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Be Here Now: First Reviews Of New Albums, Week Of January 26th, 2015



The Dead Of The World – Ascension – Genre: Black Metal; Lyrical themes: Death, Fire, Magic, according to the “Encyclopaedia Metallum” and better death and fire than world domination from these German harshly orchestrated metal guys: for pubescent boys still dealing with their sexual insecurities or suicidal 20 somethings living at home with their parents male division – B

Worthy – Bettye Lavette -Whether resurrecting a Bob Dylan obscurity  with “Dylan is always a favorite as I find his lyrics so challenging,” to clarifying the Stones or making the Beatles impatience pending, Bettye is one of the great song interpreters. It isn’t phrasing, it isn’t arrangement, it is the voice which turns aggression into desire, it is needy, greedy, husky, unique  and filled with life. Plus she has great taste in material – B+

Forever Charlie – Charlie Wilson – The former Gap Band lead singer prefers disco to funk and ballads to either, and thi is fine collection of soul grooves. Even Snoop can’t steal the spotlight during his featured role on “Infectious”. ’70s by style and inspiration, if you don’t like this sweet soulful stuff your problem is with r&b not Charlie – B+

The Opposite Of Love – Corey Dargel – “The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s pity” Corey tells us on the title track of his singer songwriter meets electronica meets classical meets a violin -a goodie. Unfortunately, Corey, while a talented fellow, is a boring singer -he sounds like Stephin Merritt with a better falsetto – B-

Individ- The Dodos – Indie folk duo with a strong wall of sound surrounding them. You did notice I said folk – B-

All Hands – Doomtree – Hip hop collective, semi underground, very literate, very consistent; the tracks are beautiful, the raps could be better but the lyricism couldn’t be much better (this is turning into a good year for rap) there is no scene it belongs to but that just means nobody sounds anything like them… Amazing, even the seven minute closer is good – B+

Medicine – Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors – Makes a living out of licensing songs and opening for jam band, so mainstream Americana with moments, “Tightrope” is worth a listen, but awful bland for the most part – C+

Sco-Mule – John Scofield And Gov’t Mule – From a coupla live dates in 1999, the definition of jazz jam -heavy on Haynes and Scofield guitars going off in separate directions before coming back together; also the definition of a collective groove – B

Interlude – Jamie Cullum – So good opening for Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden from the capable pianist, I was thrilled to find this in my inbox but really it’s just standard issue American songbook plus a coupla ringers – C

Into The Everywhere – Lxury -London DJ adds phasing to everything and produces very strange beats on this EP – B

Control – Milo Greene – Indie folkiness from L.A.  a little on the obvious side but livelier than it has any right to be – B

Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass- After reading Pitchfork’s ” She crafts slow-burning soul music indebted to singers like Dolly Parton, Dusty Springfield, and Jenny Lewis…” I was gagging to unload on this sucker but the songs are excellent and her voice is beautiful. It is like indie country plus odd instruments and her falsetto (undoubtedly why she seemed fated to 20 feet from stardom), plus plus plus… those songs -ALBUM OF THE WEEK – B+

Non Fiction – Ne Yo – Same ol’ Ne-Yo, great voice, predictable beats, predictable songs. Schooboy Q, Jeezy, Juicy J and Pitbull are around to help out… – B

F.E.A.R. – Papa Roach – These rockers are improving as a metal band, they are all punch but also all song. Three years since their last album, this should please their fanbase fine. Including me in that – B+

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