Skip to content

Brief Encounters: New Album Releases 1-7-22 – 1-13-22 Reviewed

Toy (Toy:Box) – David Bowie – the released from the vaults last year is the never saw the light of day 2001 album, didn’t work on the box set but it does work here, where the less produced additional versions can only help – B+

Rose Pink Cadillac – Dope Lemon – Dope Lemon is Angus Stone, the Australian soulful, folkie you might remember from his work with his sister Julia Stone. This is his third release under the Dope imprint, and it is low key but not lo fi pop rockers with hooks a plenty – B

Since Grazed – Eleventh Dream Day – The Chicago band sound like a meditative and still loud shoegaze with beautify melodies spreading throughout. The title track is a beauty from the long running band – B+

Remixes – Émile Sande – the r&b singer, an early exponent of the neo-R&B that Sault have run with remixes some songs off her last album. Here there is two songs, one of which is remixed three times. Better than the originals from last year, which can sound awful bland – B

Bigger Than Life Or Death (Deluxe) – EST Gee – adds an additional 15 songs to the 2021 gangsta rap debut, and a long list of featured artists including Future, Young Thug, Yo Gotti, Pooh Shiesty, and Lil Baby, for a relentlessly dank and brooding trap extension – B

Lupu Plays Schubert – Franz Schubert, Radu Lupu – The Romanian pianist with all his powers in tact on a lovely collection of Schubert melodies – B+

Full Crate Ep – Groove Armada – four electronic deep house cuts, four extended cuts of the same songs – B

DS4EVER – Gunna – “‘This is things I said I was going to do when I got in a position to do it,’ Gunna said. It’s called Gunna’s Drip Closet and it’s the school. It was designed for students who need clothing, shoes, food and even toiletries,” The terrific trap rapper has really given back, an especially good story when so many rappers second as gangbangers. The album is the third and final Drip Season release, and it is the most clearly Atlanta trap around – A-

If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power (Extended) – Halsey – when the Trent Reznor collab first came out last year, “The Tradition” was so strong it pulled the rest of the album. But over the year it disappeared. Listening to the deluxe -which adds three tracks, all good, perhaps we were right the first time – B+

Champagne Problems #DQH1 – INNA – The Romanian EDM queen returns with a fine house pop album – B

JOSE (Deluxe Edition) – J Balvin – The first time I saw Balvin was joining Bad Bunny at United Palace in 2018 (here), and he was better on stage than Benito. That isn’t true anymore though Balvin is certainly not worse. Balvin blew Governors Ball in two last September (here). I have a tix to his Barclay Center gig later this year. Balvin has an album of all bangers reggaeton meets Latin trap all the time from last year, and here he doubles it – A-

USA (Live) – King Crimson – The 1974 live in Jersey release reissued – B+

Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land (Deluxe Edition) – Marina – adds five track to the original ten, two of which are demos. For fans only – C

Magic – Nas – Sure it’s good, the rapping is world class from a world class rapper, but lyrically it is sort of the ego busting you’d expect from, say, Migos – B+

Spiral – Rezz – the EDM DJ adds beats to somethingcore tracks – B+

Mamura – RuPaul – The transgendered superstar is better on the catwalk than on this bland dance album – C-

Then Came the Dawn: The Reprise Recordings 1966-1969 – The Electric Prunes – from garage rock to prog rock with a whole lotta psychedelic trippiness in between, but where is “Kyrie Eleison”? – B

Dawn FM – The Weeknd – two days after I reviewed it (here), Abel’s sci fi opera about the radio station (DJ’d by Jim Carrey) you listen to as you transition into the afterlife. If “Here We Go… Again” is Philly soul as post-hip hop r&b, “Sacrifice” is a huge potential smash, “Is There Someone Else?” is EDM as hyperpopand “Gasoline” is the early place setter. Even the artsiest moments, “Every Angel is Terrifying,” deserves its title. And if the spoken word “Quincy’s Story” is one of three complete disasters, that remains three out of sixteen songs. Too early to predict best albums of the year, but Abel will probably be among the top twenty. As I write, The Weeknd has nine out of ten on the Spotify Top 50, and the rest of the songs on the album spotted among the Top 40. This will be humongous for Abel, it is exactly what he needed to do a year after the Superbowl. So from beaten up on After Hours to death in progress on dawn fm -now that’s progress – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Everything I Love Is Going to Die – The Wombats – the English satirists have never sustained it through an album. But through a four track EP? Yeah, they manage it here. Next week they drop the entire album but if you can’t wait, this set of tongue in cheek pop rockers will make your day – A-

No, I’m Not Ok – Yung Bleu – a terrific EP of auto tuned singing, trap beats, and tunes, tunes, tunes, better than last years debut album, “Family Feud” is pure soul – A-

Teaser And The Firecat (Deluxe) – Yusuf/Cat Stevens – the follow up to Tea For The Tillerman, Cat has been sneaking out songs off the deluxe for a year so who knows if there isn’t more to come. For now, a total of 23 songs is enough to make it a fine representation of his second best album – A

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

Scroll To Top