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Be Here Now: Snapshot Reviews Of New Albums For March 4th, 2014

Popstars new album

Popstars new album

Braveheart – Ashanti – On first spin this sounds like every r&b hip hop album ever made, all bluster and not full formed grooves… on first listen – B

30th Anniversary Concert Celebration – Bob Dylan – You had to be there of course, but even so men of good faith might believe that Lou Reed and George Harrison, even if only them, make it worth listening to – B

I’m On Fire – David Nail – Nail has a good voice but this is dreary MOR country plod topped off by… “Galveston”? – C

English Oceans – Drive-By Truckers – Country rockers like Lynrd Skynrd on dramamine which explains the acoustic show at City Winery on Sunday is as good as the song they’re playing. A steady 50% winners by my reckoning so not bad but not Decoration Day – B

Eagulls – Eagulls – Indie punk that seems to be aware of 1977 in the guitar rev ups but don’t wanna play without a wall surrounding em. Ergo, quite good – B+

10,000 Towns – Eli Young Band – Catchy country rockers with a strong consistency but lacking in attack – C+

LOUDER – Lea Michele – The Glee gal made her way from Broadway to Fox but you might be excused for wishing that she’d returned to Broadway for her solo release. But no such luck, this is bad dance pop – C

The Sound Of All Natural Things – Linda Perhacs – If you can get past the first album in forty years back story, this is a sensitive and lovely folk album by a sensitive singer songwriter – B

Tomorrow’s Hits – The Men – What’s piano doing on a punk rock album? Or country inflections? Two years after they blew up MHOW, The Men have changed so much I thought it was a different band. But this classic rock is a change if not for the better, surely for just as good – B+

Guilty Of Everything – Nothing – my bloody valentine wannabes are all fuzzed out melodies all the time, and the better for it – B+

GIRL – Pharrell Williams – A blast of pure pop for now people from the former Neptune producer who provides one slice of adult bubble gum after another topped not by “Happy” but the Justin Timberlake featured “Brand New”. Williams grabs his moment and doesn’t let go – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – B+

Dream A Little Dream – Pink Martini-Von Trapp Family Singers – The Great Grandchildren of the Sound Of Music singing troop join Pink Martini for lovely slices of pop and Broadway classics including “Edelweiss” and an excellent take on ABBA’s “Fernando” – B+

Atlas – Real Estate – Work at something long enough and you might get there, the indie ambient band are, amazingly enough, on their fourth album and this is definitely the catchiest and most fully formed to date. But as a non believer, I still find them too lugubrious for words – B-

MASTERMIND – Rick Ross – Why does every track sound like “Box Chevy” -that clipped flow pushing hard on the last syllable of every line? Sure I like it, please he can handle featured artists Kanye West and Lil Wayne with ease. Still there is only one “Sanctified” here and the Lil Wayne is a take on “Thug Life”. Still, both are better than “The Devil Is A Lie” – B


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