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Be Here Now: New Album Releases Reviewed: 10-13-17 – 10-19-17

Aretha Franklin – Songs of Faith – The Gospel Soul of Aretha Franklin – Her debut album from 1956 is available for streaming. So stream it before she goes secular on you – A

Beck – Colors – If this is pop then it is art pop, if it is a pop move it won’t work, if it is a return to a fledgling mix and match of sounds doubling back to Odelay but without the funkiness, well, then that’s what it is – B

Brent Faiyaz – Sonder Son – The 22 year old soul singer wunderkind’s autobiography is a strange beauty of an album, moody not morose with a sound unlike anything else. This should hit hard on the whole world of neo-R&b fans of Frank Ocean and Solange – B+

Carly Pearce – Every Little Thing – “banjos, boots, and Emmylou” it says here, and the Big Machine country singer lives up to two out of those three, but Emmylou? It is all a little obviously not quite good enough  – C+

Cheryl Fortune – Simply Cheryl – Gospel r&b which straddles the line between Jesus and secular humanism, with songs about marital abuse – C+

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice – It’s not just the asinine copywrite complaint after we reposted a couple of songs, really it isn’t. It is the relentless sameness of these hipster chumps. Over a song they are great, over three they are not great, over an album they’ll drive you up the wall – C+

Dan Deacon – Rat Film (Original Soundtrack) – “At the onset of the project, [director] Theo [Anthony] asked me if I could make music with rats. After some thought, my brain landed on the concept of an enclosure made out of theremins (one of the first electronic instruments ever invented and played by hand gestures). As the rats moved from one corner to another, the pitch and volume would change and create these odd harmonies. I was able to record not just the sound, but a digital conversion of the voltage, which proved the most useful” That’s pretty awesome right, I think he is saying he had the movement of the rats linked to the theremin… it sounds like straight up no chaser electronic sounds – C+

Deante’ Hitchcock – So Much For Good Luck EP – This guy can rap, he can sing speak a verse, find an earworm inside a line, and trick start electronica – B

Dion – Kickin’ Child: The Lost Album 1965 – Tom Wilson produced neo-electric folk album by the doo wop giant. He wrote most of it but not the finest moment, no not the Dylan track but Tom Paxton’s sublime “I Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound”. You might wanna call this the missing link between Dylan and the Byrds but it actually goes like this: Dion, Dylan, Dion, Dylan, The Byrds. Dunno why it wasn’t released – A

dvsn – Morning After – Drake type r&b moody  – B-

Giggs – Wamp 2 Dem – This ain’t grime, but it cames from the same side of the street: gangsta from council flats – B-

Gucci Mane – Mr. Davis – If  “Work In Progress (Intro)”  isn’t the best song Gucci has ever written, it is sure the best since he got out of prison, and if we will never get another Burrprint 2, what we are getting is a second act that stalled earlier this year when he seemed unable to follow up Everybody Looking with a better work. Mr. Davis is as clear eyed as Mane has ever been, the violent, bi-polar danger man has grown up and looking back he begins to piece together his experiences. This is as close to flawless as it gets, a major statement by a major artist on his wedding day – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Hardwell – Hardwell presents Revealed Volume 8 -Major DJ performing with extremely new beats that do what house does only with more tension and more texture than usual – B

IDK – IWASVERYBAD – Trap but not just trap, the tracks are nothing like baby trap and neither is the flow but it coheres as a straight rap not hip hop album and original, try “17 With A 38” featuring Chief Keef – B

Iron Chic – You Can’t Stay Here _ New York punks with melodies to burn – B+

Jackie Greene – The Modern Lives Vol. 1 EP – World beating Americana with a fiddle and a harmonica, “Modern Life” itself is the song of the week – B+

Jason Manford – A Different Stage – Faux Broadway (I mean West End actually) tunes sung like faux-opera (I mean opera lite) – MUST TO AVOID – D

Jerry Garcia Band – Cats Under The Stars (40th Anniversary Edition) – Jerry and Robert Hunter wrote most of em, it’s not Working Man’s, but he has a similar easy going flow – B

Jessie James Decker – Southern Girl City Lights – “Almost Over You” is a strong country rocker, the rest of it sags too much – B-

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Sketches Of Brunswick East – This is outro psychedelic stuff for elevators – C

King Krule – The Ooz – The trip hop variant is blue eyed Tricky only weirder – B+

Lydia Loveless – Boy Crazy and Single(s) – She will never write a song as great as “Boy Crazy” again, but these singles (including a cover of “Alison”) come awful close – A

Marc E. Bassy – Gossip Columns – Blue eyed soul, not bad – B-

MyChildren MyBride – Vicious World – Grungecore – C-

P!nk – Beautiful Trauma – I prefer P!nk in theory than in practice, in theory she is the pop chick as badass, in practice her songs are a little too lame – C+

Prequell – The Future Comes Before – a harmonious compound of classically written music and mad electronics, only worse – C-

Purple Haze – SPECTRVM – Electronic soundscape stuff – C-

Robert Plant – Carry Fire -World music by other means meets Led Zep and leaves everyone better for the experience – A-

Russell Dickerson – Yours – New school country count the BPMs, yall – C+

Silje Nergaard – For You a Thousand Times – Jazz meets electronica plus melodies – B

St. Vincent – MASSEDUCTION – I wouldn’t mind disliking this album, I thought she was pretty good at Governors Ball but not the second coming, and lesbian and buddies with David Byrne? What more could Pitch Craw Back Up Mac DeMarco’s Hole Fork want from life? Needless to add, they all but blew Annie in their review. Still, hard to deny songs as great as the title track and “New York” and “Los Angeless” -this is a very very good album – B+

The Barr Brothers – Queens of the Breakers – Nice harp – C+

The Beaches – Late Show – All girl garage rockers , imagine Haim without the melodies – C+

The Detroit Dives – House Caught Fire EP  – Five shots of pub rock from soul to garage to art rock, and including a cover of a Bee Gees classic. “Hometown Anthem” is an instant analog joy but the best is last with the title track a classic Southern rock beauty with one of the best guitar solos you’ll hear this year, if they can’t sell it themselves they should sell it to Govt Mule  – A-

The Front Bottoms – Going Grey – Sella has lost weight and grown his hair out, and his songs are certainly good enough if not the earth shatterrers we hoped they’d be. He reminds me a little of Soupy, born to be unable to improve upon some exothermic reactionary perfection – B-

The Lillingtons – Stella Sapiente – These punks have been around for over 20 years, still haven’t learnt a thing thank god – B

The Rural Alberta Advantage – The Wild – I wonder what they mean by wild… They certainly don’t mean wild as in, you know, lively and excited, but wild as in wild-tame axis of meh – C+

William Patrick Corgan – Ogilala – He can call himself by his full name all he likes, he still sounds like Smashing Pumpkins twenty years part their prime – C

Wu-Tang Clan – The Saga Continues – Method man has a coupla strong moments – C

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