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Brief Encounters: New Album Releases 7-9-21 – 7-15-21 Reviewed


Everything Is Broken Maybe That’s Ok – Alex Orange Drink – The great So So Glos never got as big as they should have, they just missed the indie rock explosion of the early 10s, Alex has gone solo and he sounds quite a bit like the previous band (of brothers)  through the first half, with opening track “Brooklyn, Central Booking” a terrific song,  and an obsession with juice that is well worth it. But around the halfway mark he falters – B

Heart In Motion (30th Anniversary Edition) – Amy Grant – Amy Grant didn’t lose her religion but the Christian singer went secular decades ago with a crossover triumph now released again,  which includes a terrific additional album worth of unreleased songs and remixes of the hits –  A-

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cinderella” – Andrew Lloyd Webber – between reading his memoirs and watching him being interviewed  I grew fond of Andrew again and Cinderella is Andrew at his poppiest, maybe not “Jesus Christ, Superstar” pop but more so than his last couple of operas, “Far Too Late” is first rate – B

Real Life – Attacca Quartet – local talent perform the classics and also experimental and more astringent noise classical here – B

It Won’t Always Be Like This – Inhaler – every coupla weeks the UK throw up another band of indie rockers with ringing guitars and accents (Irish in this case)  and this is more of the same, the band can settle into a groove but the tunes are weak… it will enter the UK charts at # 1 tomorrow… helped by one members famous daddy, Bono – B-

Jam & Lewis, Volume One – Jam & Lewis – With a who’s who of features that gives Space Jam a run for its money, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are the legendary producers who have hit the charts 31 times, most memorably with Janet Jackson, and with everyone from Mariah Carey and Mary J Blige to Charlie Wilson and Usher on hand, they excel at r&b slow jams, especially with women singing, but not as much as they used to –  B

The Price Of Salt – Justin Courtney Pierre – The Motion City Soundtrack lead singer in complete control of his pop rock craft on a collection of enjoyable and straightforward rock songs – B

Space And Time – Justine Skye – slow burn and mainstream, r&b, produced by Timbaland, that here and there nails it. “Intruded” is a lovely song but the drum machine is intrusive and while it works often enough, Timbaland should have given it less and gone analog – B

Tirano – Kate Lindsey – baroque era compositions channeling Nero, with the Mezzo-Soprano doing something with her voice pitched well over the top – B+

Castles, Castles II – Lil Peep, Lil Tracy – the too short collaboration has plenty to show on these five years old mix tapes, I has “White Wine” and II has the best song here “Never Eat, Never Sleep”. It sounds like the door opening to emo rap – A-

Summer Of Sorcery Live! At The Beacon Theatre – Little Steven And The Disciples Of Soul – Little Stevie and the Disciples of Soul are not Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band, though this behemoth Nov. 6, 2019 show at the Beacon must have lasted over two and a half hours, the money is in the addsnot from the gig,  including Bruce on “Sun City” and Peter Wolf on an awesome “(Ain’t Nothing But A) House Party”” – B+

Treasure of Love – The Flatlanders – The Texas supergroup returns after a nine year hiatus with a mostly covers album by the septuagenarians, Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Low key and passionate, it is rockabilly Americana with plenty to enjoy. Hang around for the Dylan cover – B+

The Seekers – Live In The UK – The Seekers – from 2014 and sounds it, still when they harmonize on the hits they sound just the same, kudos the ageless Judith Durham – B-

Exit Wounds – The Wallflowers – Many years ago, I went to Roseland to catch Jeff Buckley opening for Juliana Hatfield then dashed to the Supper Club to see The Wallflowers, and wish I hadn’t bothered with one of them. The Wallflowers are boring and Jacob Dylan is a bore, and while Exit Wounds has some melodic pop early, the break up songs slowly lose all momentum even on the fast ones, especially on the fast ones. It is like outtakes from New Morning – C+

Monster – Tom Odell – eight years after Long Way Down, it’s a short ride to this beautifully sung but dry and pained typical Singer- Songwriter stuff – C+

Twin Shadows – Twin Shadow  – indie rock meets singer songwriter on a complete bore – MUST TO AVOID – D

ALMOST FAMOUS – 20TH ANNIVERSARY – Various Artists – The movie was zero like my experience as a rock critic in the 80s and as for the music? For fuck’s sake, don’t recreate the “Tiny Dancer” singalong even with Elton joining in – C+

Space Jam: A New Legacy (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Various Artists – the movie doesn’t drop till July 16th, but some of these mashups are great, I mean Lil Baby and Kirk Franklin? Really.? 24Goldn and Lil Wayne? Saint Jhn and SZA? – B+

Ultimate Car SIngalong – Various Artists – From “Believe” to “I’m A Believer,” but over five CDs it loses its way a little – B

Vince Staples – Vince Staples – Vince never improved upon his “Norf Norf” era, and this doesn’t either, but it is a minimalist rap memoir and a self portrait after break through, it has some fine, low and calm, rap and flow, and it isn’t catchy with the hooks either submerged or written out. None of that matters on a rap for art’s sake sound that puts him back near the top after the bizarre FM! – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

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