The Early Bird: Top New Releases 10-19-18 – 10-25-18

Written by | October 19, 2018 11:17 am | No Comments

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Future and Juice WRLD’s terrific new album, WRLD On Drugs, is pro drugs of course, but only to the point where Gunna joins them for the serious warning “Ain’t Living Right,” a highlight, Future and Lil Wayne’s “Oxy” checks into the Percocet (a drug Future has written about in the past) in an ode to passing out. This is Future’s best work since that album with Drake, and Juice WRLD steps up big time; given the current opioid epidemic telling the truth about drugs and their allure is much worthier than just saying no  (Grade: B+). Being Human In Public is the new Jessie Reyez EP and it is, of course, great, but of the seven songs only “Saint Nobody” is new, we have even heard the remix before. Jessie is taking her time but it is time to step up her game (Grade: B+). The new Khalid is a superior r&b seven song EP with highlight the Empress Of featured title track Suncity (Grade: B+).

The great white rock and roll hope Greta Van Fleet are not Led Zeppelin, though, then again, neither is Led Zeppelin. Sure, the lead singer is channeling Robert Plant but, you know, whatever works. And as a band, they have a true seventies overload crunch and swagger and the Current Anthem Of The Peaceful Army, while pretentious as you can get, is a leap forward from their debut album (Grade: B)

Two new live albums are worth checking out, R.E.M’s At The BBC is a box set that includes an entire John Peel Session from 1998, a pair of 2003 appearances on Drivetime and Mark and Lard, and the band’s 2008 Radio 1 Live Lounge performance. R.E.M. were never much of a live band but this is OK if you’re a fan (Grade: B). Live From The Ryman is Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit’s first live album since 2012 and while, predictably, the material isn’t as good as 2012, it is more than good enough. I caught the tour and thoroughly enjoyed it and any album that closes with “Super 8” followed by “If We Were Vampires” has to be worth your while (Grade: B+).

If you are a Dua Lipa fan (I can take her or leave her) the eponymous complete edition of her debut album works as a greatest hits plus three new songs (Grade: B-). Herp Albert’s Music Volume 3 finds him re-imagining his Tijuana Brass Band hits, pointless but painless (Grade: B-). Major Lazer Essentials is 90 minutes of hits, and “Cold Water” has never sounded better (Grade: B). The upcoming movie bio Bohemian Rhapsody looks great, and the original soundtrack has all the hits from the pomp rockers Queen (Grade: B+)

Over at singles, strange as it may sound, Action Bronson falls in love on “Prince Charming,” (Grade: B+). I can’t believe it took me till the second album to warm up to Post Malone, “Sunflower” off that upcoming Spiderman animated feature is terrific modern pop, with Swae Lee, impressive opening for Childish Gambino with his brother earlier this year, sounds very sweet here (Grade: B+). Sarah Brightman’s “Hymn” is overblown pomp MOR so, yeah, who doesn’t love it? (Grade: B+). I’m not complaining about an O’Jay single, not close, but “Above The Law” is generic old school r&B (Grade: B-). I loved “Revelation” when Troye Sivan performed it live for the first time  at Radio City Music Hall last week, and prefer it here, a gorgeous and well felt ballad about, to paraphrase Troye, discovering that the world doesn’t come crashing down when you make love with a member of the same sex for the first time (Grade: B+). One more? If I liked Kane Brown’s voice more he would be bigtime for me, “Good As You” is a sweet country ballad, old fashioned and still wonderful (Grade: B+)

 

Prince Charming – Action Bronson – B

Dua Lipa (Complete Edition) – Dua Lipa – B-

Future & Juice WRLD Present… WRLD ON DRUGS – Future & Juice WRLD – B+

Anthem Of The Peaceful Army – Greta Van Fleet – B

Music volume 3: Herb Alpert Reimagines The Tijuana Brass – Herb Alpert – B-

Live From Ryman – Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit – B+

Being Human In Public – Jessie Reyez – B+

Good As You – Kane Brown – B+

Suncity – Khalid – B+

Major Lazer Essentials – Major Lazer – B

bohemian Rhapsody (The Original Soundtrack) – Queen – B+

Hymn – Sarah Brightman – B+

Above The Law – The O’Jays – B-

Revelation – Troye Sivan – B+

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