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Brief Encounters: New Albums 1-6-22 – 1-12-13 Reviewed

LIES THEY TELL OUR CHILDREN – Anti-Flag – when an agitprop band has the word “children” in its title you just know it is gonna be a long day (think of “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next”), but while I agree with much of Anti-Flag’s politics (and the cast of featured artists includes Killswitch Engage, Rise Against and Silverstein is impressive), the songs are cookie cutter ramalamadingdong – C

SPIN OFF : FROM THE WITNESS – Ateez – K-Pop is a difficult genre for Western pop guys of a certain age. The problem is not just that the artists, sometimes fifteen to a band, looking very similar: that sounds racist but I can certainly tell the difference between Asian people unless they look very, very similar. So, the feeling is that the music, mostly dance and electronica, also feels manufactured. It puts you off. BTS and Blackpink may well be serious bands but they come across as YA product. Ateez are more beat oriented than most K-Pop, it sounds weird and obtuse and only after noting that these are mostly remixes does it make sense… not good sense… – C+

EVERY LOSER – Iggy Pop – Producer Andrew Watt (a pop music doyen) is a weird choice for Iggy’s return to loud and furious well-post Stooges set of rockers with detours into his love of crooning and electronic stuff, joined by some big names in rock (including GNR and Pearl Jam) it is a straightforward album of past its prime Iggy – C+

Beware of the Monkey – Mike – on his eighth album Mike remains the adult in the rap pack going from underground other to middle class sounds as he plays with form and self awareness in an effort to prove himself our best rapper. Which he isn’t. But he’s not bad – B+

I Rest My Case – YoungBoy Never Broke Again – he released five albums last year and the hip hop guy’s problem is not whether he is prolific but his overall quality control… by which I mean he releases too much stuff. This is an outre YBNBA, more experimental, weirder arrangements, less juiced hooks, but it still has moments – B

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