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Be Here Now: New Album Releases Reviewed 12-15-17 – 12-21-17

Asking Alexandria – Asking Alexandria – My token hard rock band, this is hard hitting, melodic metal by other means for the young and hopeful and woke, “WATCH OUT FOR GUN CONTROL” they scream on “Rise Up” and they mean it, man  – B+

Boosie Badazz – BooPac – You’ve heard of 2Pac? Well, so has Boosie on this overlong kill em all – B-

BROCKHAMPTON – SATURATION III – The boy band internet stars have a tremendous ear for the hook, on “Boogie” the whistle is so 1990s and so cool, the rappers join together and double up, the pace is amazing and if it doesn’t break pop don’t blame them – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – B+  (A-  if it hits the album charts in a big way)

Charli XCX – Pop 2 – What is worse than a woke Katy Perry? A subdued Charli XCX – C

Chris Brown – Heartbreak On A Full Moon Deluxe Edition: Cuffing Season – 12 Days Of Christmas – The r.kelly of the decade, adds twelve “christmas” songs to an already incredibly bloated album, for a bafflingly bad move three and a half hour brick – C+

Eminem – Revival – I loved it at first, then got really bored of it and was infected by a ton of negative reviews, now I’ve steadied my opinion and love it a great deal, certainly among the best albums of the year, top 20, maybe top 30 -like that – B+

G-Eazy – The Beautiful & Damned – He looks just like Bowzer of Sha-Na-Na… doesn’t rap as well, however – C-

Ghost B.C. – Ceremony And Devotion – Sweden goth satanism glued to emo-metal melodies… the worst of all worlds on this work of Beelzebub – MUST TO AVOID – D

Guordan Banks – Unpopular – a modern day Babyface without the songs, though the voice makes up for a lot of sins – B-

Jeezy – Pressure – AKA Young Jeezy, the Atlanta gangsta has run out of time on this outdated Cash Moneyish release – C+

John Williams – Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – 1 – The movie is terrific, the best since “The Empire Strikes Back” and 2 – When you have written the truly iconic main title to Star Wars, the way Williams has, you get to do it forever. Meanwhile, unless you’re a true fanatic it is completely useless – C+

Juicy J – Rubba Band Business – I’ve never been a fan (and dismissed this album last Friday), but listening again Juicy J pulls off a trap pop and gangsta mix and match. The Offset featured “Flood Watch” may be the song of the week – B

Linkin Park – One More Light Live – In the wake of Chester Bennington killing himself, I will pass on starting in on these guys. Let’s just say, the band had energy and the songs are loud – C

N.E.R.D – NO ONE EVER REALLY DIES – These guys suck so bad they get Rihanna on a song and it still sucks, Kendrick on two songs, Ed Sheeran, Future… all bad. The only featured artist who comes out in one piece is Gucci Mane on “Viola”. This is Gorillaz for black men who should know better… I’d rather Pharrell knocked off Marvin Gaye all day then stick me with this crap – C-

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – The Punishment of Luxury: B Sides & Bonus Material – The good thing about this synth duo is it reminds me why I hated the 80s so much – C+

Panic! At The Disco – All My Friends, We’re Glorious: Death Of A Bachelor Tour Live – It wasn’t this bad at MSG, right? It couldn’t have been, I’d have noticed … I guess the “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out Medley” was OK – C+

Shovels & Rope – Busted Jukebox Volume 2 – Who’s who of Americana country can’t help this turkey, Rhett Miller has been terrible for the past three years, cmon guy -you wrote “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive,” get it together – C-

The 1975 – DH00278 (Live from The O2, London. 16.12.16) – It wasn’t this bad at MSG, right? It couldn’t have been, I’d have noticed … Oh wait, I already used this for Panic! Nevertheless, this is pretty indifferent – C+

The Five Satins – 50 Best Hits – They’ve gone through 22 members though as long as Fred Parris is still there, they remain the Five Satins. Their big hit was 1956’s “In The Still Of The Night” but they are as great as doo wop ever got and this album is a great place to start – A

Thelonious Monk – The Complete Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection – That drummer? Max Roach. Monk hadn’t broken big when these albums were recorded between 1952 – 1954, but he had a dynamite band and “Monk’s Dream” and “Bye Ya” made an appearance ten years before he recorded em on his debut album and still killed so how much better did he get? – A

Various Artists – Bright: The Album – Sure, I salivated at the sight of DRAM and Neil Young together on the same track… what could go wrong? The song, “Campfire,” stinks and where the hell is Neil? And that’s the best song on the rotten mix and match songs for a Netflix flick  – D+

Various Artists – Pitch Perfect 3 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – The first movie was great, the second movie is alright, and the third…? At least the Bellas are better than  Pentatonix – C+



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