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Brief Encounters: New Albums 12-2-22 – 12-8-22 Reviewed

Snake Eyes – 100 Gecs – the experimental, hyperpop, way out on a musical ledge looking down 100 Gecs are nothing like anyone else, the synthy, techy background sounds: three songs of helium dreamed, electronic practised featuring Skrillex on one track- A-

SR. SANTOS – Arcangel – one of the reggaeton giants who maintained his balance when the sound of hip hop came for Latin American pop. This straddles the line between reggaeton, house and Latin trap with his fifth album a fine if not quite special set – B

MOB – Babyface Ray – his second album of the year has some pretty good mainstream hip hop via Detroit with a featured Chicago drill giant Lil Durk – B-

FW22 – boyband – not really, pretty good electronic indie sounds plus low key rapping at the hands of a Canadian producer – B-

Elvis On Tour – Elvis Presley – the 1972 movie is sometimes mistaken for end of time Presley, but he wouldn’t pass for another five years, and while this isn’t prime live, it is a good Elvis on the road. Four concerts and two rehearsal albums, and why not – B+

Fun House + Blueprints – Hand Habits – Meg Duffy adds demos to his most successful album singer songwriter sad songs – B

The A&M Rarities (1970-1975) – Humble Pie – lost in the winds of time, Steve Marriott and Peter Frampton’s soul and hard rock conglom. This is fourteen songs, five never previously released, from the seven album A&M years – C+

Bercy 90 (Live) – Johnny Hallyday – the late legendary French rocker thirty-two years ago, live on stage in Bercy and blowing the house down in what amounts to a follow up to Bercy 92, in the years prior he had a string of French # 1’s and was still at the peak of his commercial powers. It opens with the self-portrait “Je suis né dans la rue” which gives Chuck Berry a run for his money – B+

LIVE FOREVER – Lil Peep – his second mixtape and it still is moody, downbeat, scary bad vibe and a sound that would have changed rock if he hadn’t died – A-

Land of Dreams (Deluxe) – Mark Owen – if all you know about Take That is Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow, Mark Iwen was also a part of the boy band and on his new music this September, now expanded, he is a credible dance singer songwriter and on “Superpower” he is the best of Take That in 2022 – B

The Hardest Part (Deluxe) – Noah Cyrus – I saw her open for Katy Perry years ago, and she brought her father and sister on stage. Noah was wonderful, sure, but these dowdy folk Americana stuff isn’t and adding three songs doesn’t help though “Unfinished” is still a goodie – C+

The 7″ Single – Paul McCartney – this looked like a cash in with nowhere to go, however it is at least a good thing that you can hear the singles in order of release and trace a change is coming McCartney where he grows up and into his fifties and beyond. It is a music lesson by other means – A

surrounded by hounds and serpents – Powfu – Powfu is the voice of indie dance equals singer songwriter back in our bedroom and has been since “”Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head)”, a song so great it made two stars for the price of one, and on this nine tracker he maintains a steady hand and the arrangements are crisp quasi electronic plus piano – B

Indigo – RM – RM is the leader of BTS, enjoying his time away from mainstream K-Pop to perform haunting and well crafted electronic r&b with features by Erykah Badu and Anderson .Paak -better than you think it is – B

Emancipated – Spice – her feature on Yemi Alade’s “Bubble It” might be where we first heard of the dancehall rapper and singer, but she has been around for ten years and this might help break her here, “Clap Clap” is a potential hit – B

Music Lover Christmas EP – Swansea Sound – Uk commies dis Daniel Ekk, cover Cheap Trick plus one more – B

Sail On Sailor – 1972 (Super Deluxe) – The Beach Boys – the Boys had gone from cool to weird and whimsical, this didn’t need a box set when we still don’t have one for The Beach Boys Love You though the 1972 live at Carnegie Hall ain’t bad – B

The Corduroy Blue – The Corduroy Blue – The Atlanta brothers perform addictive power pop but with a strong classic rock vibe that falls right out of fashion and yet power pop doesn’t lend itself to anthems and yet these guys have the skill set for stadium singalongs. Try the closer “Her Majesty” for an anthem, “Somethin’ (In The Way)” a Badfinger soundalike – B+

Just Not Quite… A Christmas Album Vol. 2 – The Jac – really, between Herb Eimermann and Joe Algieri we may have the standard bearers for power pop in 2022. This sounds nothing like pop punk, or indie pop but Joe does sound like the essence of genre on this terrific second volume compilation of the last 10 years of festive! If power pop is your thing or even if it isn’t, if you just like guitars and melodies, this one will blow you away – A-

La Sustancia X – Villano Antillano – the Puerto Rican rapper in the Latin queer and transgender artists movement, has some tech in her background but always her skill at rapping is unquestionable, imagine an Arca without the hyper pop elements. In other words: she is great and a complete revelation. If you what you know is 2020’s single “Pajara” there is a whole lot more – A-

as the world is passing by. – Will Hyde – left SŸDE, the Aussie electronic duo, and tries his look solo with similar sounding electronic singer songwriter confessionals – C+

African Baddie – Yemi Alade – ten top notch Afrobeats tracks by the incomparable daughter of Lagos, she should release “Bubble It” as a single – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

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