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Be Here Now: New Music Reviews: 7-24-15 – 7-31-15

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Dej Loaf’s Recording Of The Week: 7-24-15 – 7-31-15

The Blade – Ashley Monroe – Ashley makes her Lee Ann Womack real country for real country fans move with plenty of success on the slower numbers, less so on the fast songs – B+

Not An Apology – Bea Miller – Dreadful pop punk by X Factor performer – C-

#And See That’s The Thing – Dej Loaf – On the flawless side of things, this rapper, hook singer from Detroit is completely great on her five track EP debut. Dej’s Tae The Truth track was apparently no fluke,  though she works closer to the same side of the street as Drake… with a difference: when she raps, she raps so close to the melody she seems to glide over it as opposed to solely play off the rhythm. She is also a great lyricist (though Big Sean sullies one song, Future comes off better). This is something of a masterpiece – ALBUM (well, EP) OF THE WEEK – A

Folie A Deux – Emily Hall – Beautiful electronica but it grows old very very fast – give the first song 60 seconds and you’ll believe it is the greatest thing you’ve ever heard, give it ten minutes and you’ll be hitting next as fast as you can – C+

Cuffing Season – Eric Bellinger – This r&b guy works where so many fail because this guy is a songwriter first and foremost (broke through writing hits for Usher among others) and you can tell. But lyrically, really somebody needs to get him a lyricist. PS? Nice to hear Mya on one track – B

Shockwave Supernova – Joe Satriani – Silver Surfer uber guitarist puts me to sleep, you might like it if you go for jam out electric guitars – C

Pound Syndrome – Hopsin – From the Spotify bio: “At first, Hopsin was famous for his falling out with the pioneering label Ruthless, but that became a footnote when the rapper, producer, and actor released the hit track ‘Sag My Pants’…” Ho hum high octane rap storytelling but… “now my family tripping, didn’t think I’d go so ill from syphilis”? More info than I really need – C

Covered: Alive In Asia- Israel & New Breed – What have our Asian brothers ever done to deserve this? – Look, the difference between hymns and this is hymns are a coupla hundred year old songs of faith arranged for choirs, and these are tedious chants – D

Woman – Jill Scott – It sounds like an India.Arie if India.Arie had been dropped on her on a consistent basis since she was two years old. There’s gotta to be more to neo-soul,type r&b jazz plus related idiom jumping, than this stuff. “You don’t know nothing about love?” There is a place where lyric stops being cliches because it’s true and becomes cliches because it’s lazy – C-

Bittersweet – Kasey Chambers – Australian country singer sounds more singer songwriter, but when you have songs like “Is God Real?” you’re either eleven years old or you’re a nitwit – C+

VII: Sturm Und Drang – Lamb Of God – God save Randy Blythe, after a scare when “Overlord” seemed a little on the hard rock Soundgarden side of life, he didn’t go soft on us, and this is a not untypical metal bowels of hell vocal and testosterone ridden basic metal power push – B

Fresh Blood: No Skin – Matthew E. White – Beautiful arranged singer songwriter soulfulness, I liked this when it was released last March, and I like this extended version with minimal arrangements proving the songs stand up. Still… a little on the boring side – B

Bagdemi Nami – Omar Souleyman – Syrian folkie crosses over through EDM production -including Four Tet on one track. I prefer the real deal but not by much – B+

Double Vision – Prince Royce – Bachata star Prince’s third album is his third major pop move, but this is too manufactured in every possible way. Add J Lo and Pitbull to a Prince Royce song and what do you have? Exactly – C

Amused To Death – Roger Waters – The 1992 solo, and I’d forgotten how bad it is. Roger always needed David more than he admitted to himself – C

Hear You – T.O.E> – Too loud for ambient, too insubstantial for electronica – C

Tha Truth – Trae The Truth – A who’s who of the Rick Rose stable join the ridiculously prolific (this is his fourth release of 2015) MC Trae, though the Houston rapper is first rate and for once everybody adds something on this excellent rap off the streets album, It peaks early with “Tricken Every Car I Get” and doesn’t really relent till Def Loaf joins him for the hook on “Realigion” Maybe his streets aren’t yours but they are definitely his – B+

The Fatboy Slim Collection – Fatboy Slim – Former Housemartin helped invent modern EDM, this collection reminds you why he was so good at it. “Block Rockin’ Beats” sounds so new and exciting… so does a lot of other stuff – A

Southpaw – Various Artists – So Eminen, along with his side project Bad Versus Evil, and buddies Slaughterhouse, Slaughterhouse rapper Joey Bada$$ plus Action Bronson, 50 Cents and, him again, The Weeknd, on an “inspired” by follow-up to 8 Miles, that is not even remotely close to the original. A buncha of muscular hard hitting raps light on originality. Exceptions: The Weeknd and, oddly enough 50 Cents. I’m not saying Eminem can’t rap. I’m saying I already know it – C+

Ashes And Dusts – Warren Haynes And Railroad Earth – Woaaaah, this fucking sucks. Warren goes Americana. Is the Grace Potter and Warren duet on “Gold Dust Woman” the worst track of the year? Sounds like it to me. Come back Hogsin all is forgiven – D+

We Came As Romans – We Came As Romans – Sort of Lamb Of God JV with two singers and worse songs – C+

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