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Brief Encounters: New Album Releases 3-17-23 – 3-23-22

10,000 Gecs – the hyper-pop duo are pop music’s saving grace and leading the way for a hybrid electronica with a soupcon of J-Punk and the same old same old anything they can think of lyrics (try the single “Hollywood Baby” and the self-explanatory “Doritos And Fritos) – A

With Love From – Aly And AJ – the Disney kids sisters had a huge hit with “Potential Breakup Song” back in 2007 and while they have remained a pure pop duo with a knack for easy pretiness that hasn’t dissipated over the knocking on two decades. It isn’t great but there are exceptions, “After Hours” is ace, and nothing is less than bright and sunny – B

MAD – EST Gee – Lil Baby disciple but not as good, having said that he is a vicious mofo and if nothing else he can autotune himself through “Pray You Die In Surgery” – B

That’s Life – Fidlar – Alyson Camus faves have been MIA through the pandemic, dropping a few singles in 2022, but here they are with a punk rock vibe and even some romance (“Sand On The Beach”) -all very Los Angeles – B

Anyways, Life’s Great…Bonus Edition – GloRilla – the extended break through album where Glo gave Meghan a run for her money as top Texan rapper. It is always fun to hear Cardi B keeping up, Lil Durk giving props, and a crowd of local talent delving into drill and with head nods to the great upcomer NikiPooh – B+

Keed Talk To ‘Em 2 – Lil Keed – dead at 24 years old, the Atlanta friend of Young Thug (one of the most gifted rappers and musicians to blow it on crime) Lil Keed with a posthumous beautify of trap beats and drill vibes. Moody and dangerous, I bet it hits the top ten – A-

Fantasy – M83 – the electronic production wiz hasn’t figured out how to follow Hurry Up, I’m Dreaming… till now. The teen dreams of is earliest works and are grown up and fantasies become more difficult to maintain on this earnest, difficult, iver produced dreamscape… it still sounds magnificent – A-

2000 – Manuel Turizo – aka MTZ is a terrific Colombian reggaeton rapper and he has a feel of musical textures, he could do EDM, his singing isn’t much but that is hardly the point… hang around for the Marshmello collab – B

Best Of Nancy Ajram – Nancy Ajram – the 39 year old, Lebanese Queen Of Pop is fine on a greatest hits, it is clearly Lebanese pop (Sabah could sing them) but the instrumentation is very digital and the effect is a coming of age for modern Arabic pop and not Arabic Sahara garage – A

Swarm – Ni’mah – the EP from Childish Gambino’s latest TV program about stans in Atlanta and the search for success -it’s alright, very trap rap pop – B-

i love you but this is goodbye – Princess Nokia – the Puerto Rican singer keeps away from Latin pop and is rewarded by the outstanding and exquisite “Lo Siento” in r&b with some rock and some trap – B+

Return to Carnegie Hall (Live at Carnegie Hall, May 14, 2022) – Ryan Adams – yeah I was there and it was my favorite concert of 2022, over three hours and the gig was a standing masterpiece of redemption ; this taster is two classics, two new songs and let’s hope he releases the rest of it – A

emails i can’t send fwd: – Sabrina Carpenter – pop singer and TV actress with the extended take (adds four songs) of her 2022 album, and it is just fine , shiny pop thing with a coupla outstanding songs ven if the subject matter is exactly what you thought it was – B

Culture Bleed – Sloan Brothers – R. Sloan Simpson performing garage-y Americana somewhat hit and miss with Patterson Hood available to lend a hand – B-

Four New Taylor’s Version Singles – Taylor Swift – if ever a woman might be heading for a fall, that woman might be Taylor. As I have been writing since the follow up to “Blank Space”, maybe she had peaked. Anyway, the Lover outtake is a good one, and “Safe And Sound” was always a great song and it lends itself to maturity – B+

Songs Of Surrender – U2 – in which Bono gives up to the inevitable and becomes a nostalgia act on this dreary fucked up album of all hits to go hand in hand with his memoirs. I mean, really, even MORE SINCERE?? – D+

V – Unknown Mortal Orchestra – talk about value for money, the New Zealander on this slow and dogged analog indieness lasts an hour but sounds like three – D+

Stoned Cold Country – Various Artists – why is Steve Earle doing “Angie”? He once had an epic “Dead Flowers” he used to play live and which he cemented as a country classic. And Jimmie Allen doing “Miss You”? The song is disco. The album is hit and miss, good for Maren Morris on “Tumbling Dice” (been listening to Linda I presume) but too much of this is completely irrelevant. From Eric Church to Zac Brown, it should all be left to the encore if Mick decides to visit a concert, not here – C

Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds) – Yves Tumor – Pitchfork had a clever comparison, where Loveless meets Purple Rain , and while it is too arty and difficult to get into (much more so than MBV and Prince), it is highly intelligent electronica plus guitars – B

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