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Brief Encounters: New Albums 2-12-21 – 2- 18-21 Reviewed

I Told You I Was Trouble: Live In London – Amy Winehouse – now upped to eight songs, let’s see what next week brings – A-

Wild River – Anika Pyle – where spoken word meets electronica and falls asleep – C

Fil rouge – Another Five Minutes – somewhere between emo, post-hardcore, with a side of shoegaze sounds good but the French band are too proggy for their own good and the screamo singer is a genre too far – C-

Unfuckwitable – Babyface Ray – a mainstay of Detroit rap, he is a cool guy with a funny line of patter, try “If You Know You Know” featuring Moneybagg Yo – B

Vol. 4 (2021 Remaster) – Black Sabbath – The first album Black Sabbath produced themselves, 1972’s Vol. 4 is given a contemporary remastering , sounds much better than I remembered it  –  A-

Might Delete Later – Chris Crack –  the Chicago underground rapper’s first album for indie dance label Fool’s Gold (where we got A-Trak) with jazzy samples and a tough flow adept at tempo weirdness and wordy bizarreness… but isn’t it meant to be fun? – C+

Parallels: Shellac Reworks By Christian Löffler – Christian Löffler – “a collection of digitized material restored in a collaborative initiative with Google Arts & Culture. This project by German musician, visual artist and producer is an experimental electronica tribute to Beethoven” — if you say so – B

Super Monster – Claud – The last time I said anything nice about Phoebe Bridgers was when I reviewed “Motion Sickness” off her debut album, but the initial album release on her Saddest Factory Records is a non-binary and youthful set of indie pop songs by the wonderful Claud, so maybe that adds up to a nice word?   – B+

Glowing in the Dark – Django Django – UK psyche rockers with a taste for dance and genre mash-ups with an album missing THAT SONG – B-

Future Nostalgia (The Moonlight Edition) – Dua Lipa – her third shot at the pop album success adds six songs, “Levitating” is still the best moment  -B

1-800-HIT-EAZY – Eric Bellinger, Hitmaka – modern day r&b with a taste of the nineties from the guy who wrote “Rocking Robin”‘s grandson – B-

Life Rolls On – Florida Georgia Line – and rolls over, sure it is going to # 1 but that doesn’t make it anything more than self-satisfied country lifestyle and love stuff – MUST TO AVOID – C-

Supremo – Fuego – the Dominican rapper does mood enhancing songs with a smooth surface over a roiling undertow and Latin-Trap beats… I wonder what “Elon” is about – B-

Growing Up – Haley Mae Campbell – not unpleasant but a little whatever country gal – C+

Departures – Jon Foreman – the Christian Singer songwriter finds big sounds in small Americana and God in the cracks of depression – B

EP2! – JPEGMAFIA – for a man given to rap experimentation, once the songs hit they sound like off center hyperpop with a better than you might expect raps – B+

$ad Boyz 4 Life – Junior H – don’t let the album cover fool you, this is not 6ix9ine style kid-hop, it is a young Latin corridos guy with a youthful glint on flamenco winking, electronic added Latin pop moodiness  – B-

Wild World (Deluxe) – Kip Moore  – Moore is the only country guy giving Eric Church a run for his money as a world class classic rock inspirational country guy. The deluxe version adds five songs to the 2020 release. And not that it matters, it is vastly superior to anything Morgan Wallen has ever done – A-

Table For Two – Lucky Daye – soulful Daye on an EP of duets with the likes of Ari Lennox and Queen Naija – B-

Internet Killed The Rockstar – MOD SUN – clearly owes a debt to YUNGBLUD, though he isn’t as much fun, still “Pornstar” and “Bones” are pretty good, one where Post Malone meets sadboy the other straight up sadboy – C+

Who Am I? – Pale Waves – the queer lead singer came out with this album by the Manchester band, the songs are a definition of mediocrity saved by sincerity and tight popness – B-

PINK PLANET – Pink Sweat$ – compiling his 2020 singles (including the one with Kehlani) and additional songs, despite the naff name it is certainly better than, say, Lucky Daye – B+

Bang – Rita Ora, Imanbek – a handful of dance trance featuring Imanbek – B

On Earth, and in Heaven – Robin Thicke – so how blurred is his vision after being, more or less cancelled, and finding his follow up to that song stiffing on monumental proportions. All is fair, of course, and this is a low key soul album with strong songs and impeccable singing. Now if Robin would just take his hand off my ass – B

Music (Songs From And Inspired By The Motion Picture) – Sia – I would forgive Sia’s brain dead thoughts on autism if only the music was better -this is by the numbers dance pop and not worthy of the once great Sia… Jack Antonoff co-wrote the first song – C

TYRON – slowthai – after getting drunk and disorderly at an NME awards gig, Slowthai almost got himself cancelled but slipped through the net. His second album isn’t hurt by the controversy though post-Breixt he puts his politics on the side for a set of self stories and bragging. Fortunately, his songs sound great and the rhyming is constantly excellent – B

PSYCHO (Legally Insane) EP – Smokepurpp  – the Soundcloud kid still working on his teen trap vibe on a fun EP – B

Get A Good Look Pt.1 – Sports – indie pop electronica with a taste for the funk hook – B-

Earth Is A Black Hole – Teenage Wrist – LA pop rockers who go down the rabbit hole of despair but come out the other side on indie rock meets power pop songs, and at its best, “Taste Of Gasoline” and “Yellowbelly,” it is what we want from indie rock – B+

Stage Fright (Deluxe Remix 2020) – The Band – Although it has “The Shape I’m In” and the title track, this is the worst of the first three albums so what does the worst mean? Added odds and sods plus a live album, remixed by Bob Clearmountain, it remains in tact as a sign post to Americana yet to come – A

Death By Rock And Roll – The Pretty Reckless – Taylor Mommsen returns to her hard rocking classicist’s The Pretty Reckless for the first time in five years with a rip snorting, burn down the houses, we didn’t know we missed ya  album that puts fellow classicists Foo Fighters to shame – ALBUM OF THE WEEK –  A-

Major Mantras – Tiana Major9 – spoken word mantras – B

Side 1 – Triggerman – LA hardcore superstar band featuring former Social Distortions, with a wall of sound prog art weirdness that is unlike anything you expect – B+

Judas and the Black Messiah: The Inspired Album – Various Artists – despite songs by H.E.R. and Rakim, it is too tasteful for a hip hop album – B

We Are Friends, Vol. 10 – Various Artists – 93 minutes of house DJs lead by Deadmaus – B-

private LIFE – Virginia Wing – from Manchester, England, the indie pop band add production values to their Pro Tools isolationism, try the first track “I’m Holding Onto Something” – B-


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