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Be Hear Now: New Albums Reviewed 7-15-16 – 7-21-16



Lifespan of a Moth – 16 – Sludge metal by 90s vets, a little faster than form allows for – B-

Apache – Aaron Neville – Just in time for his 50th Anniversary, Aaron lets the dogs out on this funk work out. The voice is excellent, the songs not so much – B

Danceaholic – Benny Benassi – Seven oldies, nine newbies, from the Italian House master who moved from the mid-80s to today, and every fashion statement in between has been entirely his own. This might not be great but it is consistent, and it follows no EDM trends whatsoever – B

Vulnerica Live – Bjork – I saw her twice on the 2015 tour and loved every second, this live version of the 2014 masterpiece recorded during the tour, plus makes-sense versions of classics like “Wanderlust”, don’t add much unless you’re a fan…. and I’m a fan – B+

Animal Jive – Black Market Karma – Modern day psychedelia with an astounding ear for melody on neo-classicist “Shaking Sad” and a coupla others, even the instrumental that kicks it off – B+

Union Of Flesh And Machine – Blood Red Throne – Norwegian black metal which hates human feasting on the flesh of human carcasses – C

3 Song Demos – Brand New – Brooklynvegan had a good line on these guys: “the Radiohead of emo”… so if you like demos, Emo, Radiohead, or Brand New, be my guest – C+

Choreography – Bright Lights Bright Lights – Like the Scissor Sisters without the originality (Jake Shears is on one track) or Elton John (on a number of others) in mid-80s disco mode, without the genius – C+

32 Level – Clams Casino – Haunting, ambient tracks with raps on top, and inside, on this debut by the popular, difficult producer – B

Sacred Ground – Dare – Darren Wharton is the former Thin Lizzy keyboard player, and he fronts this dreadful classic rock band – C-

Fighter – David Nail – Mainstream country guy, pretty good, Vince Gill is on one song, and the lead off track is killer – B

Disasterpiece – Flowdan – The Caribbean rapper was part of Wiley’s Roll Deep crew who helped invent Grime. As a soloist, he has a dubbier sound than we’re used to on the hard UK rap style, and a dark hued nightmareish cleverness – B+

Touch – GL – New Zealand synth duo, “Number One” is a keeper but it tails off to 80s disco shrugs – C+

Youth Movement – Good Charlotte – Pop punk always the bridesmaid, exist so people can mention Green Day and 5 Seconds Of Summer in the same sentence without looking like dicks. This is so exactly what you think it is, two voices, dropping in, dropping out, half formed melodies and sometimes exciting punk pop anthems, which if they’ve actually grown up at all must be lyrically – C

You Got Me Singing – Jack Palmer and Amanda Palmer – Father daughter tandem, sorry Americana with occasional bright lights, the Sinead O’Connor cover is aces, and the gravelly voiced father has character… unfortunately, it is an annoying character – C

Loud Hailer – Jeff Beck – This is the modern world, and 72 year old Jeff and rhythm guitarist Carmen Vandenberg and singer Rosie Bones, sound very produced yet murky here. The guitar has it moments, but the songs are terrible, “O.I.L. (Can’t Get Enough Of That Sticky)” is so bad, you can’t hit next fast enough. The title refers to the Hyde Park Speakers Corner level of political discourse – C-

Cistern – Jherek Bishoff – as in the chapel no doubt, a Amanda Palmer cohort offers instrumental dreamscapes for nodding off in the Church mid sermon – C+

Smile – Cane Hill – Metalcore unit, nice two man attack – C+

Debbie – Lil Debbie -Former member of The White Girl Mob, raps circles round teammate Kreayshawn, on this pop side of angry women rap, more involved in sex and skills, and ego – B

Dirty Heads – Dirty Heads – “That’s All I Need” is so catchy, it could be a “Rude” by other means, the rest is sub-Sublime, though no worse than Rome with Sublime – C+

No Hard Feelings – Dreezy – Chicago rapper signed to Interscope, she is a spectacular with so much energy the album is an explosion that wipes everybody out on her Gucci Mane featured “We Gon Ride”, and adds another word to the hip hop lexicon with “Spazz” before settling into more songs about love found and lost and bad assness in general, especially on “Bad Bitch”. What she lacks in originality, she more than makes up for in lyricism and temper. Hang around for the T Pain track- B+

Friday Night With Gary Wilson – Gary Wilson – One of the greats,his jazz meets disco mash up of romantic malaise is well beyond welcome. Five years after the superb Electric Endicott, this feels like the real follow up, a spectacular collection of off center disco tracks – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Pilgrimages Of Loathing – Make – Five tracks of hardcore metal sink sludge and a pretty instrumental in the middle – C

Love And Hate – Michael Kiwanuka – Folk goes prog rock, the long one that opens it sound like David Gilmour and the long one in the middle sounds like a jam band who forgot how to jam but managed to ht a groove anyway, and the rest fit in the middle somewhere. “Black Man In A White World” sucks – B

Precious Systems – MJ Glider – Sleepy dreamscape and not much else – C+

HARDLOVE – NEEDTOBREATHE – The best mainstream rock album of 2016 is by a Christian band, with all that implies and a few things it doesn’t. Musically, the set is anchored by “Happiness” -a great rocker and a statement about ways to pursue the inner joy, and it is so good it helps past the rough spots, of which there aren’t many. Hell, even the secularists aren’t the only ones who want to fuck Americana “Great Night” gets there in the end, and the one two punch “Happiness” into “When I Sing” mid set highlight, is just about perfection – B+

Oddments Of The Gamble – nankeen – Very beautiful ambient instrumentals from Germany, and while a little goes a long way, “Diving Platform” works as composition pure and simple – C+

Rare – PJ – This is the new paradigm, you can see it in country all the time, and here it is in hip: a songwriter steps out of the shadows. PJ moves through pop genres with ease and every song is a very good exercise in pop, rap, EDM -you name. If PJ lacks character, she more than makes up with it in song quality – B+

Fallen – Steven Julien – UK House producer manages to sound more jazz than dance on this instrumental album for fans of the form only – C+

We’re All Somebody From Somewhere – Steven Tyler – This is not a collection of good songs, but it holds together as a good album, if it is what you want. Tyler presents a Protestant work ethic set of AOR mediocrity, over sung but sincere to the point of nausea, some is the country pop as promised, some proto-Aerosmith. I respect the effort but I hope to never hear it again… except for the title track, which is pretty darn good – C+

White Bear – The Temperance Movement – Scottish hard men giving a hard time to bluesy hard rock songs that sounded old before they were born. The slower songs are vastly worse and “I Hope I’m Not Losing My Mind” is unspeakable – C-

Defected In The House Croatia – Various Artists – Defected is a House record label, Croatia became independent of Yugoslavia in 1991, and is a constitutional republic with a Mediterranean clime and a House Festival at The Garden Tisno this AUgust. Dubbed Five Days Of House hedonism, here is what to expect, house without the drop the bass – B
Ghostbusters (Original SOundtrack Album – Various Artists – Not unlike the movie, B level all the way, Elle King, Fall Out Boy, Walk The Moon, trying out Ray Parker moves – C+

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