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Be Here Now: New Album Releases 6-29-18 -7-5-18

Wet Will Always Dry – Blawan – Hardcore industrial beats from the man who gave you “Why They Hide The Bodies Under My Garage,” and it is immediately my favorite EDM album of the year… in fairness, not much of a year for EDM- B+

Gravity – Bullet For My Valentine – These Welsh heavy metalers are so terrible that they would give UK metal a bad name except they sound just like a million other US rock bands in 2018 and not UK modern day Iron Maiden  – MUST TO AVOID – D

Vanished Gardens – Charles Lloyd And the Marvels, Lucinda Williams – Jazz meets Americana and it goes on for years and years, yet whenever Lucinda adds her voice it improves and at its worse it is better than most Americana is without jazz – B-

Beautiful Ruin – Converge – Great sounding guitars, powerful bowels of hell singing, if hardcore is what you want, Converge are the band for it – B+

May Your Kindness Remain – Courtney Marie Andrews – I’m late to this one (it was released in March) and so what? A magnificent, downlow, misery loves loneliness classic, beautifully sung. The title track is other worldly – A-

Welcome to The Blackout (Live London ’78) – David Bowie – Hmmm, a lot of this is weaker than the recorded version, and if you hang on long enough you’ll get to the eleven minute “Station To Station” which isn’t sung as well either  but is taken at a punky clip – B

Scorpion – Drake – If he boiled this down from 25 to 7 songs it would be the album of the year, and if he went from a double, one side rap, the other side r&b, to 12 songs mix and match, it would be a masterpiece. But this is a different another double that would make a good single in that there is no songs that are filler and it maintains its balance throughout and just goes on too long. And if you’re into rubbernecking, he bows out with a terrific song for his newly minted son – Grade: A-

High As Hope – Florence + The Machine – Florence Welch positions herself as a modern day Kate Bush with a better voice, but she doesn’t have the songs on these over weaned anthems – C

The Now Now – Gorillaz – I was no Gorillaz fan but at least they were innovative mix and match songcrafters until now -this is a solo Damon Albarn album by other means and so it is a ponderous, self important slog – MUST TO AVOID – C-

Over The Years… – Graham Nash – A retrospective from Manchester man Nash and if he had included some of his early Hollies? He might have made his implicit major pop star overreach  explicit. Instead, it fails to make the case  though he doesn’t not make his implicit major pop star overreach either – B

Appetite For Destruction (Super Deluxe Edition) – Guns N’ Roses – The birth of the 1980s meets the death of punk with live stuff and the 1986 Sound City holy grailish Sound City demos – A

III – Hillsong Young & Free – The most successful and simultaneously worse Christian Contemporary collective… if they could cut an album with cult member Justin Bieber then maybe they could crossover. As it is, nothing can save these bad songs, not even an 808 all over the thing – C-

Uniform Distortion – Jim James – Not as boring as usual, so there is that… the guitar solo on “Throwback” is worth your time – C+

Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (Deluxe Version) – John Coltrane – A “kicking the tires” session, as his son Ravi Coltrane put it, and not quite an album, it features Coltrane’s greatest band,  pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones, it might not be quite an album but, hidden from view for over 50 years, it is a commercially valid holding pattern till A Love Supreme arrived – A

Let the Trap Say Amen – Lecrae – Christian rapper is good enough to cross right over on this perfectly rap self portrait with a solution in Jesus not jewels, producer Zaytoven is exemplary and “Only God Can Judge” turns a gangsta rap trope on its head – B+

I’m All Ears – Let’s Eat Grandma – Experimental pop songs go mainstream by a teen duo who flip out of second album problems by getting some top producers on board – B

NYC Disco – Little Louie Vega – The 80s DJ gets his hands on vintage masters and extends them, including a never released Luther Vandross song. Hang out for a life changing “Tonight A DJ Saved My Life” – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Remember – Military Wives Choirs – Literally military wives choir, from 70 different choirs on military bases throughout the UK and the world, this is what the UK do to high art, they turn it into lowbrow pathos – C

Your Motherfucker – Mondo Cozmo – Experimental alt blues rocker Mondo gets it right on these hugely appealing, intensely alive tracks – B+

Free Spirit – Paul Rodgers – The former Free lead singer offers a live one from last year’s world tour commemorating Free’s 50th anniversary… ancient UK rockers but with little fuss and plenty of gusto, hang around for “Wishing Well” – B+

Philthy Rich & Pooh Hefner Present: #N.O.B.F.E., Vol. 4 – Various Artists – Philly trap star has the dispassion of Trap but with much better enunciation – C+

Our Country: Americana Act 2 – Ray Davies – Ray is getting old and while he always sounded older than he was, here he sounds older and yet again fails to signify with his sad, sad Americana… “Bringing Up Baby” is sweet – C-

Mad Love The Prequel – Sean Paul – Sean Paul gets a who’s who of pop stars from Ellie Goulding to Migos to Major Lazer on this reggae meets EDM reboot – B-

Seen It All – Shea Diamond – Soulful singer, the transgendered Shea was emancipated at the age of fourteen and promptly committed armed robbery to pay for gender realignment, she got out of prison in 2009 and with an EP which I think needs much better material, still has the voice for a career – C+

Seeing The Unseeable: The Complete Studio Recordings Of The Flaming Lips 1986-1990 – The Flaming Lips – Never a fan but if I had heard them in the 1980s I might have been, I mean, as Soupy would put it, I’m all in when it comes to songs called “Jesus Shootin’ Jesus” in a dire folk strum of despondency – B-

Fight the Good Fight – The Interrupters – Modern two tone, US style, and very fun as well – B

All the Things That I Did and All the Things That I Didn’t Do – The Milk Carton Kids – Where Americana meets folk, and very quietly distressed, but not bad at all – B

The Supremes Sing Holland – Dozier – Holland (Expanded Edition) – The Supremes – Expanded from 12 to 51 songs… FIFTY ONE SONGS???? – A+

Greetings from the Neon Frontier – The Wild Feathers – Americana three singer assault, it needs to have better songs… that is the main problem, the songs are well performed, the vocals are a little indistinct but not terrible, but the songs are bad – C+

48 Hours Later – Trae Tha Truth – Houston rapper has been around for ages  and continues from his March’s mixtape. ” “I ain’t got no muthafuckin friends/I’m coming down, real slow in the Benz/Looking at these suckers through these Cartier lens/Reaching out to God, hope he overlook my sins,” Trae says, speaking his truth on these dark and violent tracks – C+

Yung Bans Vol. 5 – Yung Bans – Where Atlanta trap meets mumble rap, the song with Juice Wrld is a winner and the other nine are over in under 25 minute -no waste and plenty of moodiness – B

Until Death Call My Name Reloaded – YoungBoy Never Broke Again – The expanded version, hang about for the Offset featured “RIP” and the Lil Uzi Vert “Rich Nigga,” a one two punch near the end – B



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