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Brief Encounters: New Album Releases 4-15-22 – 4-21-22 Reviewed

Versions of Me – Anitta – Anitta is a huge star in her native Brazil, and she is now making her move onto the US pop charts with a well executed set of EDM pop variants but no more than that except for a song here and there – B

Lose Your Delusion – A Wilhelm Scream – loud and fast punk prog with songs that miss the sweet spot but are magic on stage – B

Red Mango – Ben L’Oncle Soul – Ben is a French soul singer and producer who is more than capable of a genius cover, his “Imagine” is better than Sean Lennon’s, his take on the Supremes’ “My World Is Empty Without You” percolates its deep sorrow along with complete reggae vibes, and a song that really should be on the please don’t touch list, “That’s How Strong My Love Is” is a perfect lover’s rock take. In a weak week of releases, it is immediately the – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Noughty By Nature – Digga D – London (to be specific Ladbroke Grove) drill rapper is both harsh and strong in a set of sex and violence for the working criminal elements – B

My Sweet George – George Is Lord – ten Harrison sure shots from an L.A. indie band and while it doesn’t delve too deep into the dark horses catalog, it hits the heights and is a fine taster for an artist who can’t be remembered long enough, Anna Pomerantz has the right voice to tackle George – B

The Happiest Man in the World OST – Jake Bugg – the documentary is about the Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho, Jake’s OST has a taste for Samba – B-

Freewheelin’ Woman – Jewel – If you bought into Pieces Of Me in 1995, you might be impressed that she sounds much better here as produced by the country and soulful Butch Walker, with some fairly good country soul tracks with horns aplenty – B

What Else Can She Do – Kaitlin Butts – the neo-traditionalist starts slow but there are at least two outstanding songs, “Jackson” and “She’s Using”, clever story songs – B

(watch my moves) – Kurt Vile – Vile is another rocknyc artist that we just can’t hear except for an occasional song and this is an odd collection of minor songs and not entirely pleasant though the songs have moments, “Like Exploding Stones” is the aural equivalent of dozing off on gummies in the middle of the afternoon – B-

why can’t we just pretend? – Marian Hill – the electronic soft pop duo open with a smooth jazz sound that is pretty awesome, but soon get into experimental pop vibes that work less well – B-

Prince Daddy & The Hyena – Prince Daddy & The Hyena – the punk rock band deal with a fear of death while mining their pop punk influences for all they’re worth – B-

Co-Starring Too – Ray Wylie Hubbard – resident Ray Wylie fanatic Steve Crawford was so uninspired by this “and friends” album he passed on the review. But I am neither as big a fan nor as disappointed an apostle, so I’ll give him the Steve Earle croak fest “Hellbent For Leather” and absolutely the female supremacist “Only A Fool” (co-written by Liz Rose who Taylor Swift STILL misses) but the albums have too much sag, too samey, and some huge names, Ringo Starr for one, don’t right the ship – C+

Moving Pictures (40th Anniversary Super Deluxe) – Rush – Geddy Lee’s band of prog rockers fronting the falsetto singer on an album of quasi-commercial tracks that were a huge hit (5 million copies) and remains a quirky horror understood only by white white Americans given a going over – C-

Air – Sault – Sault were the band of low key, political and black English musicians performing faux-folk, then that’s what they were, now they are an instrumental band of cinematic soundtrack – B

Paradise Again – Swedish House Mafia – after breaking up before their time, and finding that the three DJs were better together, SHM returned on an oddly deflated house album that constantly veers into electronica and seldom explodes – C+

Half Tee Half Beast – Tee Grizzley – The Detroit rapper is gangsterism but not drill and not trap and not emo, not even 90s, it is straight up gangster rap stories and with only two featured (and both of them minor) stands on its own as a superior set of rap songs – B+

Don’t Let The Sunlight Fool Ya – The Slackers – when it comes to ska, it should be all Prince Buster plus Two Tone all the time and when it isn’t it is born to disappoint, but The Slackers can be so good the further they stray from ska and merge into pure pop. The first two songs here are both knockouts – B

Middling Age – Tim Asher – Tim Kasher of Cursive’s fourth solo album explodes on the final track, “Forever Of The Living Dead”, beautifully on his nightmare of loss and aging leading to the forever of death, Tim doesn’t hit that height again but he is never less than interesting on one of his best efforts – B+

Full Court Press – Wiz Khalifa Girl Talk, Smoke DZA – surprisingly clever set of cool raps with excellent samples throughout featuring the return of Girl Talk and Wiz lending a hand to some buddies – B

Harold And Maude (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack / Deluxe) – Yusuf/Cat Stevens – The alt take at the end and demo in the middle of “Don’t Be Shy” alone make ot a very worthy album – A

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