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Brief Encounters: New Album Releases 4-8-22 – 4-14-22 Reviewed

3rd Street – 3rd Street – Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron (also a member of Pearl Jam) and Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil join together with a couple of singers for a Soundgarden sounding plus folk harmonies pretty good classic rockism – B

Last Ones Left – 42 Dugg, EST Gee – their first mixtape together are a set of autobiography rapper barks and a few choppas, a vicious set of bangerz – B

Serpentina – Banks – very alty neo-r&b plus hi-tech arrangements, hit and miss but “Misunderstood” is terrific and “Skinnydipped” should have hit the charts – B

50 Years of the Piano Man – Billy Joel – does he really have 50 songs worth hearing? No, but he sure has 25 and if you want a Billy greatest hits you could do a lot worse – B+

El Mirador – Calexico – 25 years into their career, the duo continue to mine a meeting place between regional Mexican and indie Americana, so if you like it you’ll like it – C

Familia – Camila Cabello – I could have sworn “Bam Bam” was gonna break big, it didn’t but it is a highlight of the break-up with Shawn Mendes recording. The Spanish language songs are fine, “Psychofreak” with Willow is classic, and if you are going to mine your personal heartbreak for a pop album, and if it isn’t Syd, this will just creep under the wire – B-

please put me in a medically induced coma EP – carolesdaughter – this is how to do DIY sadgirl with charm and smarts, an excellent and very lively set of terrific and troubling self-portraits – A-

Stereotype – Cole Swindell – a fine collection of bro country grown up with both the Hardy featured “Down To The Bar” and the karaoke as date “She Had Me At Heads Carolina” and some, too generic, other goodies – B

The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows (Deluxe) – Damon Albarn – adds a live album to the dour and self-important dog with fleas, and if you wanna figure out just how terrible it is take a spin of “Girls And Boys” – MUST TO AVOID – D

You Belong There – Daniel Rossen – call Daniel Rossen a mix of alt folk and electronic sounds similar to his band Grizzly Bear, and the folkie opening is both commercial and addictive and his electronic mood expanders like the bewitching “Unpeopled Space” bewitching – B

No Romeo EP – Dylan – the Harry Styles fan is a UK singer songwriter popstar and the title track of her EP has the potential to hit as a modern singer songwriter stuff – B-

Halloween – Eliza & The Delusionals – Australian pop rockers with half an ear for melody – C+

Chloë and the Next 20th Century – Father John Misty – I had prayed to the saints and all the martyrs
but this guy is born to disappointment and there isn’t another “Goodbye M. Blue” and indeed, this 40s style swing is far from his forte – B-

B.I.B.L.E. – Fivio Foreign – Fivio is no Pop Smoke, and New York Drill has not been the same since Pop Smoke was murdered. What’s left of the genre is just that, a genre and its spokesperson is responsible for the mainstreaming. Fivio is a good rapper but he isn’t capable of carrying Drill – B-

Bummer Year – Good Lucks – indie alty rockers from Austin who claim affinity to The Replacements and The War On Drugs but don’t do much of either – C

Boxes – Grae – her second EP of lovely singer songwriter, softly sung beauties – B

Fear Of The Dawn – Jack White – White might well be the most dislikable man in pop music, an arrogant prick who is like The Black Keys for classic rock fans. But he is nowhere near as good as he claims to be and this tweeky trebly, experimentally boring, sonic album only works intermittently and works less than any album he has ever done – C

The Elephants of Mars – Joe Satriani – typical guitar and prog histrionics – MUST TO AVOID – D

The Line Is A Curve – Kae Tempest – my favorite white rapper is the perfect and poetic Kae Tempest -they is also a poet and everything they’ve done has been exemplary with the possible exception of its 2019 The Book Of Traps And Lessons, The Line Is A Curve includes their finest moment, “More Pressure” (with Kevin Abstract) but it is all great, all emotional apocalypse and Brit politics and world horrors with an epigram to live by, “Nothing to prove but bread, Nothing to lose but sleep, Nothing to do but less, Nothing to want but peace” – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Infinite Disco – Kylie Minogue – from a live stream late last year in support of her last album, so prizes for already knowing what it sounds like – B-

Lonnie’s Goldies – Lonnie Donegan – John Lennon’s first group were a skiffle band and Lonnie was the biggest star of skiffle in the UK till the Beatles washed them away. No “Tom Dooley” true, but a fine collection of skiffle classics otherwise – B+

Second Nature – Lucius – alt-folk with EDM production flavor on the beats on the harmony due – C+

Love Will Be Reborn (Deluxe) – Martha Wainwright – she adds a third more on the deluxe, an album I (amazingly, because I am a fan) missed last year. Her voice has never ever been stronger and while she has written a handful of better songs since 2008’s masterful I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too, “Love Will Be Reborn Part Two” is way, way, way up there – A-

Bronco – Orville Peck – the gay caballero who won’t show his face (kinda of stupid in my opinion) but has a thundering baritone and rides the wild west, is actually improving with his excellent sophomore effort which is more of the same only better – B+

Ego Trip – Papa Roach – always a great nu-metal punk band, back in the 90s the best in the business, and 11 albums in this is a terrific album of hard hitting punk, nu-metal, loud brilliance. Trust me, if you like metal you will love it – A-

Terror Twilight: Farewell Horizontal – Pavement – Pavement for dummies: yes to Slanted, Crooked Rain, Wowie Zowie, and no to everything else, starting with their god awful last album which appears to be getting resurrected in time for the tour because, like their last tour, this is a Malkmus money grab as he can’t be bothered writing new songs – C

Rx – Role Model – these young sadboys can get too much, this pure pop is a bore though he can write a tune, just not many tunes, “who hurt you” is a goodie – C+

Broken Hearts Club – Syd – The former DJ for Odd Future and leader of The Internet is a solo act and here she is on top of neo-r&b on a set that tells of a failed love story, sad songs with a jazzy and disquiet ambience – B

Sunset Visionary, Vol. 2 – Tom The Mailman – Atlanta trap meets emo rock on a fine collection of near earworms – B

RAMONA PARK BROKE MY HEART – Vince Staples – Vince was so bad on the Tyler, The Creator tour and his albums are so difficult, it didn’t seem worth the effort. His new album suggest an arena is not in his pleasure zone and that taken as a whole is a serene and brilliant horrorstory of life in Long Beach, the rapping as good as it gets and the rhyming other level. Think a certain Kendrick level of genius here, but in 2022 we are used to more bangs and it doesn’t have em. Meet it at its own level and you will be happy you did so – B+

Ur Mum – Wet Leg – Post-punk limeys are the latest in a presumably infinite line of rock bands trying to crack more New York than the States, their debut proves they might have a chance, try personal best “Wet Dream” – B+

2 Alivë (Geëk Pack) – Yeat – the popular rapper goes on for NINETY MINUTES on the deluxe… “Poppin” is a goodie – C+

Stardust – Yung Lean – if it isn’t considered hyper-pop, the art popper will have to find his own term for the superbly weird yet accessible “Bliss” with -ta dah – FKA Twigs, and two extended electronic blow outs with Skrillex, but this stuff needs to be catchier to work – B-

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