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Be Here Now: New Albums 11-1-19 – 11-7-19 Reviewed

In the Magic Hour Solo Sessions – Aoife O’Donovan – Just in case you managed to stay awake during the original 2016 release, here it is again as an acoustic lo-fi take  – B-

Sincerely, Detroit – Apollo Brown – A Michigan favorite son, adds a lot of local rappers to his forthright flow and 90s style scratching – B-

The Undivided Five – A Winged Victory for the Sullen – Quiet ambient orchestrations with a subtle and shifting sweep – B

Black To Blues, Vol. 2 – Black Stone Cherry – The Kentucky based Southern rockers, still doing blues covers and quite well, as well. Not Zep… then again, neither are you. The Robert Johnson cover is a blast  – B

Note By Note – Booker T. Jones – hard boiled r&b, the instrumentals are better than the featured singers -but you knew that – B

Travelin’ Thru, 1967 – 1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15 (Sampler) – Bob Dylan – About a third of the box set, it doesn’t quite click as anything but a headscratcher because it misses the hard and edged vision of the  Nashville complete multi-disc – B+

Travelin’ Thru, 1967 – 1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15  – Bob Dylan – Two years in Nashville, featuring John Wesley Harding outtakes, Nashville Skyline outtakes, Cash and Dylan rehearsals, and three songs with Earl Scruggs -A

Myths 004 – Cate le Bon, Bradford Cox – obstreperous art snooze – C

New Age Norms 1 – Cold War Kids – lousy r&b -C-

VALEDICTORIAN – DDG – You’ve met the college dropout, now meet Epic Records new scholar, whose debut album is  workmanlike rap  – C+

FEET OF CLAY – Earl Sweatshirt – Downbeat, art-rap, from the Odd Future rapper, not as good as Some Rap Songs but strong – B

One Of The Best Yet – Gang Starr –  If your taste runs to 90s rap, Gang Starr mix raps from the long gone Guru, and DJ Premier. We’ve been flipping out over the  singles, and the album maintains the groove. Especially moving to hear Guru’s son salute him  -ALBUM OF THE WEEK – B+

Refuge Cove – Grace Cummings – Goth meets folk with a first rate singer and a low key mid-90s Nick Cave sound (non-histrionic section) – B+

A Blemish In The Great Light – Half Moon Run – Dreadful alt rock with a touch of the psychedelics – C-

All Aboard The Skylark – Hawkwind – These guys were great back some 50 years, but now? Horrid listening, English metal – C

Memory Echo – Hélène Grimaud, Nitin Sawhney – The classical pianist is so low key here that it is almost ambient, just working on the edges of your consciousness – B

MCID – Highly Suspect – godawful hard rock – D+

Imperfect Circle – Hootie & The Blowfish – After my negative review last week, I read where AllMusic gave it four stars, and while I condemned it as just more Hootie horrid rock pop, they claimed it added some Ruckus country stuff. It is still horrid beyond anything a reasonable man should be forced to listen to – MUST TO AVOID –  D

I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This – Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra – Smooth jazz, snooze jazz – D

Out Of Nowhere – Jeff Lynne’s ELO – Same old crap with worse melodies – C

Welcome presents Little Comp Of Horrors Vol.1 – Kayzo – electronic horror sounds for the end of the TV viewing public – B-

Wool – Juto – Neo-r&b, circles melodies, lands on em sometime, try “Night Text” – B

Basement Tapes – Lambchop – The new song is great, the remixes aren’t – B-

GOTH ANGEL SINNER – Lil Peep – Still druggy indie rock-y mood music like ambient dreamy – B-

Sólo Me Faltabas Tú – Lucero – Traditional Mexican folk with pop affiliations and horns aplenty – B

Merry Christmas (Deluxe Anniversary Edition) – Mariah Carey – Does the world really, really need three versions of “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – original, live, feature crammed remix? Yes, of course it does. Nearly two house of Christmas – B-

KIWANUKA – Michael Kiwanuka – A Jack Johnson for world music – C-

One Man Gang – Michael Monroe – Hanoi Rocks was pretty good, so is Monroe on another slice of metal glam rock hair music, etc. The titlee track is awesome – B-

Wildcard – Miranda Lambert – she drawls like she just stepped outta the trailer -in Birmingham. And when she gets the song, “White Trash” is a goodie (I wish they all were) we forgive her sins. Other songs? Too clever for their own good, Maren Morris featured “Way Too Pretty For Prison,” isn’t good enough, nor clever enough, on an eager to please dog – C

Alter – EP – My Nu Leng – dubby drums electronica – C+

An Invitation to an Alternate Reality – New Politics – Political bubblegum rock – C

MTV Unplugged In New York (25th Anniversary – Live) – Nirvana – There have been only two voices of a generation, Dylan was one, Cobain the other. If it isn’t Biggie, it is either Nevermind, In Utero, or this one that is the greatest album of the 1990s. The album includes five songs from the rehearsal (Cobain comes across as a whiny bitch), and to the myriad of friends who don’t rate Nirvana: up yours – A+

Networker – Omni – Very Athens, Ga, iindie rock with a quirky post-punk guitar sound – B-

Monster (25th Anniversary Edition) – R.E.M. – The remix sounds great, the outtakes of academic interest, the live stuff worth your attention – B

The Best of Me – Rick Astley – Still rhymes with ghastly – D

Surfacing – R.LUM.R – Somewhat tedious neo-soul – C+

Por Siempre Ranchero – Roberto Tapia – Mexican pop goes by the appellate of regional narcocorridos, all to the sound of accordion where the guitars might be – B-

Kind (Deluxe) – Stereophonics – “I Just Wanted The Goods” is a great song, and everything, and I mean EVERYTHING else, is lousy UK rock – C-

Athena – Sudan Archives – The violinist adds beats and strings to her r&b;  not bad, maybe it needs more time than people are willing to give it – B-

The Soft Parade (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) – The Doors – Their worst album, “Tell All The People” and “Touch Me” are the only keepers; the one hour plus “Rock Is Dead” proves its point and then some – C

Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire (2019 Deluxe) – The Kinks – “Australia,” “Mr. Churchill Says,” “Victoria” -sure, it’s a truly great album with a deluxe version that adds zero – A

Occabot – The Stargazer Lilies – The married couple are shoegaze one oh one – B-

Love Language – UMI – cool, neo r&b, she’s welcome into the world of H.E.R. and SZA on a very fine EP – B+

Charlie’s Angels (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Various Artists – A misstep, though not a disaster, Ariana Grande has put aside her Sex In The City 2019 persona that made Sweetener and thank u, next, such works of brilliance, for her curated soundtrack and hasn’t returned to her old school r&b mini-diva stuff, either. With the exception of the inexcusable “Don’t Call Me Angel,” she has provided us with middle of the road EDM, female centric shrugs forgotten as you listen to em, though with a few exceptions – including the Kash Doll and Kim Petras claimed “How It’s Done,” the song with Chaka Khan, and Black Caviar’s theme of remix  – B-



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