The Early Bird: Top New Releases 11-8-19 – 11-14-19 Reviewed
Right at the top. three strong new albums. Luke Combs released The Prequel EP earlier this year, and dropped songs as insanely great as “Beer Didn’t Break My Heart,” and now we have the entire, one hour, 17 song What You See Is What You Get, no great themes, no meme to change your life, nothing to start a new country movement, just one outstanding track after another ghosting any chance of a sophomore slump the man is a modern day George Strait (Grade: A). After the first single, “Cellophane,” was followed up by two less genius tracks, the fear was the always artistically valid and sometimes impenetrable FKA Twigs had gone too far with songs of romantic abeyance, but she hasn’t. In context everything improves on Magdalena (as in Mary…), an electronic music of intensity that draws you in and out; incidentally: it will slaughter you live (Grade: A). SebastiAn is a producer celebrated for soundscapes and tech pop, on his first album since 2011, Thirst, he is joined by the likes of Charlotte Gainsbourg, Syd, and… Sparks! All three of those songs are terrific (especially Sparks) and the entire album is a superbly crafted series of visionary pop weirdness (Grade: A).
In case you think we are getting complacent in out reviews, Taylor Hawkins (the Foo Fighters drummer) and his side hustle The Coattail Riders, has released the plodding, classic rock meets metal tempo switching disaster Get The Money (Grade: D). Though it is no worse than the Foo Fighters new EP, the unspeakable 01050525 (Grade: D).
Over at singles, the first release by Beach Slang that features Tommy Stinson on bass, “Tommy In The ’80s” is not an ode to Stinson, but the late great Tommy Keene, and it is the most Replacement sounding song yet by one of the few bands who can be mentioned in the same breath (Grade: A-). Rosalia continues her Latino pop takeover with her third great song of the year, “A Pale,” which changes direction in the first minute and becomes an EDM beat manifesto (Grade: A-). Ozzy Osbourne returns to the cemetery for an anemic exercise in horror mongering “Under The Graveyard”, is it worth mentioning that it won’t cause anyone to kill themselves (Grade: C+)? An anthem so terrible you will be asking for the return of “Let It Go,” “Into The Unknown” is a brutal overwrought mix of the worst of Disney musicals with the worst of post-superstardom Brendon Urie (Grade: D). Jonas Brothers has us throwing up in our mouths with “Like It’s Christmas” (Grade: C-). Da Baby mining the exact same rap flow and spittle vicious on “Woah” on a definitive chart move (Grade: B), Pink Sweat is a talented singer songwriter though I hadn’t noticed “Honesty” till he added Jessie Reyez to the song (Grade: B+)
Tommy In The 80s – Beach Slang – A-
Woah – Da Baby – B
Magdalena – FKA Twigs – A
01050525 – Foo Fighters – D
Like It’s Christmas – Jonas Brothers – C-
What You See Is What You Get – Luke Combs – A
Under The Graveyard – Ozzy Osbourne – C+
Into the Unknown – From “Frozen 2” – Panic! At The Disco – D
Honesty – Remix – Pink Sweat$, Jessie Reyez – B+
“A Pale” – Rosalia – A-
Thirst – SebastiAn – A
Get The Money – Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders – D