The Early Bird: Top New Recordings 9-28-18 – 10-5-18 Reviewed

Written by | September 28, 2018 9:43 am | No Comments


With seven years between  Tha Carter IV and Tha Carter V, and only the (admittedly excellent) Dedication mixtapes to keep us going, Lil Wayne’s V has a lot to do, and it does a lot, from ballads like “Dark Side Of The Moon” featuring Nicki Minaj, to the great pretender to Weezy’s 00s throne, Kendrick Lamar, featured “Mona Lisa”  true  rap tour de force. Nearly 90 minutes in length so way too long but still an impressive return (Grade: A-).

I’m a contrarian by nature and tastefulness is as deadly to popular music as sincerity (it should come from the audience not the artist), so the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper first release from “A Star Is Born,” “Shallow,” is well overblown and a bore (Grade: C+). Barbra Streisand can sing, sure, and still, but “Don’t Lie To Me” is both Middle Of The Road, and lachrymose (Grade: C).  “That’s Life – Live At Dallas Memorial Auditorium / 1968 ” by  James Brown is the best version I have ever heard, full blown prime Brown that gives not an inch to the evergreen , apparently it is part of an upcoming live album (Grade: A). Sent to prison after a picture of  Kodak Black with friends, weed, a gun, and his child was posted on Instagram, he was released in August and first release “If I’m Lyin, I’m Flyin,”  is a disappointing the story so far (Grade: C+). ILoveMakonnen was close friends with Lil Peep and “Sunlight On Your Skin” is ILM’s second and less compelling Peep release, a major bummer ballad (Grade: C+). Four terrific singles in a row, the UK’s Olly Murs and Snoop Dogg’s “Moves” is catchy as fuck (Grade: B+), Pistol Annie’s eagerly awaited return “Interstellar Gospel” is a swinging ode to the big J (Grade: B+). “Circles”  is another great rocker by my token Christcore band P.O.D. (Grade: B+). Robyn’s second release off the upcoming albu, “Honey,”  is the song that closed out an episode of “Girls” 18 months ago and never heard of again, -well here it is, a house beat and that voice and tude (Grade: A-).

The posthumous Tom Petty box set  An American Treasure  is 63 songs, four hours plus,  of unreleased material,  obviously compiled by folks who loved him ands just as obviously holding a whole lotta stuff back (Grade: B+).  Look, if they wanna give the deluxe treatment to another Beatles album, surely Revolver is the holy grail, not The White Album. Having said that, the acoustic demo version (“Esther Demo”) of “Back In The USSR” is a joy even if the r2018 mix and instrumental version aren’t (Grade: A). Loretta Lynn’s Wouldn’t It Be Great is her second great album in as many years, if closing time is coming for Loretta, she is going out as well as humanly possible (Grade: A-)


Don’t Lie To Me – Barbra Streisand – C

That’s Life – Live At Dallas Memorial Auditorium / 1968 – James Brown – A

If I’m Lyin, I’m Flyin – Kodak Black – C+

Shallow – Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper – C+

Sunlight On Your Skin – Lil Peep, ILoveMakonnen – C+

Tha Carter V – Lil Wayne – A-

Wouldn’t It Be Great – Loretta Lynn – A-

Moves – Olly Murs and Snoop Dogg – B+

Interstellar Gospel – Pistol Annies – B+

Circles – P.O.D. – B+

Honey – Robyn – A-

Back In The USSR – The Beatles – A

An American Treasure – Tom Petty – B+


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