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Be Here Now: New Album Reviews, 7-17-15 – 7-23-15


Pitbull Album Of The Week – 7-17 – 7-23-15

Angels And Alcohol – Alan Jackson – “You Can Always Come Home” is a lovely song for his son, “Jim And Jack And Hank” honky tonks nicely to hipster putdowns, “When God Paints” is a lovely spiritual knock off of “Love Hurts” and there are more (except for the title track -not a goodie) here as well. A solid, unspectacular effort – B

Mister Asylum – Highly Suspect – This is mainstream rock, well meaning and boisterous but the songs aren’t there and the sound is generic crank riffs – C

Five Quick Cuts – Cold War Kids – Seven years after their first album, and six years after “Coffee Spoon” made us think they were an alt rock hard hitting band, the LA guys continue providing MOR rockers which don’t click – C

How Does It Feel – Ms Mr – I kinda have something against couple duos -I mean except for Nancy and Lee. This electro pop pair are unassuming and their tracks are catchy, the arrangements sparkle from time to time, but it is still a dud – C+

Dale – Pitbull – The big time popstar rapper, who never forgets that the main reason to make music is so people can get off their butts AND DANCE, releases his best album in years and years: an upswing, Spanish (occasional Spanglish) language extravaganza with Latin American superstars like Yandel and Ricky Martin making appearances and an amazing hit to miss ratio which will leave you searching for the misses. After so much time spent with gigantic pop samples for the masses (though, yep, that is the Human League) , this is perhaps Mr. 305’s finest moment, salsa fresh beats, superb raps, captivating samples and that iconic cackle. PS if you think it hurts not knowing what the lyrics are,  you don’t listen to much Pitbull  -ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

DS2 – Future – Terrific live, this follow up to Dirty Sprite is nothing if not difficult; fresh off his breakup with Ciara he has released more songs about money and blow, dark sounds, fixed flow, and beats so slow it is like they have upgraded from chronic. The man still has a terrific voice – B-

I Can Feel It EP – Hey Violet – 5 Seconds Of Summer opening band like to feel things, mostly boys. The title track is a goodie – C+

Emergency EP – Icona Pop – Opening for One Direction on this summer’s stadium and with a magical and pink poppy three song EP, stronger than the Swedish pop duo’s inconsistent debut album, they steal “The Clapping Song” for one track, sing about the first time time they got high on another, and on the title track  expand their palate with what sounds like an Israeli folk song beat deed to an EDM track – B+

Sing Into My Mouth – Iron And Wine And Ben Bridwell – Ugh, that title from the whiner and the Band Of Horsser… ugh. The album is a boring load of covers, though the Talking Heads one isn’t bad the Bonnie Raitt comes out comatose – C

Something More Than Free – Justin Isbell – Let me save you some time. Listen to “Children Having Children”, “24 Frames” and “Speed Trap Town” and skip the rest – B-

Mix Tape -Till Summer’s Gone EP – Lee Brice – The Bubba Sparxx appearance isn’t the worst thing here… but then there is so much competition – D

Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975 – It depends on your definition of Newport of course, though where Davis was live hardly matters and the first album on this 18th (gasp) box set, especially the 1955 performance, is among the greatest things we’ve heard from Davis if that time period is where you’re at – A

Man Plans God Laughs – Public Enemy – Chuck D is sick of not making money and doesn’t care who knows. Fair enough, but then why make the brilliant 2012 Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp a bitch to get your hands on and stream this one? – C

Magnifique – Ratatat – You know em from Kid Cudi’s finest work and if you need a token instrumental electronic band, this will absolutely fill the bill -lovely unassuming instrumentals, hard not to enjoy and why would you bother trying? – B

Live At The Fillmore East, October 4th, October 5th, 1968 – Sly And The Family Stone – In an alternate world, Family Stone would’ve been the Funk Grateful Dead. These four sets are proof of how far out they could get and the “Life/Music Lover” nine minute rave up to close the first night is proof there was more ways they could’ve gone. This is “Woodstock” good  – A

Sirens – Sublime With Rome – Same ol’ ska stuff, not bad if your tastes go in that direction, but they still can’t get out from under Bradley Nowell’s legacy – C-


Currents – Tame Impala – Great live, this big time follow up has nothing as big time as “This Time It’s Going To Happen” and while Kevin Parker is having his moment, here he fails to double down and so much of this misses out on the psychedelic maelstrom and when it does hit, on the opening and closing songs, it still doesn’t wreck it up – C+

Born In The Echoes – The Chemical Brothers – The avant garde of 90s proto-electronica haven’t added much to their repertoire of sounds and beats, so if you like it you’ll like it fine – B-

Reggae Gold 2015 – Various Artist – Ah yes, pop crossover, that’s why Magic have the lead off track and Beres Hammond is at # 3… I guess that’s where the gold comes in. If you get to the half way mark, Gyptian has a great song and if you get to the end Inner Circle is a big time pay off – B+

Does It Again – WHite Reaper – This is a raucous good time, full on rock and roll slam dunk. It’s what rock should sound like, a fabulous, grage-y hooky beaut – A

Star Wars – Wilco – It starts real slow but by a third of the way in, “The Joke Explained” -neo-country with a terrific guitar sound, it begins to gel and while it is a little quiet for my tastes, Tweedy pulls it off in the stretch. If you like the band, feel free to upgrade em  – B


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