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Brief Encounters: New Albums 10-1-21 – 10-7-21 Reviewed

See What’s On The Inside – Asking Alexandria – alt rock atrocity, painful hard rock quasi grunge whining – MUST TO AVOID – D-

10 BABYMETAL BUDOKAN (LIVE) – Babymetal – still sound like the Chipmunks covering Poison – B-

In These Silent Days – Brandi Carlile – Brandi turned me round when she walked out on stage and joined with John Prine at Radio City Music Hall a coupla years ago, ever since then I relaxed into her and the payoff is this excellent sort of country album -beautiful sung and energetic sad songs that move between new wave and pop and country – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Asleep In The Back (Deluxe Edition) – Elbow – before Elbow became Elbow, in 2001 they haven’t quite got their Radiohead meets Genesis vibe down yet on their debut, the deluxe is the usual odds and sods, EPS, demos, live, etc… but it is thirteen years till they blow up the world (do I mean my world?) with The Take Off and Landing of Everything – C+

Reprise Rarities (Vol. 5) – Frank Sinatra – seconds as a duets album, Frank with rat packers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jn, as well as Rosemary Clooney, Nancy Sinatra, and Bing Crosby, and more, the “Some Enchanted Evening” with Rosemary is a must hear – B+

These Things Happen Too (Deluxe) – G-Eazy – adds ten songs for a life threatening 29 tracks of relentless mediocrity – C-

Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO (12/10/71) [Live] – Grateful Dead – in 1970 they released both Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty -easily their best studio albums, and that’s what they were performing 51 years ago during a Christmas show (well, at least we get Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run”). A real good concert for sure – B+

No Time To Die (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Hans Zimmer – oh oh, is that “We Have All The Time In The World? -some woman Bond loves is gonna croak. What is it with Craig’s Bond? His girlfriend and M both died on his watch and rumor has it so does he. Where’s the fun in that? Zimmer gets the job done here – B

Too Loyal for My Own Good – Headie One – after Stormzy, Headie One is the best UK grime rapper, last year’s Edna was one of the best English albums of the year and here he has a brooding presence with an edgy voice and consistent flow and street cred after spending four months in jail (for possession -sounds like bullshit to me). If you think you recognize the name, go back to his song with Drake from last year, “Only You Freestyle” – B+

True Love – Hovvdy – indie rock as kiddie Americana with hugely successful arrangements and consistent melodies – B

Trust Fund Babies – Lil Wayne, Rich The Kid – it should work but the voices don’t quite mesh, the rhyming is crap, and the rapping isn’t good enough – C

Regards de femmes – Marie-Catherine Girod – an exuberant set of piano based classical music composed by women, who got pushed to the side during the golden age. She makes an excellent case that it was mainly sexism that caused them not shining as bright as their male counterparts – B+

La 167 – Farruko – The reggaeton-trap performer’s follow up to 2019’s superior Gangalee, has mediocre featured artist on an album that fails to ignite, worst of all the tedious ballad “My Love” -a sub-Romeo Santos bachata track with too heavy drums leaving it neither-nor – C-

Let Me Do One More – illuminati hotties – Sarah Tudzin’s breakthrough mixes post-punk, pop-punk, and a taste of classicism and is great… when it is pop punk – B

Carnegie Hall 1970 (Live) – Neil Young – yes, it’s epic and yes. this is a beautiful album, but it isn’t Young Shakespeare great because he doesn’t have the Harvest songs yet – B+

Expensive Pain – Meek Mill – he got out of prison in 2018 and it was justice served cold, but the songs before and after this, haven’t been very good and this is a long drag, and despite features from the likes of Lil Baby and Lil Uzi Vert, only Kehlani absolves him with “Ride With You” – C

One Way Out – Melissa Etheridge – once the female Bruce Springsteen, she wasn’t in that league but she did come out as lesbian when it was much more than a career move and I admire the bravery still… though not the bland hard rock she travels in – C

Moral Hygiene – Ministry – industrial metal from the hard rock riff band, coming to terms with 2020 in a loud set of sounds in search of songs – B-

Bright Magic – Public Service Broadcasting – in which the band moves to Berlin and get drearier with sub-Avalanchers sampling and industrial acquired sounds… yet, it is still a fascinating exercise in German hopelessness – C+

Change The World – Ringo Starr – say this about Ringo, at an age where he could be easily accepting lifetime awards and throwing up peace signs, he does that and is also about to tour with his Allstars, and won’t let anything stop him in pursuit of bad songs – C

RTJ4 (Deluxe Edition) – Run The Jewels – The album was such a part of 2020 that it sounds dated in 2021, and while an add of 15 songs sounds like a re-think, 11 of them are instrumentals – B+

In Heaven – Strand of Oaks – Tim Showalter is a caring man, devoted husband, non drinking guy who writes awful classic rock songs and this is his sixth album filled with them – C-

Liberté – The Doobie Brothers – of all those pre-punk rock bands, the Steely Dans and the Eagles, these guys are the worst of the pack and yet 40 or so years later, and except for the lack of THAT SONG, this ain’t significantly worse than 1976 – B-

How Beautiful Life Can Be – The Lethums – I am not a praying man, but if I was I’d pray that the big G stops the rock revival from the UK, which is uniformly awful except… the title track ain’t bad – C-

Fuck These Fuckin Fascists – The Muslims – old school, three chord punk following up to their metal machine industrial last album – B

Love of Ages – Theophobia – a year after the glam duo of Dylan Mars Greenberg and Matt Ellin aka fear of the wrath of godding Theophobia aren’t merely prescient in their worries, they are back with the Sparks-ish 70s “Love Of Ages,” as well as two other songs, one an electric guitar goodie and the other prog-rock in excelsis – A-

Protest Songs 1924 – 2012 – The Specials – doesn’t even nearly work: they’ve yet to improve on their debut and if you think covering “Freedom Highway” is protest in 2021, they might as well go whole hog and do “Hallelujah” (they do do Cohen’s “Everybody Knows”…) – C

Love For Sale (Deluxe) – Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga – In reviewing Brandi Carlile’s album of the week I stepped back and gave her huge influence k.d. lang a listen, and ended up with Lang’s 2002 album with Tony, and it is so much better than this and that is because, the world’s opinion notwithstanding, Gaga is not in the same league as a singer as Lang, or Tony – C+

Bubblerock Is Here To Stay! The British Pop Explosion 1970-73 – Various Artists – if Cherry Red want to stream, or even sample, their box set, why kill off EVERY SINGLE SONG YOU VAGUELY REMEMBER… where is Sweet? This mostly hurts the pretty good pop rock era – C+

Sincerely, Kentrell > – YoungBoy Never Broke Again – I didn’t review this last week because I couldn’t understand why I found it difficult to listen to, atonal and boring and the same ol same ol. Of course, the hip hop ingenue (well, he was once), now has his third number one in three years because, like I said, same ol same ol – C+

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