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Be Here Now: New Albums 9-27-19 – 10-3-19 Reviewed


Velvet: Side A EP – Adam Lambert – well overblown pop ballads, the dance track “Loverboy” is alright  – C

War In My Mind – Beth Hart – the first track is a hard blues rocker, the rest piano based, ring out the feelings singer songwriter bores – C

KIRK – DaBaby – The features include Chance The Rapper and Nicki Minaj, the rapping is beyong ace, the bangers relentless, lyrically, even as he discusses his fathers recent death on this sophomore effort (six months past  the equally excellent Baby On Baby debut), is on the lame side – B

Everywhere We Looked Was Burning – Emel Mathlouthi – Tunisian goth – B-

All Friends Considered – Enrique Sampson the Third – The Foxing guitarist indie rock outing – C+

The Talkies – Girl Band – Post punk hard rock band from Dublin – B

Saint of Circumstance: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 6/17/91 (Live) – Grateful Dead – The “When I Paint My Masterpiece” is ace, the “Drums” a twelve minute piece of redium with jazz chords thrown in, the rest in between – C+

Blue World – John Coltrane – The great 1964 band in great form on these unreleased till now pieces – A-

Heartache Medication – Jon Pardi – old school country songs like the past few decades seldom happened, BUT NOT VERY GOOD ONES – C

Straighten Up – Johnathan Pushkar – If you didn’t know Straighten Up was on Marty’s Jem Record, you would before “The Girl Next Door” is over. If The Weeklings (another Jem Records band) update british Invasion Beatles, Pushker updates the rest of the British Invasion pop guy: there is a directness that isn’t similar even to the third generation Marshall Crenshaw, his songs live in their own world of melodic excellence and jingly power pop enthuisiasm: say what might have happened if everybody hung up their guitars in the middle of 1965, You can try anything here and if you love power pop, you’ll love it. But start with the killer “Hackensack” – ALBUM OF THE WEEK –  B+

I’m Him – Kevin Gates – After 30 months in prison for a gun charge (seems a little much to me), Gates found God and found true love, which makes I’m Him both angry and forgiving at the same time, the Baton Rounge rap star leaves off his gangstaisms and while the sound is similar, the emotions are cleaner – B-

Lambs to Slaughter – Khalil Kain – Debut EP from Kain, features five great tracks, “Moor” being the best of the lot although these Black American take on the USA 2019 are very precise executions on the the concept of a racist President in a racist world – A-

For The Girls – Kristin Chenoweth – Songs made popular by women, including barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were” and Judy Garland on “The Man That Got Away” and two tied into Londa Ronstadt and one tied into both Whitney Houston and Dolly Parton (with Dolly sharing lead) – B

Songs from the Bardo – Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal, Jesse Paris Smith – Song word plus instrumental, improvised reading of “Book Of The Dead” – C-

This Is The Place – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel discovers EDM – C+

EARTHANDSKY – Of Mice & Men – a Junior Varsity Lamb Of God, with nearly everything that implies. And like so much modern rock, it moves between screamo and hard rock vocalists and is best when nosiest – C+

Libertad 548 – Pitbull – Pitbull goes Latino Urbano on the ode to his hero dad (who saved 548 Cuban refugees during the 1980 Mariel Boatlift), with assists from Blake Shelton, Lil Jon, Becky G, Wisin Y Landel and more, making for a no nonsense banger of an album – B+

SOUND & FURY – Sturgill Simpson – The worst stuff he has ever done, the music to a Netflix flick about racing,tedious hard rock – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Hey, I’m Just Like You – Tegan and Sara – The lesbian sisters re-record demos from their High School days, a little bland – C+

Dreams Are Not Enough – Telefon Tel Aviv – Top electronic duo are back after ten years, it could use a Bassnectar remix but is about as good as tech ever gets – B

Abbey Road (Super Deluxe Edition) – The Beatles – As Dylan nearly once put it, the past is always close at hand. as proven by a new/old Beatles release. There is only one way to grade the Beatles and that is on a curve. On a curve, the Super deluxe is a B+, against the rest of the world it is an A+ because IT’S THE BEATLES. Giles Martins seems to be cleaning up the sound (which makes sense) on the 2019 mixes, and, much as you could hope for, he causes no harm. The best stuff? a McCartney song “Goodbye,” that he would eventually hand off to mary Hopkins, “The Ballad Of John And Yoko” with George and Ringo on it (they aren’t on the finished single), and a killer “Old Brown Shoe”. Plus, listen to the best sixteen minutes of your life (“The Long One”) – A+

In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights – The New Pornographers -strong songs, wonderful harmonies, plenty of acee melodies, and a society and a romance breaking down. What’s not to lkie? The songs are not quite as memorable as they should be – b

Dead Man’s Pop – The Replacements – My good friend, Creem Editor Bill Holdship is a huge friend and fan of The Replacements, but me? Not so much. So the box set edition of Don’t Tell A Soul, Dead Man’s Pop, arrives to a nonbeliever with a shrug for no good reason though. The original version was sweetened as The Replacements neared new pop heaven, Matt Wallace’s mix strips it bare and finds a not untypical Replacements album along with the Bearsville Studio mix, demos, and five tracks with Tom Waits. There is also a full 1989 concert, better than either of the two I’ve seen , including a terrific “Alex Chilton” – B+

This Is Not Our Universe – Tinlicker – Debut album by UK tech guys, the alt-j remix is killer, the rest less so – C+

Feel Special – TWICE – K-Pop girls, catchy and sweet but the days when G-Dragon was changing the face of pop are really and truly over – C+

Herstory in the Making – Young M.A – her debut album is smarter than its name, and should be as the most popular lesbian this side of Angel Haze (though Young M.A. is not lipstrick lesbian), her constant and strong lyricism on her debut though hopefully her line of patter is better than “I’m Like, She Like” – B

The Controversy – Zac Brown -what’s worse than Zac going Americana with his band? Zac going EDM beats without his band – D+


  1. Aviv on October 2, 2019 at 3:14 am

    Beth Hart a C?
    Wow. Maybe it’s time to switch profession, “reviewer”.

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