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Brief Encounters: New Album Releases 3-25-22 – 3-31-22 Reviewed

Warm Chris – Aldous Harding – the single was great and the album seemed a little on the minor side, the melodies didn’t connect even while the sound is superb (that horn on “Fever” carries the melody), the New Zealander has a unique way with a song, feminine and dainty yet deep and sad… it takes awhile but be patient – B+

When It Comes To You – April – impressive sophomore EP as she bears the legends dance and cry, very sweet sounding and very moving songs of romantic love and disillusionment – A-

For Those That Wish To Exist At Abbey Road – Architecture- heavy orchestrated classical meets prog screamo – B+

Superghetto – Buddy – the Compton star who began on the Neptunes label with his hip hop r&b sound, his sophomore album certainly has its moments, “Black 2” is really first rate, but it is difficult to maintain that level even as he doubles up with “High School Crush” – B

Running with the Hurricane – Camp Cope – Three women from Australia with first rate confessionals that has more than a touch of Ryan Adams on a really great set of deeply melodic folkish rock and great singing – B+

Songs of the Recollection – Cowboy Junkies – I loved these guys back when they were covering the Velvet Underground, and from Bowie to Dylan, they use the same ingredient forty years later, a slowed down, actually heroin addict like speed, and draw the songs out and perform em immaculately – A-

Crash (Deluxe) – Charli XCX – it improves with every listen and it as commercial as hyper-pop gets and yet… man, I miss Sophie – B+

LEGENDADDY – Daddy Yankee – When Daddy Yankee coined the term reggaeton he might not have known what he was starting and though I have never been that big a fan of reggaeton in the 90s and 00s, once it became Latin Urbano my ears perked way up. And Daddy Yankee was always the exception that proved the rule. Now LEGENDADDY is his final album and his final tour at the age of 45 (until he changes his mind and unretires) and it is an exceptional set of straight ahead reggaeton filled with features and always with Daddy Yankee in the spotlight. It has been nine years since his last album but, to paraphrase “Dropkick Murphys, we call this going out with a blast – A-

Marigold Sky – Daryl Hall and John Oates – the pure Philly soul is lovely though not as lovely, the jams are awful – C+

Melt My Eyez See Your Future – Denzel Curry – I was never a fan but I was excited to see him open for Billie Eilish at Radio City because I assumed it would turn me round and it didn’t and Denzel leaves me indifferent, here the rapping is fair but the skill set is bumpy and the samples a little too outre – C+

LABYRINTHITIS – Destroyer – cinematic, wall of sound song constructors from Dan Bejar – C+

Orpheus Looking Back – Emma Ruth Rundle – a three song EP, it sounds like a Goth Alanis Morissette (if they aren’t the same thing) – B-

Torpedo – Feeder – 90s style indie rockers with some backbone but not much more – C

The Mothers, 1971 – Frank Zappa, The Mothers – the original went to #38 in the pop charts (I know), here it is extended to nine hours and alright, but it includes the nearly half hour John & Yoko cameo that was included as a freebie with Some Time, it is all a little boring except when John tackles Walter Ward – B-

Do All Words Can Do – Fucked Up – outtakes from their masterpiece, David Comes Alive, and it reminds you how great they could be – A-

Famously Alive – Guerrilla Toss – industrial dance sounds – B-

Dreamworkers Of Time: The BBC Recordings 1985-1995 (Live) – nearly three hours of psychedelic, proggy tedium. Though give em their due, the sound is great – C-

Electricity – Ibibio Sound Machine – Hot Chip produced this beautifully performed Afrobeats meet dance beat triumph from the English band with bass throbbing funk added to taste – B+

Gifted (Deluxe Edition) – Koffee – a rasta form of reggae so the sounds are lover’s rock smooth and sex is replaced with romance, thank Jah, “x10” is a special song – B

mainstream sellout – Machine Gun Kelly – consider him Kid Rock without the dodgy politics and with pop punk and not Southern boogie (and without Rock’s genius). The reviews have been devastating, but it is pretty good and “die in california” is great – B

Matisyahu – Matisyahu – if you know the rapper you know to expect a mix of dancehall and rap, all the same stuff he has been doing for knocking on twenty years, he is saved by melody and yet he isn’t that saved – C+

Humble Brag – Maren Morris – I disliked Maren Morris’s last album so much that I dismissed the new album Humble Quest based on one song, but the first five are great country rock pop here and if she doesn’t sustain it, that is still pretty great -B

Higher – Michael Buble – whoever thought it was a good idea to let Michael castrate “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything”? It is the worst song and it has serious competition on the craptacular Sam Cooke cover, a dreadful album, an unmitigated disaster – D+

Never Let Me Go – Placebo – Three things haven’t changed: 1) Brian Molko still sounds like David Bowie, 2) the US still doesn’t care for their gloom-glam, and 3) the songs are never quite good enough to move the needle beyond alright, nothing special – C+

Chris – Ryan Adams – the best of the trilogy is still a major bummer with resurrection a side note at the end and with a classic rock sound that moves between anthems and alt-country, yet it is a masterpiece of confessional rock. Watching the major music publication ignore it while sucking off Phoebe Bridges is nauseating – A

Who Do You Pray To? – Sam Tomson – abysmal singer songwriter, if I ever went deaf the only good part would be never hearing this unbearably drab singer songwriter – MUST TO AVOID – D-

Homesick (Deluxe) – Sea Girls – “Sick” is so good it puts the English rock band at the top of their class, but the rest of it brings the grade, well done – B

Sofia Carson – Sofia Carson – this isn’t singer songwriter, it s modern r&b though the beats are too manufactured and her voice lacks range, the Latino ballad is a changeup – C

Virtually (Live) – Soft Machine – From 1971, the great prog band who rewrote the concept of skronk as sound as music, during a continuation of their peak period on stage – A

Sticking With It – The Dip – Seattle white soul, think of AWB, with a fine and soulful yet minor sound – B-

Live Y in Dub – The Pop Group – the 70s synth art band as still an acquired taste, especial on a live album surfeited with dub – C+

X (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Tyler Bates, Chelsea Wolfe – about as Goth as a movie soundtrack can get, not to mention the bluesy “Fucking Finally”. And the movie, a slasher flick on the set of a porno movie, might actually get me back to the cinema – B-

Tell Me That It’s Over – Wallows – alty, indie (signed to Atlanta) mix post-punk with pop-punk filled with power pop effects. It’s a pity about the songs – C

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