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Be Here Early: Choice New Albums Reviewed 10-14-16 – 10-20-17

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Ruminations – Conor Oberst – An unlikeable, slow, acoustic slog, that seems to herald the end of his greatest gift (songwriting, in case you forgot) – C

Walls – Kings Of Leon – Not the disaster the singles predicted, it is still their worst to date: a needy vocalist and a dodgy rhythm section goes with the territory, but the quality control seems to have nodded off. One boring ballad after another, it is as irritating an album as you’ll hear all year. I guess “Conversation Piece” gets the tune right – C-

Yes Lawd – Nxworries – Parenthetically speaking, this has been Anderson Paak’s year, starting with an album, Malibu, in my top five STILL, and ending here, with his beats master Knxwledge collaboration on an album that could well end up in my top twenty. Nineteen neo-R&B meets hip hop soul tracks of unfaltering finesse – A-

Be Here Now (Deluxe Edition) – Oasis – Album number three separated the boys from the men, and me, being a man, thought it was a masterpiece of melodic riff guitar rocking genius and one of the boys greatest moments. And I was right, as this three hour plus, right over the top, extravaganza proves: the live tracks are great, the outtakes are great, the singles are great,. Yeah. the lyrics do suck but I forgive em -ps: the CD box set is pretty terrific as well  – A

Superwoman – Rebecca Ferguson – With so much going against her, a middle of the road poster discovered on the UK X Factor, and with one of Adele’s biggest writers on her farm, proves the doubters wrong. Rebecca is a clear voiced wonder of populist sounds, soulful in a 70s way with songs to burn – B

Northern Lights – Zeds Dead – Did you read Jonah Weiner’s The Chainsmokers interview? You know, rich kid boys who never got out of dude mode, make very good.  Well, that’s the way I always imagined Zed,  but apparently I underestimated him. This would be a pretty good album if only for the Styles P/Jadakiss track, but the Rivers Cuomo-Pusha T ain’t bad either, and while what we are talking about is only smart pop moves, these are still smart pop moves,  and there are more as well – B

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