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Be Here Now: New Albums 9-6-19 – 9-12-19 Reviewed

404 – Barns Courtney – UK rocker Barns goes straight up glam rocker on this high energy, high melodic quotient album of old new wave sounds – B

Lost Girls – Bat For Lashes – Wall of moody soundness that is too lugubrious for this day and age, she is like Cat Power rather than Kate Bush – C+

Mirrorland – EARTHGANG – From the Southside of Atlanta, the same place that brought us Future, Olu (a.k.a. Johnny Venus) and WowGr8 (f.k.a. Doctur Dot) debut on on Dreamsville adds experimental vocal freshness, whether rapping or chanting, to their child of Atlanta vibe – B-

Orgullo Mexicano – Edwin Luna y La Trakalosa de Monterrey – Old school Mariachi for a Mexican audience, and also for anybody who feels that swaying beat and swinging horns – B

Close It Quietly – Frankie Cosmos – Well constructed, quiet, with an edge of indie pop, and a sweet touch. Very 00s but  no worse for that – B

Is He Real? – IDK – Pusha-T, DMX, Burna Boy, GLC, and Tyler, The Creator join Maryland rapper IDK as he questions God, and smirks his way, through some cool rap songs – B-

Free – Iggy Pop – Of the trio, Iggy, Bowie, and Lou Reed, Iggy was always the bastard son, and nothing has changed only on this experimental jazz, mood, spoken word atrocity it is worse – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Hoodies All Summer – Kano – politically aware rap album with my than a touch of trap – B

Something Like A War – Kindness – When they go electronic arty, they lose me. And Kindness have zero concept how to perform live. But when they keep to pop, on stuff like “Lost Without and “Hard To Believe,” (the latter with Jazmine Sullivan!)  Kindness deserves Robyn’s mentorship – B

Artemis – Lindsey Stirling – The daughter of Zeus and the fiddler to the stars meet up on a strong, though not great instrumental would be classical album – B-

House on Wheels EP – Deb Never – chill r&b jazz mood soul ballads – B-

LOVE AND COMPROMISE – Mahalia – exceedingly pleasant r&b, without  attitude and not a naff moment in sight – B

K-12 – Melanie Martinez – “Wheels On The Bus” is excellent, and when Melanie assumes the kindergarten position, she is one of a kind. But K-12 isn’t Cry Baby, and while it has many very cool pop moments, song for song she fails to ignite the Lesley Gore vibe of old – C+

Rubberband – Miles Davis – The great lost Miles album, recorded for Warner Brothers before Tutu, emerges as the least Miles and just another smooth jazz r&b crack with occasional bursts from the great one – C+

Saves The World – MUNA – Impressive when opening for harry Styles two years ago, their sophomore album is better than their third -a dark, inky blue synth and pop grandeur queer rock – B-

Hollywood’s Bleeding – Post Malone – If only Austin didn’t have face tattoos, he would have completed his switch to mainstream popster from mumble rap harbinger. On Hollywood’s Bleeding he walks the same side of the street as Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey, performing poppy variations of his r&b and rap specific to his scene. And like Taylor, some of it works and some of it doesn’t and it is a pleasure figuring out which song is which – B

Red Hearse – Red Hearse – Alyson Camus wrote about the band the other day (here), a producers supergroup featuring Jack Antonoff and two superproducers, Sounwave and Sam Dew. Not unpleasant, mainstream pop doses of electronica – B-

Party Pack. Vol 2 – Shoreline Mafia LA rappers perform brooding trap about having a very good time – C+

How It Feels to Be Lost – Sleeping With Sirens – Post emo hardcore, and nothing grown-ups should have to  worry about too much,  in theory. In practice, emocore never kicks as hard as Sleeping With Sirens do.  Kellin Quinn is a first rate hard rock singer and the band have all the headaches of hard rock 2019 and yet song after song signifies. A significant surprise – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – B+

Backbone – Status Quo – Francis Rossi is still doing it? Just the same as always, nod your head rock, for sixty years… Of course, who could stomach em to start with after “Pictures Of Matchstick Men”? – C

The Highwomen – The Highwomen, Brandi Carlile – Women, altogether, singing songs, country songs: what a concept – C+

THE S.L.P. – THE S.L.P. – The Kasabian leader goes solo and builds wall of sound… that’s slowthai on “Meanwhile…at the Welcome Back” – B-

Amadjar – Tinariwen – I had a Moroccan buddy who prepared the best couscous you have ever come within a million miles of, and this is the musical equivalent  – B

? (Deluxe) – XXXTENTACION – XXXTentacion didn’t live long enough to become a post-humus cottage industry, so this kitchen sink version of his biggest hit will probably have to do. As well as the album, you get instrumental tracks, voice memo demos, not to mention “A Ghetto Christmas Carol”. XXX wasn’t the loss that Big L was, but he is up there – A


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