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Be Here Early: New Album Releases Reviewed 7-28-17 – 8-3-17

Paranormal – Alice Cooper – Apparently rock and roll is a reflex muscle Cooper still has, this is all cannibals and transgendered singalongs by the dirty desperado still going strong.. great fun though I wish there was a “School’s Out” somewhere or the other. Till then the Billy Gibbons duet will have to do  – B+

Good For You – Amine – “Black girls love me ’cause a nigga got some feta and white girls love me like my first name Coachella” That’s  Amine’s awesome “Yellow” and Nelly joins him for the chorus.  Amine has a good line of patter and he has a whole lotta of them on this easygoing rap album -very hooky, very sweet and cool, plus he knows how to use featured rappers, Offset is terrific – B+

A Long Way To Sunday – Anthony Brown And Group Therapy – Gospel goes urban contemporary on this little thriller of a Jesushead knockabout powerhouse – B

Everything Now – Arcade Fire – What do you expect with a Daft Punk and a Pulp handling production duties? A dance album? You got it, and a good one with sharp ideas and sharper drums. Plus “Creature Comforts” is one of the best songs of the year – B+

Bandwagonesque – Ben Gibbard – The lead singer of a band I don’t like, Death Cab For Cutie, covers an entire album by a band I don’t like, Teenage Fanclub, as though he is Ryan Adams or something. Still, at least Ryan chose the biggest album in the world at the time, what’s Ben’s reasoning? It’s Teenage Fanclub’s best album, that’s what.  “December” is a great song – C+

Unpeeled – Cage The Elephant – Live acoustic versions of their iffy alt rocking indie songs. Apparently, they’ve been killing it live on the festival circuit this year, though listening to this it is hard to imagine – D+

A Boy From Tupelo: The Complete 1953-1955 Sun Sessions Recordings  – Elvis Presley – The thing about historic artifacts is that, in our lifespans, they are acts of remembrance, and these are memories that last lifetimes – A+

Power Of Peace – Isley Brothers, Santana – Covering Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye is one thing, covering Swamp Dogg is something else again, and Ronald and Carlos on “Total Destruction Of Your Mind” is the song of the week. This is a spectacular, hard rocking, classicist sound by the last band ever standing and the first runner up – B+

Sinatra And Jobim @ 50 – John Pizzarelli – Smooth as silk as John puts the underling into bossanova, with Jobim’s grandson Daniel adding voice,  very pleasant – B

Nervous System EP – Julia Michaels – The problem here is that when you are a pop song composer, and Julia is a major pop song composer, your EP must hit blazing, and “Issues” didn’t hit as big as it should have, and “Uh Huh” -a terrific piece of ear candy with a hook that sings itself, didn’t hit at all.  Why? She decided to underproduce it – B+

Come Back Road – Logan Mize – Old school country singer without the songs and too much drums – C

A Black Mile To The Surface – Manchester Orchestra – Like Fleet Foxes with all the trees cut down, plus Andy Hull has a really annoying voice. Instead of singing maybe he should be quiet  – C

Every Mile Nowhere – Nichole Nordeman – Slow and sucky Christian ballads that erupt here and there, with the all conclusive “handouts don’t help anyone” just in case you thought Christians approved of charity – D

Let Him Cry Wolf – Passenger – No, he doesn’t have another “Let Her Go” in him, and his voice remains an irritant, but these soft rock songs have plenty of tunes – B-

New Facts Emerge – The Fall – “I crave drama” Mark E. Smith growls in his signature speak drawl on “Victoria Train Station Massacre” -as obtuse a reference to the the Ariana Grande terrorist attack as you will ever hear. The song is a masterpiece, a pure Fall nobody else in the world does it because nobody else in the world has ever wanted to and even if they did this mix of professional amateurish art prole is not as easy as it looks, everything is its equal, everything goes its own way. ALBUM OF THE WEEK  – B+

Hospitality In The Park – Various Artists – Hospital Records’ drum and bass compilation, a good way to get a taster of the sound circa right this minute… hang around for the Goldie remix  – B

The Autobiography – Vic Mensa – Good voice from another Chicago rapper who took the advantage of a hardworking father and Sunday’s at Church and ran all the way to Juvenile. Not bad, but a little boring: he needs to work on his switch up because this drags well before the halfway point – B-

 

 

 

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