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Be Here Now: New Album Releases 11-15-19 – 11-21-19

Walk Beyond the Dark – Abigail Williams heavy orchestrated metal, with guitars arranged into black metal symphonies and screamo vocals on top – B

Peel Session 2 – Aphex Twin, Warp Records – I preferred Aphex Twin’s near the start of his career so if you prefer the great electronic progenitor near the start of his career as well you will probably admire Peel Session 2 – recorded in 1995, as much as I do… I’d love to get my hands on that Warp Box Set  – A-

STELLA & STEVE – BENEE – New Zealand bedroom pop with one terrific and sweet pop tunes, sweet and clever, after another. Only seventeen minutes but she makes every second count – B+

Without Words: Genesis – Bethel Music – Maybe those Christian Contemporary guys have worn me down, after not dissing Hillsong’s last release, I am not going to diss Bethel Music’s sometimes lovely instrumental album, it truly helps not hearing people scream their devotion down your ears -C+

DEADTHEALBUM – Breathe Carolina – The punk dup are closer to mainstream rock with even the drums sounding manufactured and the songs low key and sleep inducing – C-

Courage (Deluxe Edition) – Céline Dion – Her voice is strong though she has lessened the histrionics and the songs are mainstream pop moves with the tech kept to a minimum. Expect Celine to find it easy to tour behind – C+

Savage Life – Cuban Doll – Texas rap is sure having a moment, with Megan The Stallion following in Cuban Doll’s footsteps and then outstripping her, till now. “Oh Wow” is a masterful variant on Soundcloud Rap featuring Trippie Redd,  and if she doesn’t reach the same height again, she trips through bar after bar with assurance and skills, and the Lil Yachty featured “Amazin” comes close – B+

Magic Is Real – Dillon Francis – Popular DJ, muti-cultural whatever knows a sound when he mixes it in , and he mixes it in a lot – C+

Our Pathetic Age – DJ Shadow – The first album, the instrumentals, get old, the second album, including vocals by the likes of De La Soul, Nas, Pusha T (and is that Wiki -Impressive) , and many more, is a good variation on the longstanding theme,. Apparently Mr. Shadow thinks the world could be in better shape – B-

Immanent Fire – Emily Jane White – folkie drag, sleep inducing mood music – C

Believers Never Die (Volume Two) – Fall Out Boy – Except for “My Songs Know What You DId In The Dark,” the long suspected downgrade ever since 2015, is real and is here for all to see – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Double Vision: Then and Now – Foreigner – Now? Their last album of new songs was 2011… However, their FIFTH hits live In the decade is here and now – C-

A Private Picture – Fran – Fran calls it sexy songs you can sub to and the bedsitland one woman band is that, with some heaviness along with tugging that still sounds low key – B

Hail Mary – Haley & Michaels country duo -I bet they’re married – C+

I’m Too Sensitive For This Shit – Hayley Kiyoko – Why won’t she just rewrite “Girls Like Girls”? Funk EDM lesbian pop that fails to ignite – C+

Still Young – Jeff Rosenstock, Laura Stevenson – Disappointing Neil Young covers, the “After The Goldrush” is especially sad – C

The Gospel According to Water – Joe Henry – His cancer survival album, like life it is filled with lovely details, and his well plushed vocals… the songs could be a touch better though “Mule” is great – B+

Four – Joris Voorn – in the DJ world, Holland’s Joris is wildly renowned, though on this overlong set you’ll have to wait for the Underworld feature to find out why – C+

Juliana Hatfield Sings the Police – Juliana Hatfield – Covering Olivia Newton-John is resurrecting a forgotten career, covering the Police is an act of self-satire mistaken for rock criticism – C

The Album – Klingande – Good trance as house resurrection – B

Ocean – Lady Antebellum – On one song, Little Big Town join em… it doesn’t help these duff songs – C

~how i’m feeling~ – Lauv – The thing to keep in mind when it comes to EPs, is that sometimes seven songs is exactly what you want. A creature of his times, he keeps his standards skyhigh, the Troye Sivan hit no more than the solo “Sad Forever” – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

EVERYBODY’S EVERYTHING – Lil Peep – If you can’t wait for the movie, go for the soundtrack of Lil Peep’s EVERYBODY’S EVERYTHING -it is much better than the first pst-death release, hits, obscurities, the Fall Out Boys collaboration, it is clearly the one Lil Peep album to get your hands on and while it doesn’t make the case (Peep died way too soon for a canon to emerge), it at least, clearly makes the case for the case -B+

H.A.Q.Q. – Liturgy – Heavy symphonic metalcore, especially “HAJJ” and Haqq” – B-

Cuz I Love You (Deluxe) – Lizzo – She adds three songs, nothing we haven’t heard though she saves “Water Me” from obscurity. The entire shebang in at 42 minutes – A-

Good Faith – Madeon – French DJ adds a whole lotta rap to his electronic sounds – B-

Maria Taylor – Maria Taylor – Maria Taylor has been on fire all decade, and despite an updated production sound that wasn’t necessarily necessary , her eponymous third album of the decade deals with marital realities while inducting her toddler pre-teen son (on piano!) in the family business. There is nothing close to a bad song here  -A-

Own Pace – Medhane – clever singer-songwriter as EDM King – B-

The Jungle Is The Only Way Out – Mereba – Her turn with Vince Staples  and 6lack, “Yo Love”,  was epic enough to have me looking for more, and I discovered her debut album in February. Beautiful chill r&b, plus another song with 6lack – B+

Mind The Moon – Milky Chance a youthful Chainsmokers vibe – C+

The Molly Burch Christmas Album – Molly Burch – Tedious, downbeat, singer songwriter Christmas – C

Pops Gotta Brand Old Smash – Pops Smash – Like Chuck D goes EDM – B-

Mad Lad: A Live Tribute to Chuck Berry – Ronnie Wood, His Wild Five – he first of three albums that pay tribute to his influences — seriously. Wood hired a solid band featuring pianist Ben Waters (who released a 2011 tribute to Stones’ keyboardist Ian Stewart with guests Jagger, Wood and Richards) and singer Imelda May (a roots star in her own right) to crank out Berry’s hits and obscurities with energy and enthusiasm.

Tangerine – Shanti Celeste – A mix of pure ambient, like being nuzzled by a school of whales, and interminal beeps and bloops – C

Reworked – Snow Patrol – Congrats to Snow Patrol, they managed to make their horrendous backpaghes slower, and more enervating – C-

PRESENCE – Styles P – Old school rap from the former Lox, and nothing sticks at all – C

La Linda – Tei Shi – soulful singer songwriter plus beats – B-

The Band (Deluxe Edition/Remixed 2019) – The Band – The entire album remixed, the Woodstock concert, and 13 outtakes and alternate versions – A+

All I Have to Do Is Dream – The Everly Brothers – It dates from this July, but the first 18 songs on the forty song greatest hits are game changers all, and the other 22 are pretty damn good as well – A

Hold Our Fire (Live) – The Pineapple Thief – Low calorie banality live rock no thanks – C-

Compendium of Weird – The Revillos – aka the Rezillos, who have always been a multi-hued, new wave, Scottish trend pop rock major minor band, and on these obscurities you can absolutely hear why. They are like a straight B-52s – B+

Live From the Orient – The Revillos –  From the mid-90s revival. What? No “Top Of The Pops”… I mean, they did “My Baby Does Good Sculpture” so I don’t see why not – B

Singles 1986-1991 – The Springfields – Folk duo with ringing guitars named themselves after DUsty but sound more like Buffalo – B

No Treasure But Hope – Tindersticks – chamber pop from the 90s star of Brit pop seriousness not called the Blue Nile. recorded in five days, and this is pne of their better albums of the 10s -“The Amputees” should be heard – B

Chixtape 5 – Tory Lanez _ Tory made himself a lot of friends at MSG, palling with Drake. Less over 70 minutes of second league Chris Brown – C+

Frozen 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/Deluxe Edition) – Various Artists – I guess “All Is Found” is gonna be the next “Let It Go” whether we will or won’t – C

Lady and the Tramp (Original Soundtrack) – Various Artists – Ho hum incidental music, though Janelle shines Peggy Lee style on “He’s A Tramp” – C

Passable In Pink (Official Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Various Artists – “a music snob’s who’s-who of ’80s obscurities” via a podcast tied to “Pretty In Pink” – C+

Queen & Slim: The Soundtrack – Various Artists – As a rule of thumb, I loath inspired by  black exploitation soundtracks, whether  Beyonce or Common, or Kendrick for that matter, so here is an exceptional exception: “Yo Love” -the Vince Staples, 6lack, and Mareeba come together, is Vince’s best in years, and there is also a Syd solo, a Megan The Stallion as banging as you expected, and Lauryn Hill who seems to be getting her act together with her second great song in succession and more  -B+

II – TNGHT, Lunice, Hudson Mohawke – Well crafted tech DJ moves by the reformed duo still into trap – B-

Spectrum – Westlife – Imagine Take That without Robbie Williams… and without Gary Barlow – C-



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