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Be Here Now: New Albums Reviewed 10-9-15 – 10-15-15

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ALBUM OF THE WEEK 10-9-15 – 10-15-15

If I Should Die Before You – City And Color – When hardcore guys go acoustic, what you get is overplayed whining – C-

Gush – Co La – Experimental samples doo dads – C+

Things That Can’t Be Done – Corb Lund – Average Country Americana roots rocker, unless you think a song called “Washed-Up Rocker Blues” couldn’t possibly be average. I know, so do I. I wish his voice was more powerful but these are very smart and witty country rockers. Oh and having “Washed Up” a dream was a cop out – B-

Explosive – David Garrett – Rearranged pop songs like “Lose Yourself” and “Thinking Out Loud” by the German former child prodigy violinist David, busy making classical palatable for the masses  – B-

Legerdemain – Duncan Sheik – He was like Elliott Smith without the suicidal tendencies, now he is like Duncan Sheik without the Spring Awakening – C

Live In No Particular Order 2009 – 2014 – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Particular? No, not particular, parcicular it is mostly 2013 – 2014. Not that it matters, particularly  – C-

The Whole World’s Shaking The Complete Recordings 1963-66 – Georgie Fame And The Blue Flames – Taught many of us jazz and blues way back when, this is expanded editions of Rhythm And Blues At The Flamingo, Fame At Last, Sweet Things and Sound Venture. The Alan Price stuff next? – A

Bend A Little Demos, Rarities, B-Sides And Outtakes – Georgie Fame – Includes 18 songs previously unreleased – A

Incidental Hum – Glenn Mercer – The boy with perpetual nervousness still doesn’t have much to say, actually doesn’t say anything at all on this low key instrumental album, but don’t let the “Here Comes The Warm Jets” cover fool ya, this is less ambient and more Feelie strum and lucid dream – B

The Light In You – Mercury Rev – The psychedelic dream popster blueprint for much that followed, are as good as ever with this fine collection of more of the same – B+

R: Evolution – Hawklords – Instrumental prog rockers from the UK back after 35 years and they have aged very well, wall of sound guitar based sound merchants – B

Thirty One – Jana Kramer – Pretty girl, doesn’t do much here on a collection of country songs, though the songs are to blame to a degree – C-

Outsiders – Jesse Malin – Sometimes I think I am unfair to this guy because he owns the terrible club “Bowery Electric” and because of the stupid cap he wears, and there is that. But I am unfair to him because his songs are dreadful, unless you are in the market for plod rockers like “Edward Hopper”. Yes, “EDWARD HOPPER” – D+

Adrenalin Baby – Johnny Marr – In a dead heat to the bottom of the barrel, this live album nips Moz at the turn with a singalong to “There’s A Light That Never Goes Out” – D

Black Lines – Mayday Parade – You know how you know it is emo? One song is called “Keep In Mind, Transmogrification Is A New Technology” – C+

Blackout States – Michael Monroe – The former Hanoi Rocker thirty years on and this is a glam rocky 70s garage rave up of intense proportions, just as you hoped it would be. You’ve heard it all before and should be happy as hell to hear it again. They don’t make em like this any more – A-

Resolution – Penetration – After 36 years we come to Penetration to hear Pauline Murray sing and that’s it but the songs could’ve been better as well.  I’ll take it anyway, if you make it to “Two Places” you will be in double tracked heaven – B

The Agent Intellect – Protomartyr – Post-punk melodic noise but not loud melody masters who call a song “The Devil In His Youth” and make it stand up – B

What Dreams Are Made Of – R. City – After spending years writing hit singles for the usual suspects, the godawaful Adam Levine featured “Locked Away” broke the brothers A.I. and Uptown AP, but remember, these are the guys who write “Pour It Up” for Rihanna and the  album settles in, with swoony 60s pop move “Over”, opening reggae raver “Like This” – B

Mirrors – Reverend And The Makers – Sheffield’s favorite son doesn’t travel  well but “Making Babies” is a goodie UK pop rocker – C+

Such Things – Saintseneca – Pretty indie pop, consistently strong songs, a touch over produced – B

Revival – Selena Gomez – The deluxe version has a picture of the girl naked, and 51 minutes of somewhat average new pop, you’ve heard the A$AP Rocky featured track and you’ve heard the best song “Same Old Love”, so you’ve heard the album. A typical 2015 product with a touch more soul. Includes the usual hit factory producers, Max Martin on one, on some of the others she keeps her own hand in – C+

Why’d I Have To Get So High – Shellshag – From quasi experimental to fuzzed out pop, with one eye on the clock and the other on each other, this ain’t Forever, their masterpiece, but it does the job with thoughtful but also limber rockers – B+

The Decca Years 1965 – 1967 – Wachata gonna doooo about it? Album 4 is alternate takes and album 5 is BBC Radio live tracks- A

The Documentary – The Game – The Game has a reputation as a big mouth without the skills to back it up, but the man’s strength is all in his flow and no less here with an “A” list to help, from the ubiquitous Dej Loaf to heavy hitters Kanye West, Drake, Snoop, Dre and more. Paying their respects more to Dre -who produced it, one assumes. The Game hasn’t been on his game since The R.E.D. Album, and while I’ll give him “Step Up”, I am searching after that – C+

Still Got That Hungry – The Zombies – Their ode to New York is a sweet natured memory of 1965 and when they aren’t being progressive and they aren’t playing the blues, the other songs have the same old time pop  meets jazz feel and the same excellent execution.  “And We Were Young Again” sounds like a sincere Steely Dan, “Never Get Over You” “Little One”… these are sturdy songs. Amd despite the first song being called “Moving On” and the second “Chasing The Past”, the album lives in the here and now – B+

35 MPH Town – Toby Keith – If you have to listen to jingoists, rather Toby than Tim McGraw any day of the week. This is a fine old school country album, opening with the previously loved ode to Yanks great equalizer (alcohol) and ending with a one night stand, the rest of the album takes you on a trip there, including a wonderful excuse “Everytime I Drink I Fall In Love” and the terrific self-explanatory “Haggard, Hank And Her”, because, you know, the Jukebox knows no shame – ALBUM OF THE WEEK- A

The Light Princess – Tori Amos – The Original Cast recording of Tori’s West End Musical -like “Hamilton” before her, you had to be there I guess – C

A Gift From Men United In AId Of Prostate Cancer UK – Various Artists – Hamish Stuart, Chris Difford, Andy Fairweather Low and  more men of a certain age – C+

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