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Be Here Now: New Album Releases 7-3-20 – 7-9-20 Reviewed

Forever Blue – A.A. Williams – agoth like nightmare of singer songwriter darkness visible from the UK, the songs are good enough to carry the drear piano based songs – B

APKÁ! – Céu – “You Won’t Regret It” should have been a major breakthrough for Ceu, and it is certainly as popular as she has ever gotten. Two albums later, she tries the same trick with “Make Sure Your Head Is ABove Water” and it is a touch too army for her genre busting Brazilian pop-art. Even so, APKÁ!, while not going to concert those who consider her a lightweight, will do the jobs for fans such as yours truly – B

Ouvrez Le Chien (Live Dallas 95) – David Bowie – Here is a secret about Bowie: he could really suck live and was the last person who should have his heirs releasing live album after live. That’s not have you excavate new sounds. Of the numerous times I saw him live, the 1995 Outside tour was among the most boring, 1987’s Glass Spider was worse of course (though that one wasn’t as boring). Here he performs guitar based art rock and includes the worse version of “Andy Warhol” he ever played, and two  “Under Pressure”‘s from  not a Dallas gig in May 1995, where the rest of these songs come from, and seven months later in Birmingham. I assume because the sound was immaculate and that isn’t good enough a reason – B-

Flight Tower – Dirty Projectors – After dismissing Dirty Projectors for years, I saw on this EP for two weeks, waiting for something to click. Well, “Inner World” and “Love Your Love” clicked and the other two didn’t. It isn’t “Impregnable Question” (the best song on the great 2012 Swing Low, Magellan) but it is pretty good art-pop – B-

So When You Gonna… – Dream Wife – the non binary trio’s sophomore effort is quite good post-punk pop – B

Heartbeat Higher EP – Eric Paslay – a country guy and not so hot except he nails a cover “I Took A Pill in Ibiza” – C+

Gucci Mane Presents: So Icy Summer – Gucci Mane, The New 1017 – So Icey Girlz -a former escort who went to prison for stabbing her pimp and came out not wanting a repeat, and Foogiano, are two newcomers who steal the show on this Gucci label compilation – B

Keleketla! – Keleketla!, Coldcut – The late great Tony Allen joins DJs Colcut and a cast of AFrican World music cats for a crossover album of dance ish – B

On Sunset (Deluxe) – Paul Weller – The soul stuff has its moments, the electronic stuff not so much – C+

Live at the Baked Potato – Soft Machine -From 2018, so Robert Wyatt is long gone, but still by prog-rock standards it is simple but it says it – B

FWA – Lil Wayne –  a not untypical Weezy dating from 2015! – B

Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon – Pop Smoke – Pop Smoke was murdered during a home invasion after he posted a picture of his LA mansion on his instagram feed which accidently included his address, he was 20 years old. Smoke was a deep throated rapper who took England’s drill scene, an even more violent take on grime, and brought it to New York and the US with the addictive “Gatti” and “Dior” and the “woooo” call. Without Pop Smoke New York Drill might stall the same way soundcloud rap did after Lil Peep and XXXtentacion passed (an overdose, shot dead -in case you’re keeping score at home), though there are a coupla disciples ready to take the helm and Fivio Foreign (the ay ay ay guy) first in line, as, following a coupla well received mixtapes, Smoke’s debut album Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon drops. Produced by 50 cents, the sound is Woo darkness and brutality and joined by a who’s woo of featured stars to whom 50 gives a dirty sound a clean production, jumping onto tracks after Pop SMoke’s death is my bet. Quavo shows up on three tracks, both Lil Baby and Dababy on another, and Latin pop star Karol G makes an appearance. I love the sound completely and I love Pop Smoke’s voice, but every time I concentrate on the riches bitches and glocks lyrics I can’t take em seriously. Still, this is a loss for the rap community of the first order and while one assumes there will more in vaults, this is a real album and a labor of love. Two of his best songs aren’t here, but “Dior” shows – ALBUM OF THE WEEK –   A-

La Diferencia – Ralphy Dreamz – Bachata is a little laid back for my tastes but the times may deserve a more laid back approach and I prefer this guitar melodism than, say Aventura’s hard sell – B

RARE Family – RARE Sound, K CAMP – Ready for his close up K CAMP compiles some of his RARE Sound roster for a fine pop hop album – B

Better Days – Prince Fox – Fox handles hip hop pop with stringer than usual beats – B-

Intercession (Live) – Tasha Cobbs Leonard -where Gospel really, really meets r&b, though it builds too high and let’s down – C+

Beer and Loathing – The Real McKenzies -bagpipes meet rock guitars with an Irish accent from the long running Canadians – B

Flygod Is An Awesome God 2 – Westside Gunn – an OK half hour mix tape as we wait for his next release, he sounds like Weezy castrated – NUST TO AVOID  C-

First Rose of Spring – Willie Nelson – slow as molasses Americana, with only his cover “Just Bummin Around” – C  ”

 

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