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Be Here Now: New Album Reviews, March 10th, 2015


Album Of The Week: March 9th, 2015

Searching For Zero – Cancer Bats – Punk rockers with a steeliness that sounds more like metal to me – B

Expect Delays – Evans The Death – Their sophomore effort and I prefer it to their first album which I loved, this is a deep blue but gorgeous album of knock out downers. Just about flawless in execution and arrangement -there are consistent sounds that grab you, it has a life and vitality that cuts into the anger, A terrific album – A-

Empire Soundtrack – V/A – This is better than expected, a track with Courtney Love is pretty good and a track with Jennifer Hudson seems to jump off the record, Timbaland, who has had an iffy 2010s (I said land, not lake), is the man behind the soundtrack for the FOX-TV megahit, and consider this a huge return to form. Frankly, I am very surprised – B+

Lesser Oceans – Fences – Impressive pop rock songs, a little lo fi but with enough switch ups to hold your attention. and when the hook of the first song goes “I think that death is coming around, I like it”, your attention might be rewarded  – B

Spring Break… Checkin’ Out – Luke Bryan – By the end of this, his seventh Spring Break EP, Luke sounds like he has just seen a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac… just what the world needs, an aging, depressed fratboy – C-

Rebel Heart – Madonna – If you can get your hands on the 25 track version (the deluxe is 19 songs) do so, if not, this will have to do – A

Fresh Blood – Matthew E White – His sophomore effort is better than his first effort because this surprisingly original singer songwriter let’s his songs speak for him, all of which use his lo-fi vocals and extreme arrangements work for him. “Rock & Roll Is Cold” (and “r&b is free”) is even better than its name – B+

Look Up – MOD SUN – Amusingly dubbed hippy hop, this is a rock meets white rap album with a song here and there that really catches your attentiuon. The problem is the rapping, but enough songs announce themselve – B-

Never Been Better – Olly Murs – The latest entry in the Robbie Williams why are they not big in the States sweepstake is this hugely popular in the UK popster, who with his sophomore effort, and despite a terrific Demi Lovato duet, can’t seem to crack the States. There is no reason I can see, this is wide ranging modern pop from faux-folk to EDM pop all the way to, well, more EDM pop, a well crafted album. Try “Wrapped Up” and “Up”  – B

At Last: The Lost Radio Performances – Peggy Lee – From her 1951 show and this Peggy Lee pop singer, not jazz swinger and certainly not Tex-Mex. Still, pretty darn terrific – B+

Zero – The Rezillos – Imagine if you will that the B-52s were born in Scotland, raised on glam rock, and then exploded into the middle of New Wave, and you have the Rezillos. A terrific rock pop bubblegum conglom who had a handful of terrific hits and disappeared to reappear now and again. This is their first new album in decades and while Jo Callis is missed, Fay Fife is here and though these have moments of maturity (sadly) and though there is nothing as great as “(My Baby) Does Good Sculpture” -what do you care if you’re listening to “Spike Heel Assassin”? Terrific, fun, a little older, not much wise… and FAY FIFE – ALBUM OF THE WEEK  A-

Patterns And Shapes EP – Royal Tongues – Pleasant and well crafted indie pop tracks – B

Fast Moving Clouds – Sarah Bethe Nelson – Good singer songwriter stuff, a touch laid back – B

Bombs Away – Sheppard – Tuneful modern indie pop from Australia, a brother-sister duo trade lead vocals with consistently pleasant effect. “Smile” is a great song – B+

Stripped Down – Rick Springfield – Yeah, it is kinda sad he only ever had one song, this solo acoustic liver proves it, but if you are gonna have only one song “Jessie’s Girl” is the one to have – C-

Mysteries – Tigerlilly – London indie pop band and a good one: their calling card is consistently smartsongs, their downfall, they are a little laid back – B

Ripe 4 Luv – Young Gov – A true original mixing bedsitland vibes and sounds with pop sensibility, occasional experimental florourishes, and power pop instincts, all from Fucked Up’s Ben Cook!   – B


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