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Be Here Now: Snapshot Reviews Of New Albums 7-1-14

Ab-Soul Album Of The Week

Ab-Soul Album Of The Week

These Days – Ab-Soul – An incredible 90 minutes by the last man to break out of Black Hippy, this is a stupendous album, brainy, beautiful, tons of guest stars, all of his former band, deep grooves, smart rhymes; miles away from Gangsta. This is the best rap album of the year and to sustain it for 90 minutes is mind bending – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Be Calm – Air Dubai – Hardly their fault but between An-Soul and Cam’ron it feels like lightweight pop-hop. Good, pretty, but worth shrugging at – B-

1st Of The Month Volume 1 – Cam’ron – Downbeat EP of death and disturbance, not great but Cam’ron is a great rapper – B

Counterfeit Blues – Cord Lund – More Americana, sounds a little like Dylan in blues mode at times, maybe because he sings so fast.  -B

Worship – No Other name – Hillsong – I know the devil has the best music but this is ridiculous, the insanely prolific Australian CCM band won’t stop releasing crappy albums. I bet God right this second is saying “Jesus, turn this shit off and put on some Crowder” – D

From Parts Unknown – Every Time I Die  – Metalcore, so what do you think it sounds like? Not thrilled by the singer – C+

I’m A Song – Jim Lauderdale – 20 songs, and none quite kicks in for me. All tasteful, smart country tracks but when your best song, “The King Of Broken Hearts”, has been around forever, maybe your muse ain’t there -B

The Midnight Ramble Sessions (Vol 3) – Levon Helm Band – That “Take Me To The River” is pretty fucking awesome and the “Simple Twist Of Fate” ain’t bad either, the r&b is flavorful and my complaint is the same as ever, it doesn’t capture the flow of the live show – B+

Don’t Kill The Magic! – Magic! – Sure, they got lucky. So good for them – C+

In My World – Matthewdavid – Scratchy intense r&b bizarreness and it works way way way better than you’d expect. The title track is like these phased, echoed, scratched masterwork plus rap and I figure given more time more will sound less strange and more satisfying – B+

Easy To Love – Maxi Priest – In my day we used to call this lover’s rock, easy flowing reggae love songs from a past master, it could do with a few bigger songs and Beres Hammond should have provided one – B

We Are Only What We Feel – NONONO – Hey Swedish electronic pop bands are allowed to be bland as well, and after “Like The Wind” these guys are up to nothing special – C+

Paula – Robin Thicke – This is embarrassing and also unbelievable, “Love Can Grow back” is the worst blues imaginable, “Living In New York City” the silliest James Brown rip and the big ballads? Nauseating. A complete, unmitigated disaster. I’d feel bad for the guy except I don’t believe for one second his break up with Paula is more or less than a publicity stunt – D

All I do Is Lie – Sean Watkins – Since the last Nickel Creek album stiffed, what does he think this singer songwriter stuff will do? – C

Isolate And Medicate – Seether – This isn’t mainstream rock and roll 2014, but it is close – C

Trigga – Trey Songz – More songs about fucking and mainstream hip hop vibes – B

Equanimity – Tricky D – Laid back, dubby electronica. Pretty in places but not my scene – C+

Can’t Love – Turn To Crime – Like Violent Femmes put through a meat grinder – B

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