The Early Bird: The Top New Recordings Released 4-2-21 – 4-9-21 Reviewed
I reviewed Demi Lovato’s popart memoir of the past two years, Dancing With The Devil…The Art Of Starting Over (here) which will be hopefully cool all summer (Grade: B), so here is another Disney star, Olivia Rodriguez with her follow-up to the huge “Driver’s License” and in one of the most unenviable positions on earth: the follow-up. Though Rodriguez is (at 18!) already a Disney Princess so isn’t quite as dramatic a must as it might be. It doesn’t matter, “Deja Vu” is an excellent song, with the co-writer of “Driver’s License” Dan Nigro as producer, the gorgeous little pop ballad is the break-up continues with a great lyric hit near the top “Strawberry ice cream, one spoon for two” which repeats as “Strawberry ice cream in Malibu” on the bridge. well sung, well presented, catchy and fun, and a little sad, with a Billy Joel reference for Grandma (Grade: A-).
Speaking of great singles, I lost interest in Alan Jackson circa his bluegrass tribute days in 2013 after a boring Carnegie Hall gig (here), but his ode to country past “Where Have You Gone” is perfect old fashioned country melancholia (Grade: A-), after the first rate “Buzzcut,” “COUNT ON ME” is a by the numbers Brockhampton’s ode to friends like… A$AP Rocky and Shawn Mendes (Grade: B), I can lose interest in Big Thief over an album but never on a single and “Off You” their Americana sounds more like folk rock (Grade: B+), Garbage are up to nothing here, using an Abba steal hook and Junior High politics and f bombs, “The Men who Ruled The World,” Shirley and Butch’s tuneless crap should be shot at dawn (Grade: C-), always a pleasure to hear from pop-punkers Wavves, and the guitar lick on “Sinking Feeling” might have come from Hank Marvin (Grade: B+). K-Pop big boys BTS with a song from an upcoming Japanese movie “BTS” is a full own power ballad and not bad (Grade: B-).
Over at albums, I always loved indie poppers The Pains OF Being Pure At Heart and am happy to inform you that Kip Berman is back as The Natvral who sound like Pains Of meet Roger McGuinn, “Sun Blisters” might add Garth Hudson to the mix, the songs are great especially the opening track (Grade: A-). The loud, ambient, instrumental Montreal band Godspeed You! Black Emperor return with a powerful, melodic tranceness sound -which is defined as what they do on the fine G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END! (Grade: B). Finally, Lil Tjay plays the Band to Lil Uzi Vert’s Bob Dylan, younger (he is nineteen) and walking the line between rap and r&b with autotune and a gift for exceptionally strong songs (Grade: B).
Where Have You Gone – Alan Jackson – A-
Off You- Big Thief – B+
Film out – BTS – B-
COUNT ON ME – BROCKHAMPTON – B
Dancing With The Devil…The Art of Starting Over (Expanded Edition) – Demi Lovato – B
The Men Who Rule the World – Garbage -C-
G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END! – Godspeed You! Black Emperor – B
Destined 2 Win – Lil Tjay – B
deja vu – Olivia Rodrigo – A-
Tethers – The Natvral – B+
Sinking Feeling – Wavves