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Be Here Now: New Album Reviews 7-31-15 – 8-6-15


ALBUM OF THE WEEK: 7-31-15 TO 8-6-15

Momentary Masters – Albert Hammond, Jr – A talented guitarist for absolutely certain, but without the chops to lead a band of his own, or the songs to let him get away with it. This feels like a vanity project – C

Play Guitar – Buddy Guy – Lousy live, where he spends too much time dicking around to play a song all the way through, Guy is possibly the bet Chicago blues guitarist around with BB dead (tributed with Van Morrison on the impeccable  “Flesh And Bone”) and the long time gone Muddy Waters (tributed by Buddy himself on the aptly named “Come Back Muddy”), and if they’re not aggressive enough for you, return to the beginning and hold on. Plus, Kim Wilson is all over the thing – A-

Radiance And Submission – CFCF – This is where electronica meets ambience, it keeps on intruding but not enough to hold your attention – B-

If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ – Daniel Romano – I wish George Jones was still living, even  if only so he could teach Daniel Romano how Daniel’s excellent song “I’m Gonna Teach You” should be sung. This is a fine country album, low key but strong. I’ll take it over a lot of the Americana I am hearing – B+

Lost Worker Bee EP – Elbow – Four songs, and all as good as their average track and none as good “The Take Off And Landing Of Everything”, which figures, or “What Time Do You Call This?”,  which doesn’t – B

Water For Your Soul – Joss Stone – The problem with Joss is not her voice, which sucks only when compared to a real blues singer, but her songs, which suck when compared to most things. So if this is a little better than the usual stuff, thank the songs, and thank the rock steady grooves – C+

Blood – Lianne  La Havas – Aqalung is around but only for two songs, and instead, soul electronica superheroes like Jamie Lidell pick up the slack. Which means it is a lot livelier but not quite as deep as the first album, neo-soul UK style with enough winners to get you through to the end – B-

Professional rapper – Lil Dicky – Like Mac Miller with a better sense of humor but  less skills – C+

Another One – Mac Demarco – Canadian indie singer songwriter has only one trick, he quirks out, but it is such a good trick he’ll gain a career out of it, though he never need worry about  a mobscene after putting his home address at the end of this record – B

Marks To Prove It – The Maccabees – Somewhere between their first and second album, these UK indie rockers lost their mojo, and while they don’t find it here, “Kamakura” is a darn good song. Everything else is for fans only – B-

Yung Rich Nation – Migos – Atlanta hip hop guys are great when they are at their poppiest and pretty good on the Chris Brown soul one, but go on a bit otherwise – B

Lovers Know – The Mynabirds – Never a huge fan of Laura Berhenn, that may have to change She had this soulful indie soul sound on her last album, but she didn’t have the songs. Now she has both and has fashioned, a lovely set of earnest tracks – B+

Saint Asonia – Saint Asonia – As far as it goes, this modern rock band from Canada via Stained are pretty good. The problem is, I can’t stand as far as it goes. Everybody sounds like Soundgarden, bad Soundgarden – C

Love Lust And Genocide – Samuel Claiborne – Two sexual adjectives and a vicious verb, invites you into Samuel’s bitter brittle state of the USA , intro-ing with a song that would have been a hit for Nine Inch Nails 20 years ago, and a body blow to the American dream, and continuing with “The Lion And The Lamb”,  an acoustic Neil Young in protest mode and about a gay kid thrown out by his parents but without the whining vocal, “Hurt” you know and it is here to stake Samuel’s claim to experimental hard rocks disappeared high ground, and by the final track, a trip hop meets Marilyn Manson meets Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry (or at least Adrian Sherwood) mash up, Claiborne’s debut stakes its claim to be the most original agitprop of the year if not the decade – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Greatest Hits Volume One – Teenage Time Killers – Teenage? If heavy metal is having a moment, these middle age rock stars are doing nothing to maintain it – C

The Lamentable Tragedy Of – Titus Andronicus – A 29  rock and roll song  cycle detailing the ebbs and flows of manic depression – A

Come And Get It: The Best Of Apple Records – Various Artists – Thank Apple A&R man Peter Asher for discovering an astounding amount of talent for the Beatles label (and McCartney for Mary Hopkins). James Taylor, Jackie Lomax, Badfinger, Billy Preston. This round up is excellent, and a clear reminder that Apple Records set out to make a record label where you didn’t have to go on bending knee to get a contract, and still managed not to make an ass out of themselves.. Plus… Hot Chocolate covering “Give Peace A Chance”? – A




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