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Be Here Now: New Albums 9-13-19 – 9-19-19 Reviewed

AitcH2O – Aitch – The 19 year old English lad rhymes with an English language so effectively he is on Ed Sheeran’s “Take Me To London” remix and introduced with an eight song EP of fair to middling rap – B-

Miami Memory – Alex Cameron – a tribute to his girlfriend and her family, the trick wears thin but “Stepdad” remains the first of a genre – B-

Days of the Bagnold Summer – Belle & Sebastian – The soundtrack to an upcoming adaptation of the movie of the same name (featuring Nick Cave’s son Earl -who must know a thing or two about mope), 11 new songs and a coupla oldies and Stuart’s song that predates B&S…  but still their typical hit and miss folk as over arranged miid pop. It might be worth mentioning one of the oldies is easily the best – C+

Charli – Charli XCX – So big -here a Haim, there a Troye Sivan, everywhere a Lizzo, it might well teeter over with potential hits:  all super crafted, epic tracked, EDM pop. Take the opener, the closer, and the one with Lizzo  – C+

Home Made Satan – Chastity – Canadian one man band clangs his way through UKish hard rock – C+

Birth of Violence – Chelsea Wolfe – Acoustic goth goes to bedsitland and mopes, but beautifully – B

Ma – Devendra Banhart – Poetic, soft swinging, a little samey and  boring, but his sense of melody has never been stronger and he has never sounded more cheerful  – B

Planeta Fome – Elza Soares – Elza’s ode to hometown Rio De Janeiro is her 34th album, and adds some rap to the mix – B-

REAL LIFE – Emeli Sandé – I used to like Emeli, but she can’t stop trying to lift my spirits, which are quite happy at rest – C+

Pang! – Gruff Rhys – The Super Furry Animal is joined by South African deep house, world music DJ Muzi, for songs sung in Welsh… – B

From the album ‘9’ – Jason Aldean – The man who invented post-Country country, is pure country here, check out “I Don’t Drink Anymore” (since his gal left, he doesn’t drink any less, either) – B+

Snacks (Supersize) – Jax Jones – Super clever as well as super sized EDM, try the Bebe Rexha song – B-

The Practice of Love – Jenny Hval – electronic pop from the Norwegian dealer in sounds to haunt and self manufactured beat hooks – B-

The Dream And The Dreamer – Jeremy Ivey – Produced by his wife Margo Price, Ivey is an Americana turning up the rock elements though buried in country. If only he wasn’t such a plodder – B-

Good Luck, Kid – Joseph – Canadian sisters go folkie indie rock, not as good as it should be – C+

All My Heroes Are Cornballs – JPEGMAFIA – His second album of the year  balances lame lyrics with superb rapping and arranging and his most commercial work to date – B+

The Nothing – Korn – Lead singer Jonathan Davis’s wife, former model Devan Davis, died of an overdose in August 2018. Jonathan and his band Korn have responded with their thirteenth, and best, album: the eleven shades of mourning, powerful and subdued until the emotions overwhelm Davis, and he rails at everything, especially God. An epic tragedy (from a man whose blood runs deep with grief, loss, abuse) with the smallness of the very subjective, and the fourth masterpiece about spousal death in the past five years – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Metronomy Forever – Metronomy – electronic dance bangers with a lot of melody, dripping with it – B-

Death is a Warm Blanket – Microwave – They call one song “Love’s Will Tear Us Apart” but there is no Ian Curtis here though these fraught with unrest and anger hard rock tracks suggest a similar set of disturbances – B

Beneath the Eyrie – Pixies – Good for Black Francis, let him enjoy his success… as long as I don’t have to listen to it – MUST TO AVOID – D+

The VERSACE Experience (PRELUDE 2 GOLD) – Prince – Given away at a Versace show in 1995, just pre to the release of The Gold Experience, some cool remixes of new songs concluding with a mashup of the still not released album – B

Welcome to Galvania – Puddle Of Mudd – As responsible as anyone for the state of rock in the 00s, their first new album this decade sounds a lot less offensive and yet much the same. The opening track, “You Don’t Know,” sounds like prime Nirvana – B

Monster Live EP – R.E.M. – Four songs, three live from 1995, all ace – B+

Hypersonic Missiles – Sam Fender – Pretty good glam rock for the 2010s, the blue eyed cutie pie sings about politics and is being sold as a modern day, UK Springsteen… a risible concept though if he had a couple more as great as the title track, they might be right – B-

The Return – Sampa the Great – World music with electronic beats, very danceable, very rapable, and very – B

House of Sugar – (Sandy) Alex G – From lo-fi bedroom singer songwriter to Frank Ocean’s go to guitarist, Alex G has been around for years. On House Of Sugar, he is more sound provocateur then musician. It’s an acquired taste – C+

DIVISIONS – STARSET – a lot of hoopla for transgressional prog rockists with a flair for the visual – C+

A War On Everything – The Glorious Sons – alt rock  metal as self-examination from the blue collar rockers via Canada  – C+

III – The Lumineers – the story of a family battling generation addictions over three parts, but much better than that sounds, the songs are too strong to evolve into exposition and the lyrics aren’t narrative bound – B

breathe – Tiny Moving Parts -emo math rock, which means emo with better guitar solos. Is that enough? Yup – B-

Lookout Low – Twin Peaks – I once saw these guys open for Stephen Malkmus, on record some of their energy is caught well but their sense of playfulness is missing – B-

Top Boy (A Selection of Music Inspired by the Series) – Various Artists – “Top Boy” is a Netflix show about grime rappers in the UK, Drake is financing it, the songs are young grime stars, some of em we know, Dave, Little Simz, and Giggs, to name three. But the best is Drake going grime at the end – B

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