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Be Here Now: New Albums Reviewed 1-29-18 – 2-1-19

Above & Beyond – Common Ground – EDM for pussies, it’s like OMD being macked by a Pro-Tools – D+

Bekon – Get With The Times – Bekon produced eight of the songs on Kendrick’s Damn. and includes that U2 -Lamar collab in a rapless take on this fine album, a place where the tracks come rushing to the forefront on one of rap’s top producers – B+

Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa – Black Coffee – Hard blues rockers, missing some killer songs – C

Burna Boy – Outside – I gave up on Dancehall after they jailed Buju (who is still in stir), this ain’t bad at all reggae via “shithole” Nigeria, try “PH City Vibration” – B

Calexico – The Thread That Keeps Us – Roots rock snoozers – C

Celtic Woman – Homecoming – Live From Ireland – The livelier stuff reminds you that women rule the riverdance, the slow ones reminds you that slow ones suck – C+

Chris Dave and The Drumhedz – Chris Dave And The Drumhedz – Drumheadz indeed, give the drummer some for an hour, of which 15 minutes would have made the point – C+

Club 8 – Golden Island – The Swedish duo have been around for the 1990s, this is a very beautiful work of sweet melodic electronic pop – B+

Cory Asbury – Reckless Love – The album cover looks like an add for NAMBLA (no really… Look…


But no, it’s some jesus freak and his son.. – MUST TO AVOID – D

Cory Asbury – Reckless Love – If there is a Jesus, let’s hope and pray he has good enough taste in music to send these Hillsong hacks to purgatory where they belong – D

Craig David – The Time Is Now – UK pop goes soul, I’ve had problems with this guy, a little too smooth for his own good. But there is no denying the consistency of sound and song here, talk about potential hit filled. Somebody should break him here – B

Dead! – The Golden Age of Not Even Trying – The last time we heard a young rock band of this much power, hipness, and loud sounds they were called Viola Beach and all the members did die in a car accident on tour. Better luck to these young reprobates – B+

Django Django – Marble Skies – Torturous quasi lo fi  experimental jam by other means songs – D

Dream Wife – Dream Wife – Glam punk via the UK…. definitely has its moments – B

Evidence – Weather or Not – One third of Digitable People has the beats via Alchemist and a way with a brutal and dark beat on Evidence’s self-portraits – B

For All Seasons – Clarity – I am listening to this, no idea who they are, and by the third song I think music this lousy has to be CCM. Of course, that’s what it is – D

Graham Coxon – The End Of The F***ing World (Original Songs and Score) – You know, Blur never recovered after tossing out guitarist Coxon. This sounds like Leisure era Blu, ok maybe Modern Life… – B-

Grateful Dead – Grateful Dead Records Collection – “Features four fully remastered complete albums – WAKE OF THE FLOOD, FROM THE MARS HOTEL, BLUES FOR ALLAH, and STEAL YOUR FACE. This is the first time STEAL YOUR FACE will be available digitally!” – C+

Ghostface Killah – The Brown Tape – According XXL: “,Ghost dropped the concept album,  2 Reasons to Die, with Adrian Younge in 2013. Frequent collaborator Brown then put together an alternate version of the LP titled The Brown Tape, which featured an almost identical tracklist and all new beats. The new version was released on streaming sites but would later be removed. Last month, Mello Music Group revealed they would be re-releasing the project January 25th. ” According to Ken Shane: “As far from Kendrick as you can get but nearly as cool” – ALBUM OF THE WEEK –  A-

H.C. McEntire – LIONHEART – country folk beauty is all all featfelt same sex love songs, try “Quartz In The Valley” – B+

Hollie Cook – Vessel of Love – The former Slit and scion of a Sex pistol (here) gets her rub-a-dub on with old school reggae songs for her third album –  B

iKON – Return – K-Pop at its K-Best, on their second album iKon come across like NSYNC for a different world. Try “Jerk” – B

Lil Wayne – D6: Reloaded – I have no idea who thought it would be a good idea to have Weezy talk between every track but, despite some interesting stuff like while he can’t remember what gifts Drake has given him, they have been very extravagant, like the house Wayne lives in, they are intrusive in the extreme and the sad thing is, some of these tracks, “Big Bad Wolf” and “Family Feud” to name but two, deserve  better – B+

Machine Head – Catharsis – “Volatile” is really hardcore metal , but then the album expands in every direction but up, wait for the nine minute “Heavy Lies The Crown” about Louis XI – YES the eleventh! – B

Mary Gauthier – Rifles and Rosary Beads – This is a part of the “Songwriting For Soldiers” -a way for returning combatants to deal with the life after wartime. A terrific collection of songs that are unblinking in their stories about the horrors of transitioning from war to a world that doesn’t much care – B+

Mind Spiders – Furies – garage rock with electronics – B

Migos – Culture II – At 105 miutes in length it goes on and on and on, but sometimes when it stops, the Post Malone song for one, it blows you away – B+

Mike Posner – i was born in detroit on a very very very very very very very cold day – Live spoken word album except Mike ain’t much of a poet – C

Mike Shinoda – Post Traumatic EP – A goodbye to Chester by the lead singer, interrupted by voicemails – B

Mudhoney – LiE (Live in Europe) – Always a pleasure to hear “Fuzz Gun,” no idea why they passed on “Touch Me, I’m Sick” and otherwise as loud and angular as you could hope for – B

Nils Frahm – All Melody – German pianist says improvisational, sounds ambient electronica – B

OMB Peezy – Young & Reckless – E-40 recommended though that could be more geography than culture, mainstream story telling young man rap – C+

Payroll Giovanni & Cardo – Big Bossin Vol. 2 – Speaking of E-40, you can find him on this typical rap album with atypical smooth jazz samples – B-

Rick Springfield – The Snake King – Great, now I have to take this guy seriously? Really, “Jesus Was An Atheist” would be unacceptable if Rick was 16 not 60 – C

Stefflon Don – Hurtin’ Me The Ep – dancehall rap – C+

The Dangerous Summer – The Dangerous Summer – More tedious than dangerous emo rock, the story is they disbanded in 2007 and became a cult band and are ready for their close up  – C-

The Spook School – Could It Be Different? – Put it this way, Postcard records would have never signed em, but as pop art goes it ain’t bad – B-

Tiny Moving Parts – Swell -OOOH.. loud fast rules, emo-screamo, good stuff – B+

Tribulation – Down Below – “Here be dragons, here be death, here be the somber that have felt the Devil’s breath…” I’ve just spent a year with Trump as President, you’ll have to do better than that to scare me – B-

Waterparks – Entertainment – power pop punk, catchy, but anemic – C+

Various Artists – Sick Music 2018 – Somewhere between electronic ambience and trance, for a long long time – C

Various Artists – American Folk (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Grounded after 9-11 stops their plane to nyc, two folkies drive to the Big Apple  while singing underwhelming folk songs. These are those – C

Yung Bans – Yung Bans Vol. 3 – The new wave of rappers where Smokepurpp is an elder statesman and Lil Skies is the new kid on the block, it mumbles but it don’t stumble emo baby-trap, this guy from the South – B

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