The Early Bird: Top New Releases Reviewed 8-3-18 – 8-9-18

Written by | August 3, 2018 10:13 am | No Comments


A busy week though  no Nicki Minaj, I was under the impression it was dropping today. Well, new albums by Travis Scott, Mac Miller, and YG should make up for it. I am not crazy about Scott, I’ve seen him live a couple of times and he has always been terrible, but the Texan has a major release with Astroworld, a dark trap album featuring the likes of   Frank Ocean, Drake , 21 Savage, Juice WRLD, and Tame Impala produced a song and Stevie Wonder on harp, and more. It is a dark and lovely thing, way too long at nearly an hour, but consistently inviting (Grade: A-). The new YG, Stay Dangerous, is pretty good as well, straight outta Compton, it is a strong set of songs without the ambient darkness of trap (Grade: B+), Mac Miller’s break-up album (from Ariana Grande) swimming is a sad affair that chases its tale in heartache, “I pay the cost to see apostrophes” he claims on the J. Cole produced “Hurt Feelings,” and proves it (Grade: B+)

But the top release of the week isn’t Travis, it is Robyn. She has been missing for an astounding eight years, and her first single “Missing U” is all shimmering synth lines, backing 808s, and a glorious melody. It won’t change the music scene, but it instantly puts her back at the top of the electronic sound she invented, singer songwriter confessional as EDM pop (Grade: A). Ella Mai has what is perhaps the most important song of her career dropped, “Trip,” the follow up to “Booe’d Up”, and it is sweet and warm r&b -exactly what we hoped for (Grade: B+). Nemeh Cherry is back with a crafty mood track “Kong”. As for Culture Club, this isn’t off  that great album that has been booted and never released, but “Let Somebody In” is a quite pleasant piece of ska pop (Grade: B+), “Beautiful” is the hot indeed rapper-singer Bazzi and this song features Camila Cabello and it is really easy flow and pretty (Grade: B).

Finally, H.E.R. has been in my sight since her terrific set at the Chris Brown concert and her first post breakthrough is an excellent six song EP. Song for song, there isn’t an average one and “Lost Souls” is one of the best songs of the year as it channels Lauryn Hill to great effect (Grade: A)


Beautiful – Bazzi featuring Camila Cabello

Let Somebody Love You – Culture Club

Trip – Ella Mae – B+

I Used To Know Here: The Prelude – H.E.R. – A

swimming – Mac Miller – B+

Kong – Nemeh Cherry – B+

Missing U – Robyn – A

Astroworld – Travis Scott – A-

Stay Dangerous – YG – B+



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