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Be Here Now: New Albums reviewed 11-20-15 – 11-26-15


RECORDING OF THE WEEK: 11-20-15 – 11-26-15


25 – Adele – Five killer tracks and a whole lotta moldy ballads – C+

Village Party 2: Heaven’s Gate – Alex Wiley – Part of the Chicago scene that brought us Chance The Rapper, this guy has beautiful soundscapes that bore a  little and raps that aren’t quite good enough and still credit him for  one of  kind sound – all echoed wallpaper – B-

Love Is Everything – Antonique Smith – Smith is a multi-media extravaganza, Broadway, TV, and soul albums and this EP proves that given the right material, “Got What I Need” is killer, she can certainly deliver the song. She still lacks distinction… – B-

Mutant – Arca – Arca is the guy who built FKA Twigs excellent backing tracks on that EP last year, but there he had a very solid base from which to work, and here, while I admire the sounds, it is hard to find somewhere to hang your ears – C+

Del Rio – Armon Jay – The former born again has a way with a melody but it sounds too samey to signify much on this piano ballad singer songwriter stuff – C

Timeline – Artificial Intelligence – Drum N Bass mood modulators, if it is your thing you could find a lot worse – C+

Things We Do At Night (Live from texas) – Blue October – Giving mental illness a bad name, this is atrocious rock and roll but then it always has been. A real bummer because although I’ve never seen em live myself, I heard they were real good. Nope, same crap – D+

Sausade EP – Boston Manor – These guys have a good rep but I can’t hear why, this is very average emo rock – C

Made Of Dreams EP – Brandyn Burnette – Impressive hip hop meets experimental dark beats, soulful and strange… – B

Historias De la Calle – Calibre  50 – Rock meets Mexican pop, and better fast than slow. The accordion is a major instrument for these guys – B-

Songs From The Musical Trees – Carly Simon – The best thing about Carly Simon was that album cover where you can see her nipples, and the album it came off. This Greatest Hits package, which goes hand in hand with her new memoir, is astoundingly lame. Oh and “You’re So Vain” is about Warren Beatty? Boooring.. C-

With Arms Wide Open – A Retrospective – Creed – Whatever you might want to say about Carly Simon, at least she isn’t Creed – D-

Poverty And Prosperity EP – E-40 – This guy has released 141 tracks this year, plus these 7. And I remember exactly one of them. And it isn’t on here – C

Empire: Original Soundtrack, Season 2, Volume 1 – Empire Cast – If my black brothers and sisters think this is superior r&b my black brothers and sisters are wrong… a song here and there but over 19 songs there is nothing worth your time – D+

Dark Sky Island – Enya – At least when she was young you could listen to her without being actually interrupted – C-

Shadow Of A Doubt – Freddie Gibb – Around five years ago, when Freddie first got out of jail, he released an EP that sounded like the best rapper in the world. And I do mean rapper, his gift was the spit and the rhyme. Still is, but he is older and more boring – C+

No Apologies – Gerry Skrillz – Christian rap? The musical equivalent of alcohol free beer – D

Fare Thee Well (Live 7/5/2015) –  Grateful Dead -Yeah, I streamed it and it sucked and it isn’t Grateful Dead without Jerry anyway and this is as lousy a leaving as you can possibly imagine – D+

The Best Of Fare The Well – Grateful Dead – Take that Trey and stick it up your nose – D+

ILOVEMAKONNEN 2 EP – ILOVEMAKONNEN – If ever a song gave the world the wrong opinion about a musician, that song is “Tuesday”, this EP is art pop disguised as alt rap. Even the Santigold song takes a lot of getting used to – B

Top 5 Dead Or Alive – Jadakiss – Never my favorite Ruff Ryder, this is old fashioned tough guy with a featured cast of superstars and he still isn’t a favorite – C

Chasing the Devil – Krayzie Bone – The Bone off Bone Thugs – Harmony,  apparently brought the melody to the band. This is not great but when he really wants to bring it, “Rise Of A King (Fall Of A Fool)” is a standout, he has tremendous flow and control and a song worth performing to, he repays attention. Not often enough, of course, to notice – B-

Physical Therapy – Martin Crane – Every now and then the Brazos member throws in a guitar flourish and you wake up for awhile but then back we go to singer songwriter boredom – C

X2 – Nick Jonas – deluxe, a coupla remixes, a coupla radio edits a handful of new tracks featuring the likes of Jhene Aiko, and Tinashe… and Mike Posner on a keeper – C+

A Night At The Odeon – Queen –The sound is pretty excellent but I never bought into em big time, except for an occasional “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, not represented, and two minutes of “Bohemian Rhapsody” represented… but two minutes? Even the “Jailhouse Rock Medley” is too heavy handed.  Filmed for a TV special in1975, man…  – C-

The Getting off Stage, Step One – People Under The Stairs – Jesus, how much experimental hip hop can drop in one week? These guys are excellent live, but this EP isn’t much – C

The Wireless – Punch Brothers – You’d think an Americana band named after a Mark Twain short story would be fun… and with Nickel Creek’s mandolin player heading up you’d think they’d also be tasty. Instead they’re serious and tasteful – C

Live R40 Tour – Rush – Was it their farewell tour? Pretty drastic bullshit – C-

Busted Jukebox, Volume One – Shovels And Rope – hey, it even comes with a warning label, “Volume One”. Crap covers by a married couple of bores. That “Perfect Day” will give me nightmares for years to come – D+

Greatest Hits – Tracey Chapman – She means hit – C-

Marks To Prove It – The Maccabees – Full throttle rock and roll from the U when it is full throttle rock and roll, the title track adds Beatley guitar to a pounding rocker and while they get too smart for their own good before they even reach the dreadul “Slow Sun”, the band are originals and hit nocely here and there – B

XXIX  EP – Wafia – Talented 22 year old from Australia, she knows her way round a song, seem to piece it together in a electronic yet organic way. “Heartburn” is already a biggie, and everything here clicks very very well. 15 minutes in length and it took her two years to record – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – B

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