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Be Here Early: New Album Reviews 3-31-17 – 4-6-13

Best Of – 50 Cent – “In Da Club,” “Candy Shop,” a coupla others… it would have made a killer EP – C+

Mental Illness – AImee Mann – The generic Aimee, she sounds exactly and perfectly the way she has sounded since I’m With Stupid though not as great. Fans will be pleased and a little bored – B

Triplicate (Sampler) – Bob Dylan – The entire album is a must buy, till then then the sampler is available for streaming. Ten songs and it stands as simple proof that Dylan was quite right to triple down. While his reasoning is perplexing (and we could sure use some new Dylan composed song), consider this as a place where the shifting sands of time come home one more time: it stands as a monument to everything Dylan destroyed. If you are going to go for the entire album, it starts near the top with a terrific “I Guess I’ll Have To Change My Plans”  – Album Of The Week – A

You Only Live 2wice – Freddie Gibbs – A mad match half hour of full on rap, eight tracks of flow and more flow highlighted by the peerless “Crushed Glass”. Gibbs best work in maybe six years – B+

We Belong – Gawvi – Christian contemporary goes EDM and it is really quite good by the Florida native who has managed an album brimming with smart beats to the sound of JC – B

Step Brothers EP – G-Easy And Carnage – Post big time success, this is G-Easy and his fave DJ and the state of the rap. Pretty good, catch pop mainstream – B

Silver Eye – Goldfrapp – They are responsible for a lot of bad electro crap and here is more: it is like having someone breath down your neck while you’re doing your math homework – C

Two Hearts – Jackie Evancho – The sixteen year old TV contestant has a lovely voice, she should move to the UK where they eat light opera for breakfast – C+

Automatom – Jamiroquia – Middlebrow electronic dance – C

Painting Pictures – Kodak Black – Black was raised in the Pompano Beach public housing project and at the tender age of 19 has already been to jail, but if he can keep it together his voices grates like a teenage hoodlum and he looks back not in anger but with an unblinking cynicism. This is the post-Atlanta generation coming into their own and the tracks are constantly clever and vicious self-regard with love from Haiti – B+

All Ready – La’Porsha Renae – American Idol runner up offers r&b by the numbers – C+

Empire Of Sand – Mastadon – Prog-rock metal but with occasional greats, consistent metalcore vibes and lotssa prog – B

Lifer – Mercyme – The title track is the best thing these Christian rockers have come up with, and I guess that’s one song, but there is no follow up and the rest is CCM as usual – C+

50th Anniversary Collection – Neil Diamond – Oh good, another greatest hits – C

The Ride – Nelly Furtado – Alt pop iffiness – C+

Phantoms – Phantoms – They look like Holy Ghost! and sound half as good – C

Close Ties – Rodney Crowell – Bluesy Americana turkey – C

Petite Afrique – Somi – Smoky jazz effort about the immigrant experience, could do with more Africa and less Harlem, “Alien” is a goodie – B

Brand New Day – The Mavericks – Yeah, got it . The same as the last one only worse – B-

Something’s Going On – Trace Adkins – Boring as hell business as usual standard issue country rockers. Trace has a strong voice but not strong enough to save this stuff – C-

Silver/Lead – Wire – Always too arty for my taste, the years have caught up with them and now they sound like Depeche Mode only better. “Short Elevated Period” is a killer track and while nothing else is that great, I bet they can sell it well on the road – B-

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