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Be Here Early: New Album Releases 1-27-17 – 2-2-17


I’ve been working on how to be thorough and up to date on new album releases for years now, but when you are covering 40 albums a week it is just about impossible. By the end of last year I was putting my reviews of Friday releases on the following Tuesday. In the world of pop that is beyond late. So I think what I will do in the future is publish every Friday morning a mix of the past weeks quitter releases and this weeks hottest releases…

Anything Could Happen – Bash And Pop – A welcome return of Tommy Stinson’s other band, highly addictive indie (old school -so I guess I mean alt) pop and bop rockers with tunes aplenty – B

The Devil Don’t Sleep – Brantley Gilbert – The born again country Bro can write a song when he feels like it, but he can also write country blues by the number which he does here for the most part. Good with a ballad, bad with a rocker, he is a typical country boy  and he isn’t close enough to pull off this overlong (the deluxe version has 26 tracks). “In My Head” and “Rockin’ Chair” are alright, if you insist – C+

Life With Nothing – Cloud Nothings – Cloud Nothings are the Real Estate of rock, lo fi bores who write catchy tunes but not catchy tunes that are catchy enough, and  they can’t present em with anything approaching conviction. Here’s another album of it – C+

Prick Of The Litter – Delbert McClinton – This is pretty average stuff though except for “Middle Of Nowhere” which is a pretty little soul song as opposed to the Americana roots stuff he force feeds us – C+

The Last Text EP – Jacob Sartorius – 3rd generation internet Bieberish sensation writes clever (for a fourteen year old) odes to his teen crushes. Willing to compare the love of his life to a pair of Jordans – B-

Near To The Wild Heart Of Life – Japandroids – If these guys think that I believe they have done another song as  great as 2012’s “The House That Heaven Built”, they are greatly mistaken. This is stadium rock as indie rock, and it has its pleasures, but nowhere near enough – B-

Sweetsexysavage – Kehlani – America’s Got Talent winner does have talent, a spunky personality, waif like beauty, but her voice ain’t that and her bland new r&b kinda sucks – C

He’s Got the Whole This Land Is Your Land In His Hand – Joan Of Arc – Experimental mood rockers about as clever as its song title – C

Road Less Travelled – Lauren Alaina – American Idol business as usual strong woman country tracks… has early Taylor Swift become an influence?  – C+

Culture – Migos – It takes me longer to glom on modern hip hop than on any other genre and so I tend to change my mind a lot. “Bad And Boujee” I missed (I missed Rae Sremmurd’s “Bat Beatles” as well) till it clicked. This is Southern hip hop as pop beat with even patron saint Gucci Mane making an appearance, but it ain’t hitting the sweet spot – C+

Salt – Shy Girls – On the wound, no doubt. This is blue eyed soul now dubbed alt r&b. The first time round it is catchy, deep sadness electronic r&b, but the second time around you might begin to wonder why the songs aren’t, what’s that word again?, catchier – B-

Stitch Of The World – Tift Merritt – Her songs are quite good folk singer songwriter confessionals, and her voice is sweet and sad, and if you put a song or two on a playlist you’ll love her. But over an entire album? You begin to notice stupid crap like “Love Soldiers On” -what else does love to? The watusi? – C+

The Trigger Complex – T.S.O.L. – The early LA punks 11th album is as good as punk gets: hard, sweet, smart rocker after another and really, what else do you need? -ALBUM OF THE WEEK – B

a girl a bottle a boat – Train – It’s not Train are terrible, not quite, their Hoagy Carmichael rewrite is quite catchy, but they are shallow and silly, given to albums worth of Led Zep covers, and their own songs are not good. And Pat Monahan can’t add gravity to anything he sings at all. Soul music for withered white 30 somethings who can’t figure out what’s going on – C


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