta Rhymes, Nas, Chronixx, Stephen Marley, Bilal, CeeLo Green and more join the 80s star on a protest album that sounds like Public Enemy if Flava was leading and everybody else was taking up the rear – B+

Every Road – Shenandoah – the country rock band fill up the album with top rated featured artist, some of whom you will love (Brad Paisley, anyone), and some you won’t (the Zac Brown Band, though the song is a goodie) who do quite well – B

F*CK LOVE (SAVAGE) – The Kid LAROI – The Juice WRLD protegee from Australia sounds like emorap without the rap and the kid is only seventeen, and he has talent as well – B-

Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987 – Various Artists – following REM’s breakthrough (though they sound more like the db”s as a rule of thumb, there was an indie pop explosion that didn’t hit the mainstream, and song for song, on this compilation, you’ll be quickly impressed and bummed out that it didn’t: Byrds guitar, Scotting pop veneer, and strong tunes and strong playing -the scene that wasn’t, what a shame. It’s all terrific but if you wanna put a toe in try The Cyclops  – A-

Love Absolute – Vivian Green – the soulful, love invested Green with hip hop production values and 808s, on a pleasant collection of minor gems – B




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