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Be Here Now: New Albums 11-2-18 – 11-8-18

White Bronco – Action Bronson – Bronson releases this one himself and takes few chances as it sounds like his very best work, all flow and rhymes and that wonly Action Bronson terseness – B

Memento Mori (Anthology 1978 – 2018) – Barry Adamson – The former Bad Seed, and, more impressive, Magazine member, has spent the past twenty odd years doing movie soundtracks, here he compiles his greatest moments as a powerful reminded of a musician just below the public’s awareness and yet a star for sure – B+

Walls – Barbra Streisand – Lachrymose rubbish by a great singer and a lousy politician. Worst moment, maybe of her career? “Lady Liberty”. Best moment on the album, maybe “What The World Needs Now” – a terrific song (Remember it at the end of “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice”?) that has never sounded more sanctimonious – C-

Don’t Think That – BlocBoy JB – There is no “Look Alive” here, there is no Drake at all, but the Memphis freshman has a goodie with Lil Uzi vert and “Bacc Street Boys” isn’t what you hoped but it is very good, otherwise not much is going on – C+

More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 14 (Sampler) – Bob Dylan – You get “Up To Me” and “Call Letter Blues” but not his cover of “Spanish Is The Loving Tongue,” and no album closer “Buckets Of Rain” – A-

More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 14 (Deluxe) – Bob Dylan – A revelation but not thematically, rather, even clearer than on The Cutting Edge, how Dylan worked his way through the songs till he had them correct. For instance, “Tangled Up In Blue” didn’t go from third to first person till the recording Bob put on the album and he couldn’t get “You’re A Big Girl Now” right till he discovered that he should cut back the moan between lines from after every line in the second half of the first verse till just the first line – A+

One Awkward Moment – Casting Crowns – “Only Jesus” ain’t bad and the rest is terrible – C-

Jazz in Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Seldon – Charles Mingus – The great bassist with a good (not great) band, performing purely pleasurable mainstream (for the time) jazz that rolls right through you-try “Dizzy’s Profile” that while never handed to Dizzy (or heard before), is really beautiful, then step back to set opener “Pithecanthropus” and it is like you’ve been smashed into a Jackson Pollock painting – A

Fetti – Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs, The Alchemist – Three gangsta rappers counting their $ and flowing over some great samples… try “The Blow” – B

Let The Vultures In – Des Rocs – That Led Zep classic rock vibe is making a comeback, this adds some garage swampiness to the mix – B-

Cheer – Drug Church – Hard rocking punks, play it straight and hits it out on rowdy, pulverized, song after song – B

#3 – Handbraekes – Super DJ Boys Noize and pal Mr. Oizo are together again, for electronic hi jinx tied to deep house – B-

I Used To Know Her – Part 2 – EP – H.E.R. – Even better than Part One, which has been among the best releases of the year, both “Carried Away” and “Can’t Help” are chill r&b that have mastered a big problem in neo-soul, the songs don’t work often enough and these two do, as do the piano ballad soulfulness of “I’m Not OK”. H.E.R. has a lovely, bruised voice, and a skill at letting you into her heart and she uses it all the way through the 28 minute recording – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

III (Live At Hillsong Conference) – Hillsong Young & Free –  live arena recording of the Y&F worship night at Hillsong Conference in Sydney, Australia…. somewhere jesus is rolling over in his grave – MUST TO AVOID – D-

Virgo Fool – Hiss Golden Messenger – Tedious indie Americana – C

The Music of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – In Four Contemporary Suites – Imogen Heap – The music is so strong that even in the confines of the theatre, watching one of the most special Potter stories ever, you can’t help but notice from the very beginning, “Suite One: Platform 9 3/4”  that the music is gorgeous, and you can’t help but notice that it is the same sensibility that brought us Taylor Swift’s “Clean” – A-

Hood Favorite – Jay Critch -The Offset track is good, and the hardest songs are also the quiestest, but if Jay is the second coming of Brooklyn, I can’t hear it – C+

Where Do I Come From – Maggie Roche – The late Roche sister’s 32 song compilation makes a damn good case for Maggie to have been underestimated, and I write this as a huge fan who also missed out on a lot of stuff. As well as the simple beauty of the Roches harmonies, and the effervescent skillfulness that could turn dark when that was the shading necessary, Maggie as the eldest sister (dead too early last year at 65), brims with literary skills that never becomes sophistry and a sense of life being lived that never evokes the museum pieces. This less resurrects and more affirms Maggie’s standing as a primary New York songwriter of her time. Hard to know where to start, maybe deep into “Can We Go Home Now” -you already know it but try it out of context – A+

Negative Capability – Marianne Faithfull – She remakes “As Tears Go By” and “Witches Song” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” and if back in the 70s she seemed ravished by drugs yet still an artist in full, today she is vanquished by time and still an artist in full, it is a shame she didn’t include the song she wrote and Mick Jagger took credit for: “Wild Horses” – B+

FAME – Mikky Ekko – recorded in Nashville, this isn’t country but indie pop co-produced by Eric Church and Cage the Elephant collaborator Jay Joyce, and it has an aliveness to it which doesn’t save Milly from the entire lack of memorable songs – C+

RESET – Moneybagg Yo – This is old school gangster, all ratter tat verses and quasi-Wu mood sounds, Future shows up on two songs, j. Cole, YG, and Kodak Black who steals the show on “Lower Level” – B-

Mountains – Sia, Diplo, Labrinth – EDM Supergroup LSD keep on adding songs to an EP outgrowth, and then at some time it might be an album! – B+

NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES – Metro Boomin, Travis Scott, 21 Savage – Impressive guest list, 21 Savage has had a quiet year but he steals the show on “10 Freaky Girls,” and the Offset and Drake bonus song is pretty good. Metro Boomin is a great producer but he isn’t a frontman and he has terrific pop instincts but they don’t amount to art at all – B-

Interstate Gospel – Pistol Annies – The older but wiser supergroup (Miranda Lambert, Ashley Lambert, and Angaleena Presley) of embittered divorcees aim at us guys and stop drop and roll one on this thoroughly enjoyable piece of country pop – B

Am I A Girl? – Poppy – Modern pop-art girl with a help from Diplo, this is the sound of synth pop fried in an electronic stew of girlyness – C+

She Remembers Everything – Rosanne Cash – A dreary Americana bore, though she still has a lovely voice – C

Wake The Sleeping Dragon! – Sick Of It All – More hardcore than punk, these New Yorkers sound like they should be from the mid-west as they put their heads down and barrel through 17 songs in 33 minutes – B

One Shot – Straight No Chaser – A capella harmony band, occasionally they hit the sweet spot – C

POISON – Swizz Beatz –  Almost as boring as his wife, Alicia Keys, this is sub Pharrell without the pop reflexes – C

The Last Rocket – Takeoff – Migos utility player plays it straight on this fine, all flow plus trap (plus autotuned) album, the rhyming is fine, the flow is fine, and the feel is miles away from gnats and stuff. Check out “None To Me” – B+

Post-Apocalypto – Tenacious D – So funny I forgot to laugh – C-

No Tourists – The Prodigy – Still slapping their bitch up, this is as obstreperous and nasty as you could hope – C+

FM! – Vince Staples  – Vince has yet to prove it live but on record he is a uniquely gifted rapper and sound merchant with a bad attitude that intellectualizes everything about the unbearable backness of being. With 11 songs in 22 minutes, FM! is great meta-black meets the radio songs with nothing but strengths in them, It gets no better than opening song “Feels Like Summer” but doesn’t really have to – B+

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