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Be Here Now: New Album Releases Reviewed 4-13-18 – 4-19-18

A Place To Bury Strangers – Pinned – If you must listen to shoegaze and MBV are still playing hard to get, this adds goth to the mix with a constantly gorgeous barely contained horror in the face of the closing of Death By Audio – B+

Love’s Theme: The Best Of The 20th Century Records – Barry White – 21 singles, each and everyone the greatest single you’ve ever heard – A+

Cosmic – Bazzi – Blue eyed soul, starts strong and fizzles soon – C

Front And Center (Live From New York) – Beth Hart – Standard issue blues liver, better than her Joe Bonamassa album earlier this year – C+

Blu And Notzz – Gods in the Spirit, Titans in the Flesh – Their last EPs combined and reconfigured into an exceptional piece of rap opera with featured artists  Homeboy Sandman, Aloe Blacc, Skyzoo, Exile and more. Great instrumental backing tracks from Notzz and first rate lyrics, Cali wins one – B+

Brazilian Girls – Let’s Make Love – The New York genre busting dance band are very good on the title track and “Pirates,” but their are too many misses – B-

Breaking Benjamin – Ember – Say what you will about these hard rockers, they have classicism in their blood and steal from  the best, do you think you’ve heard “Psycho” before? – C+

Carnage – Battered Bruised & Bloody – This is a first rate DJ who usses big time rappers like Migos and Lil Pump and adds awesome beats behind em -B

Courteeners – St. Jude Re:Wired – Ten years after brit pop wannabes biggest hit “Not Nineteen forever” they’ve recorded the album and it sounds very good, again – B

Derek Smalls – Small Change (Meditations Upon Ageing) – A slew of superstars from Waddy Wachtel to Donald Fagen join Harry Shearer on this tedious sub-Spinal Tap parody on aging – C-

Jason Aldean – Rearview Town – The title track is the worst thing he has ever done and the rest isn’t very good at all and we know growing old is a drag but it shouldn’t be this draggy – MUST TO AVOID –  C-

Jim Jones – Wasted Talent – The Dipset legend is back with his first album since 2011, and as always I wish it was Cam’ron, still if your thing is muscular, well rapped, no nonsense old school hip hop, you will love it. Plus, Cam’ron shows up at the end – B

John Prine – The Tree of Forgiveness – This is what my friend Mark Deming wrote on “The venerable songwriter sounds like a smart and rascally old man on this album, and it suits him perfectly.” – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Josh Rouse – Love in the Modern Age – Wow, that title track adds jazz to his usual singer songwriter strokes – C+

Juliana Hatfield – Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John – A little on the pointless side but having said that, these are re-arranged ONJ songs for indie rockers everywhere and that Juliana sings exceedingly and consistently well – B

King Tuff – The Other – Lo fi psychedelic ho hum – C

L.A. Salami – The City of Bootmakers – “Who’s Cursing Us Now” is a terrific post-everything blues rock without the blues, and the rest of the album by this UK guy ain’t as good but “England Is Unwell” comes close

Laura Veirs – The Lookout – The fine singer songwriter has a midlife crises and children at the same time and recommends you remain observant – B-

Manic Street Preachers – Resistance is Futile – Same ol’ MSP and who am I to complain? – B

Metallica – The $5.98 EP – Garage Days Re-Revisited –  Post Masters Of Puppets and the first post-Cliff Burton remastered and it sounds excellent. This is the stuff of legend – A

nothing,nowhere. – ruiner -_indie rock rap, “reminiscer” is a haunting song and while the rest isn’t as good, this is as personal a pop statement as you could want to hear – B

Pentatonix – PTX Presents: Top Pop, Vol. I – A capella appalling, mash “Despacito” with “Shape Of You” and all are punished – C-

Princess Nokia – A Girl Cried Red – Very impressive emo-rap album that is as intense and emo-tional as anything you’ll ever hear – B

Rival Consoles – Persona – Wild as fuck dance music electronica – B

Smokepurpp – Bless Yo Trap – Smokepurpp is so bad live it is easy to forget that he is so great on record, this slurpy, slithery, drugged out album is the definable presence of mumble-rap or Soundcloud rap or whatever. I just love the way it sounds, forget meaning or interpretation or anything… – B+

Sofi Tukker – Treehouse – Apple fans everywhere’s fave electronic dance band are a lot of fun here, especially on “Fuck They” but it doesn’t lack for consistency – B

The Damned – Evil Spirits – Sounds like the Doors on speed and not in good way – C

Tinashe – Joyride – Oooooh, neo-r&b with a poppier feel than contemporaries like SZA – B

War on Women – Capture The Flag – The “feminist punk band” sound so great here, like riot grrrls meet L7 – B

Wrekmeister Harmonies – The Alone Rush – Goth horror songs that drone on scarily – B+

Young Thug – Hear No Evil EP – Three song EP featuring Nicki Minaj, Lil Uzi vert, and 21 Savage and 21 Savage wins and nobody loses – A

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