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Be Here Now: New Album Releases 3-27-20 – 4-2-20

CALM – 5 Seconds of Summer – They acted like Green Day and sounded like 1D, now they look like 1D and sound like NSYNC – C

punk2 – brakence – he calls himself self care punk, he sounds like emo-r&b in bedroom land, and here and there he sounds like nothing else out there and also similar, it’s a series of left turns with autotune on sad songs – B

Local Honey – Brian Fallon – the former Gaslight Anthem Americana rocker is almost as tedious solo on a set of raspy , boring songs – C

3.15.20 – Childish Gambino -Oh yeah? And after “Time” what’s so high falutin’ great? – B

Sleepyhead – Cavetown – Robin Skinner is the 21 year old son of a Cambridge University’s director of music, and has been posting his sad and sweet but not twee songs about trying your best… great painting of a cat on the album sleeve… try “Feb 14” – B

Is It Any Wonder? – David Bowie – those singles released earlier this year, compiled – B

Black Coffee – Delacey – signed to LA Reid’s indie label, Delacey is a soul pop songwriter of confessionals, hurt by how completely digital it sounds, especially the drum machines – C+

Windows Open – Dirty Projectors – “lead vocals from the band’s guitarist Maia Friedman. Dave Longstreth wrote, produced, and mixed Windows Open; he co-wrote the lyrics with Friedman”, most of it is bland as tea indie folk but “Overlord” is the exception – C+

Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa – I wasn’t crazy about the Kosovan immigrant to the UK’s first album, and she seemed manufactured on stage, and now Dua has found her footing with a set of art pop that never moves its attention from the charts and is still exceedingly valid and pleasurable, both of the singles were great and there is more where that came from  – A-

This Is Eli Young Band: Greatest Hits (Big Machine Radio Release Special) – Eli Young Band – three hits plus lotsa chatter on the commentary we don’t want to hear meets lotsa songs we don’t wanna hear. “Love Ain’t” remains a goodie but it’s nowhere near enough – C

The Complete George Jones (VOL.1 – 3) – George Jones – from 1957 – 1964 – A

The Caretaker – Half Waif – Not just waif, but also Half Ugandan and Half Indian, as she builds dreamscapes of a first generation American in search of a home to call her own – B-

Sorry For The Wait – Herencia de Patrones – the Mexican band bring brutal lyrical concerns of life and money to regional old school Spanish pop for a new generation – B+

Lady Like – Ingrid Andress – the country popsters singing is light but her songwriting is impeccable on the debut album – B

The Medicine – Jeremy Renner – horrid Americana by Hawkeye – C

BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US – Jessie Reyez  – the debut album of exquisitely sung mix and meet between acoustic indie vibes and r&b as Jessie works her way through songs of romantic disenchantment – A-

ADHD – Joyner Lucas – Logic, Young Thug, Chris Brown, Timbaland, Fabolous are all here, Logic’s verse is great speed rap, though Joyner owns his own debut with solid, old school raps and hooks aplenty and very good beats on song after song – B+

Kenny Rogers & The First Edition – Kenny Rogers, The First Edition – What? Where is “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”? – B-

The Love of God (Deluxe Edition) – Kenny Rogers – Christian spirituals with the Oak Ridge Boys on one song was Kenny’s final release, from last year – C+

The Best Of Kenny Rogers: Through The Years – Kenny Rogers – altogether now, “you picked a fine time to leave me… Lucille” – B

New Me, Same Us – Little Dragon – the arty ones are nothing much, the poppy ones are great – B-

Devotion – Margaret Glaspy – rock and pop singer songwriter confessionals and romantic blossoms – C+

Nick Lowe 2019 – after reviewing his biography (here), I figured I’d give his 2019 EPs another listen. They had been alright nothing special first times, but what bothered me was an ill considered cover of “Travellin’ Light” taken too fast (he performs it better live), and The Bee Gees song written for Dionne Warwick, “Heartbreaker” makes up for it. The other six songs are all first rate rockabilly songs – A-

Redefine EP – Nicky Romero – at least somebody remembers how to drop the bass – B+

Ghosts V: Together – Nine Inch Nails – electronic , instrumental snooze – C-

Ghosts VI: Locusts – Nine Inch Nails – as above – D+ (I was thoroughly bored by this point)

Gigaton – Pearl Jam – sure, I’m on Pearl Jam’s side: I paid $625 for a nosebleed ticket to a show that was postponed indefinitely earlier this year. A brooding ballad like “Comes Then Goes” works well enough, but those three singles near the top all but sink it and Eddie oversings everything and though PJ never had a light touch, here the self-righteous rockers have even less – C+

Gravity Insanity – Sam Huber – outstanding seven songs of state of the art r&b and soul that still sounds analog – A-

Find Another Way – Seven Lions – tech beats and EDM synths – B-

Insomnia – Skepta, Chip, Young Adz – I always considered Skepta one of the grime new kids but fifteen years later not so much. Skepta and Chip are now Young Adz (of D-Block Europe)  adds the trap beats percolating on this surprise but welcome meeting of minds  – B+

Aporia – Sufjan Stevens, Lowell Brams – ambient snore – C

The Joy Of The Return – The Slow Readers Club – UK rock anthem stuff, awful – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Revolution Spring – The Suicide Machines – Ska punk rockers from the 90s return after fifteen years with a fast paced and tuneful album of spitfire songs – B+

After Hours (Deluxe) – The Weeknd – The additional five songs, especially the SNL version of “Scared To Live,” only add to its lustre – A-

Hide & Seek (The Lost Collection) – Tom Jones – 29 obscurities from 1964 – 1975 (aka the Decca years),  the version of “Breathless” is as good as it gets and while the material is consistently mediocre here Jones performances are all as Tom Jones-y as you could hope for – B

Nicotine – Trevor Daniel -bedroom r&b, pretty consistent as well – B

Love is an Art – Vanessa Carlton – there’s no “A Thousand Miles” which isn’t what she’s aiming for anyway, what she is aiming for is slow, quiet songs of emotional desperation and she does get that though it’s a slow ride – C+

Saint Cloud – Waxahatchee – I saw Katie Crutchfield in Brooklyn back in 2015 and she put me to sleep, and ever since then I’ve been wary. Not any more: in any form of what constitutes a great album, Saint Cloud is a great album, 40 minutes of musical and emotionally connected pearls of songs as a trip through the States, with “Lilacs” vying for best song of the year so far on these spectacular Americana tracks. A full on, not to be missed masterpiece – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A


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