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Brief Encounters: New Albums 10-14-22 – 10-20-22 Reviewed

BIG – Betty Who – LGBTQ+ icon Betty with a typical collection of classic rockisms for the lesbian contingent and anybody with a taste for a pop hook – B-

Gris Klein – Birds In Row – French hardcore and as melodic as it gets without being emo on their third album – B

Real To Me: The Way I Feel – Callista Clark – signed to Big Machine, this is country pop by the nineteen year old, it has moments but not enough – C+

No More Leaks – Central Cee – London drill EP by a top contender who followed up “Doja” with a strong five song EP – B

Too-Rye-Ay (As It Should Have Sounded 2022) – Dexys Midnight Runners, Kevin Rowland – the band’s greatest moments, a remix album, demos and a live album from 1982 – A

MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE… easy life – the English pop rock band dealing with post-pandemic UK on their second album – C

Optimist (Deluxe) – Finneas – just what we need, Finnea covering “The Fool On The Hill” – C

Dance Fever (Live At Madison Square Garden) – Florence + The Machine – she performed the latest album plus some oldies and your opinion will have an enormous amount to do with how much the liked the latest album though “King” is the best version I’ve heard – C+

Our Roots Run Deep (Live) – Kodaline – the Irish rockers with a tedious proto-anthem type take that has lasted over a decade with diminishing results – D+

It’s Only Me – Lil Baby – I just bought New York Times music critic Joe Coscarelli’s “Rap Capital” -which features Lil Baby in the first sentence, and therefore clearly isn’t referencing New York City. I guess it is going from Gucci and T.I. to Uncphew, and I will be interested to see if Joe can make it stick, certainly Lil Baby had a terrific 2021 and if this year has been less so, it is Lil Baby at easiest his most concentrated and powerful except for that #BLM last year – B+

MATA – M.I.A. – world music meets electronic experiments by a woman who has a better right to be highly suspicious of Western Civilization than most, having spent her childhood in Sri Lanka without enough to eat -the sort of childhood that makes bring you from way outside, and her new album is less difficult and more atypical and if it isn’t commercial, it is tough minded and bristling weirdness – B+

Live From RCA Studio A (Acoustic) – My Morning Jacket – Jim covering 2021 tracks off their eponymous album after the other members of the band came down with Covid – D+

Bad Sisters (Original Series Soundtrack) – PJ Harvey, Tim Phillips – “We created a vast sample library of her singing all sorts of different things such as howls, whoops, cackles, whispers, scales of notes, quarter tone note bends, vocal slides between notes, and specially assembled melodic lines of public domain Irish poetry. We built it into a massive sample instrument so her voice would be available on demand for the scoring of the production It was then put through a variety of sonic treatments to turn her voice into a very flexible sonic texture, sometimes heard singing words, sometimes as an instrument in the ensemble.”. At least it’s better than the Leonard Cohen cover (Grade: C+)

I Walked With You A Ways – Plains – Waxahacee’s new release is with Jesse Williamson on a collection of suburban folkiness meets Americana, strong set with great harmonies – B

PUP Unravels Live In Front Of Everyone They Know – Pup – Live in Toronto, the punk rock band are on fire, eclective, wild, addictive and a superb six song taster including personal best “PUPTHEBAND Inc. Is Filing For Bankruptcy” – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Return of the Dream Canteen – Red Hot Chili Peppers – same old Red Hot Chili Peppers on their second double album of the year, I wasn’t crazy about the first one but this one puts me right to sleep, same old hard rock, funky, death inducing tedium with Rick Rubin producing – D+

Black Radio III (Supreme Edition) – Robert Glasper – as the Kingover of fusion, Glasper takes jazz and adds hip hop vibes and while he is must admired, Miles Davis wouldn’t have pissed on “In Tune” and “Black Superhero” owes so much to be desired as it wastes the likes of Killer Mike – C

Space Force – Todd Rundgren – with features including Adrian Belew (currently on tour with him) and Sparks (on the 2021 single “Your Fandango”), this is a straightforward glam pop rocker with a hint of Bowie – B

Exception (Soundtrack from the Netflix Anime Series) – Ryuichi Sakamoto – Yellow Magic Orchestra pianist as soundtrack composer – B

…Nothing Like The Sun (Expanded Edition) – Sting – Sting’s second solo album is given the deluxe version so you can ignore it all except “Englishman In New York” – D+

Boys Don’t Cry – Toosii – the always addictive r&b hip hop guy with what should have been a huge hit with “Love Is…’ – B-

Dirt Femme – Tove Lo – The Swedish harbinger of modern pop with mix of rock pop but mostly electronica – B-

Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen – Various Artists – sure, if you are in the market for Sarah Mclachlan covering “Hallelujah” – C-

3800 Degrees – YoungBoy Never Broke Again – The reason for the Juvenile album cover in because YoungBoy has signed to Cash Money, the debut album on the label, YoungBoy’s fourth of the year, is a tight half hour of mainstream bad boy rap – B

Sunday In Heaven – Zella Day – pop singer songwriter, Lana Del Rey buddy, on a forgettable set of self-portraits – C+

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