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Be Here Early: Choice Album Releases Reviewed 9-16-16 – 9-22-16

fingers-crossed

My Piece Of Land – Amanda Shires – It takes a lot to be a first family of country, Johnny and June did it, George and Tammy… but, yeah, it is tough. Maybe two yers ago Jason and Amanda seemed to be closing in, but the last Jason album wasn’t good enough, and this album is hurt by Amanda’s characterless singing, and pleasantly indifferent songs. Woman does not live by slide guitar alone… and definitely not by violin,. She is waiting for that one song and “Slipping Away” isn’t that. – C+

We’re Al Gonna Die – Dawes – All guest appearances notwithstanding, this is yet another Dawes album with one killer song, “One Of Us”, no “All Your Favorite Bands” but good enough, and a whole lotta crappola. Jackson Browne must be turning over in his grave (yeah I know, but why ruin a good one liner) – C+

Fingers Crossed – Ian Hunter And The Rant Band – Hunter has been on a tear since 2009’s  Man Overboard and while his main subject today is Ian Hunter road warrior, it is a good subject and this is his third slice of classic rock UK style in a row. I guess Ian can just write em right,  right now – B+

Braver Than We Are – Meatloaf – You can’t go home again and this rematch with Jim Steinman doesn’t come within a million miles. Even Ellen Foley can’t save this Kurt Weil goes to hell disaster. Though, it is so bad it is a camp classic of sorts, try “Going All The Way Is Just The Start” -giving new meaning to none out of three ain’t bad – D+

Hard II Love – Usher – This is a not a return to R&B heaven, it isn’t Confessions, and it certainly isn’t My Way. There was a time when Usher jumped through hip hop tropes to tangle with a Michael Jackson elegance, and now his smoothness gets overwhelmed by them: he plays with rap stalwarts and uses hip hop production to find a middle ground that please no one. This was meant to be a return to form and it isn’t. What a turkey – C

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