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Be Here Now: New Albums 6-8-18 – 6-14-18 Reviewed

The Midnight Hour – The Midnight Hour, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Adrian Younge – Everyone from Cee Lo to Questlove join the duo on this smooth r&b album, a bit of a snooze but not bad – B-

Sleeping With Roses – Chelsea Cutler – Soundcloud star exemplifies a new way of breaking through and on her debut you can hear the difference and I don’t mean her vocals, I mean her EDM added to confessionals – B

Level 1 – Cheat Codes – Like Swedish House Mafia without an attitude, this is clever clever EDM with one or two absolute killers bracketing the album – B

Ottopsy – Chief Keef – I thought all that  gats and stuff  hip hop diplomacy died with Biggie, but Chief Keef got shot at last week and 6ix9ine was reportedly responsible. Meanwhile, this is a pretty good Chicago gangsta rap EP with lotsa autotuned and his cousin Tadoe the only featured artist – B

The Mountain – Dierks Bentley – This is an acoustic bore except, maybe “Woman, Amen,” but by the time you get to the midway point you can hear the album slump -Dierk’s worst to date – C

Come Tomorrow – Dave Matthews Band – I’ll say this for Dave, while his songs aren’t as hooky as they once were he sounds about as good as ever – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Bruce Wayne – Fetty Wap – Fetty is perhaps the laziest rapper in a game filled with lazy rap, this autotuned tepid trap beats would work alright if he still wrote good songs, he doesn’t and it is a disappointment – C

SUPERFLY (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Future, 21 Savage, Lil Wayne -Yeah, it ain’t bad, but cmon Curtis knows better. There is nothing like a “Mask Off” and while the one with 21 Savage is really good and the one with Lil Wayne ain’t bad, he can’t come close to sustaining it – B-

The Alligator Bride – Howlin Rain – Ethan Miller’s psychedelic yet melodic side hustle is one of the increasingly rare rocking albums that jams out to songs he calls “sangin’ sings” and manages to make it stick , the opening two numbers is among the best straight up no chaser wild rockers you’ll hear this year – B+

Lost & Found – Jorja Smith – UK R&B singer tempers soulful singing with neo-soul moodscapes – B

Childqueen – Kadhja Bonet – An odd smooth jazz experimental ode to the transitional joys of childhood by the one woman band… makes you nostalgic for everybody else’s past – B

KIDS SEE GHOSTS – KIDS SEE GHOSTS – Kanye West and Kid Cudi work through their mental illness to find a modicum of ease by the end – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Happysad – Kiefer – Some time Anderson. Paak producer performs jazz piano on this minimal instrumental album that adds 808s to what you expect – B-

Devotion – Laura Jean – Lovely dreampop from Australia, Laura Jean tells story songs about someone else’s hearts, and at its best they are strong enough to pull an album of slow paced swoon with her – B

Lily Allen – No Shame – After the disappointing Sheezus, Lily deals with her public divorce in brutal fashion and sometimes the songs are worth the effort – B

so sad so sexy – Lykke Li – Joined by Amine and Rostam, this is pretty indie pop plus beats from somewhere in Scandinavia – B-

Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good – The Final Kill – Megadeth – This is Dave Mustaine’s version of the popular metal album now 35 years old… proggier than I remember it – B

Ne-Yo – GOOD MAN – There was a time, circa that Disney movie, when Ne-Yo seemed on he cusp of becoming the greatest soul singer still living, but he couldn’t maintain it.  So here he heavies up on the featured artists (Romeo Santos for one, on the best song here), and gains very little from the experience – C+

Kings (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Nick Cave, Warren Ellis – From the movie about the 1992 LA riots, apparently it wasn’t a very exciting riot – C

Pat Barrett – EP – Pat Barrett – CCM, Hillsong have nothing to worry about –  D

The Awkward Moment When God Changed My Life – Paul J Kim – Incredibly irritating not funny but pathetic, just puke filled –  – D+

Reshaped – Perfume Genius – I love this guy and all of these remixes are excellent, especially Blake Mills (I’m surprised as well) “Every Night” which is truly haunting… but really not a dud in sight – A-

soil – serpentwithfeet – I’ve done nothing but rave about this r&b singer and would love to see him live, but what is so powerful as a single can get samey on his debut album. “bless your heart” is a masterpiece that slips past you on record and the first song, “whisper” is an arresting and well developed song with a chorus so beautiful you hold your breath and yet by  the second time I lost it in the shuffle and had to move it to a playlist… still, a great neo-r&b study of deep and abiding romantic love – A-

Lush – Snail Mail – This week’s model has been around since she was sixteen years old, I blow hot and cold on these nouveau indie girls and this one leaves me a little cold, Jordan, a one woman home aloner, considers herself punk but she is really the latest of these girls and is a little samey – C+

Bigger – Sugarland – An absolute dog, but let’s hope they sell lots of tickets on the tour anyway – C

The Beach Boys With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – The Beach Boys, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – The worst idea I’ve ever heard of, Brian Wilson’s songs don’t need much and they certainly don’t need rearranging – D+

Kicker – The Get Up Kids – Nice hard rocker from my own favorite emo band, “I’m Sorry” is very catchy, about being a parent it says here – B

Talking to the Moon – Tony Hadley – Overblown dross but what did you expect? – C-

What Heaven is Like – Wussy – Wussy get proggier and less melodic with every album, and it has been four years since Attica. This one is a snooze though probably is a knockout live – C+


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