The Early Bird: Top New Recordings 12-25-20 – 12-31-20 Reviewed
Bay City bombers Too $hort and the great E-40 just did a Verzuz (the only one I’ve seen is the one with Jeezy Gucci Mane, who was excellent and in a foul mood, but I may have to stream this one as well) , join together for Ain’t Gone Do It / Terms and Conditions – putting both of their last albums in a 20 song extravaganza, if you missed the initial release go straight to E-40’s “Mob “(Grade: A-). The other big album is Playboy Carti’s wildly addictive (reviewed earlier here), as catchy as humanly possible on Whole Lotta Red (Grade: A-). On one of the quietest Friday’s of the year, two fine rapper albums will happen a lot to get us through the day.
SZA, who has had a quiet 2020 as well, returns with one of her best songs since “Drew Barrymore” -the sound of neo-R&B, a wonderful electronic construction with SZA sounding like molasses on the perfect lost love song “Good Day” as she tries not to think about him. We haven’t seen the SZA behind the fragile emotions since CTRL, with the banger “Hit Different” earlier this year not good enough. “Good Days” is better than good enough, and a thrill for the tentatively titled SZA2, already the biggest album of 2021, the song will be at least in my top ten singles and maybe in my top five (Grade: A).
Another surprise release is Eddie Vedder’s Matter Of Time EP, which finds Eddie over singing his Americana (he sounds a lot like acoustic Bruce Springsteen), “expands on the previously released two-track set and collects a series of acoustic songs and covers performed and recorded throughout 2020” according to Glide (here). Speaking of the boss, the highlight is a cover of “Growing Up” (Grade: B-).
As for singles, I already reviewed Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, and Taylor Swift (here) and before I go, the The Kunts’ excellent and true 77 style punk rock UK style and completely undeniable “Boris Johnson is a Fucking Cunt” should be #1, and the probably and unbearable more nonsense about sausage rolls remake of “Don’t Stop Believing” by LadBaby with Boyzone’s Ronan Keating, is the anti-Kunts. It is hard to express the horror of this feigned humorous piece of rubbish. That the country who brought us The Goons and Monty Python are offering this horrible stuff is an embarrassment (Grade: F).
I know, not as much as usual… but Merry Christmas, anyway.
Flags – Coldplay – B-
Afterglow – Ed Sheeran – C+
Matter of Time – Eddie Vedder – B-
Don’t Stop Me Eatin’ – Duet – LadBaby, Ronan Keating – F
Boris Johnson is a Fucking Cunt – Single Edit – The Kunts – A-
Whole Lotta Red – Playboy Carti – A-
Good Days – SZA – A
Christmas Tree Farm – Recorded Live at the 2019 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball – Taylor Swift – C
Ain’t Gone Do It / Terms and Conditions – Too $hort, E-40 – A-.