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Be Here Now: New Album Reviews 7-1-16 – 7-7-16

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What We Live For – American Authors – The title track is quite good but the rest is yet another attempt that misses to get indie pop, alt rock and mainstream under the same tent – C+

Caribbean Roots – Anthony Johnson – Like Gil-Scott Heron gets jazzy and goes to the Caribbean – B

IV – Bad Bad Not Good – A pretty darn good idea in theory, four white twenty somethings embrace jazz and add mainstream modernisms and featured stars to the mix. The last album had Danny Brown and Ghostface Killah, this time KAYTRANDA makes an appearance though the real keeper is the soulful Charlotte Day Wilson on “In Your Eyes”. But that’s the highlight, the rest doesn’t cut it – C+

The Bride – Bats for Lashes – Natasha Khan’s brooding art rock album (again), about a woman whose fiancée dies in a car crash  leading the bride in question to go a tour of Churches. Sound miserable? You have no idea how downright morbid this album is, a one tone drone through the darkest moments of the soul. Works alright as background but don’t concentrate too hard, it is too ethereal to draw you in and so keeps you out  – B-

The Soft Bounce – Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve – Techno soft focus electronica meets soul folk – C+

California – blink-182 – I was ready to hate this, it is too long, while a ten track sprint would have made the point, the 16 songs here lose steam around the halfway mark. And some of the songs, the title one for one, are unforgivable. Still, it starts with such a bang it sustains (the first three are all keeper), it keeps you for longer than it has any right to do… growing old not wisely but too well, what’s their age again? – C+

Freetown Sound – Blood Orange – Dev Hynes is a major songwriter, who follows his own muse in concentric circles to the middle of his navel – C-

Epic & Ting – Bulby York – The purest new Rasta reggae album since Chronixx, with guest stars aplenty as Fat Eyes producer goes solo and brings the meeting ground between EDM and Jamaican rub-a-dub – B

Self Afflicted – Chelsea Grin – Deathcore by the numbers – B-

Wings Of The Wild – Delta Goodrem – Aussie Middle Of The world singer, about as bad as you can be – D

New English – Desiigner – Trap and harsh pop moments, “Panda” is the best of course but “Caliber” ain’t bad and neither is the Pusha T one – B+

Theories Of Flight – Fates Warning – Prog rockers from the 1980s and still around today performing what sounds like mid-70s prog metal – C+

Goggs – Goggs – Ty Segall back at it, this time as a straight up no chaser punk rock band – C

Dust To Lust – Grave Desecrator – Élson “El” Necrogoat comments on behalf of the band: “We consider ‘Dust to Lust’ to be our most defying and tough album so far. This is the direction that we intend to follow in future. We worked under the same paradigm as before, but enhanced with antagonist and blasphemous grit, which is fueled by spiritual and carnal truths about our existence. The miasmal scent of addictive terror that feeds our content is reflected in a sense of cruel reality permeating these compositions. Do not expect reflections of disguised maturity and evolution! Experience the abyssal revelations clawed straight from the delights of Brazilian and South American horror core!” – AKA metalcore – C+

FMA – Grace – I was gonna simply this as a weak Elle Kingish soul and blues album from a good singer thew album, but that “You Don’t Own Me” is so terrible, yes the late great Lesley Gore track, featuring the lousy G Eazy, puts us into whole other worlds of yuck- D+

Crush – High Water – This is a singer songwriter Will Epstein and a techno guy producing  Nicolas Jaar and if that has you falling asleep, I feel your pain I truly do, but wait till you hear Will’s cover of Lucinda William’s “Change The Locks”, you won’t be sleeping then. Just as good is opening track “Moonlight Mind” -an early album lullaby dreamscape – B+

Insane Vesper – Layil – “French black metal revolutionaries” hammer it down with a drum heavy metal sound all riff and scream – C+

Bobby Tarantino – Logic – I couldn’t take last year’s concept album but this one? Even the sketch track works  and “Flexicution” is about as much fun as I’ve had all year. A surprise drop mixtape, with the Pusha T featured “Wrist” and both “Slave” and “Slave II” -he is like a white Drake with a better sense of humor but not as many great tracks… except this time he has even more great tracks – B+

Primary Colors – Magic! – More of the same but without that one song, without a “Rude”, they need to be more than a one hit wonder – C+

Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart – Martha – This is the best emo band in the world today, the UK punks have so many melodies and hooks in their arsenal that they never stop exploding into the veneer of pop worship and the Buzzcockian worldview of punk as guitar and tunes. A superb sophomore effort – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – B+

blackSummer’snight – Maxwell – The first single, “Lake By The Ocean” was such a drag, you might have checked out before you checked out Maxwell’s first album in seven years. But it is a loss leader and despite Maxwell’s Musiq Soulchild vibe, and Prince like falsetto, this is often as not Maxwell the soul man as well. “All The Ways Love Can Feel”, the opening song, is first class pop soul that might have emerged from the 1999 outtakes, and even ballads like “190xo” work out in the end – B+

Carved From Tides – Message To Bears -Jerome Alexander’s instrumental (mostly) lush and lovely tracks reach their height with the glorious “I’ll Lead You There” but maintain a contemplative, fascinated veneer throughout. Go in search of “When You’re Gone”  – B+

Summer 08 – Metronomy – Sure, the Robyn duet “Hang Me Out To Dry” is aces, but then what? There is something so bland about this bass and synth sound it will have you checking your watch and wondering where Joseph Mount went wrong – C+

Waking At Dawn – Roy Woods – Canadian newcomer, more snap than trap, and autotuned up the ying yang, but mixes neo-soul with hot night jamz and sexy come ons – B-

Young In All The Wrong Ways – Sara Watkins – The Nickel Creek singer, provides a confessional of uncommon beauty, “a post-breakup, post-label shakeup, identity crisis in the making,” as Popmatters noted. One of those albums that is so good you go in search of disappointments (“Move Me” -if that helps); the title track is one of the best songs of the week  – B+

COOLAID – Snoop Dogg – This isn’t a turkey, the way Bush or that Snoop Lion deal was, this is just extremely average Snoop in Cali – B-

Wildflower – The Avalanches – These Aussies are incredible, they take the sample album to whole other levels of unadulterated fun, sampling and cut and matching rap, hip, soul, funk, classic rock and everything else and somehow creating real songs. “Frankie Sinatra” is a calliope of Gypsy tune and circus traumas. Like whiskers on kittens (yep, it’s here -still on “Frankie SInatra”) it is one of your favorite things – B+

State Is Burning – Useless ID – Pure punk, fast loud agitprop -where it means more than here – B

 

1 Comment

  1. Dick Destiny on July 3, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Élson “El” Necrogoat has apparently never heard the advice “better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” That or he suffers from some form of logorrhea.

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