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Brief Encounters: New Albums 2-18-21 – 2-24-21 Reviewed

PREY//IV – Alice Glass – Glass, the former member of Crystal Castles who accused the co-founder of the band of sexual, physical, and mental abuse with her first solo album and it is a similar world of electronic sounds playing footsie with the abyss – B

Digital Roses Don’t Die – Big K.R.I.T. – he released five mixtapes in 2021 and this is the first in 2022, the Mississippi native is a hero of Southern rap if mostly because he is such a badass rapper and rhymer, and if you keep your ears on that this is a very fine album of Southern Rap – B+

Dog Hours – Big Nothing – They sound like Real Estate with stronger tunes, guitar indie vibes that works on song after song and has for years – B+

My Bestfriend’s House – Blue Hawaii – that’s a great band name for a duo immersed in electronic pop dreams, the rhythm is very backtrack click clock but the melodies always make themselves felt – B

Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros: Live In Colorado – Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros – they sound like Govt Mule on chronic, how many white bluesmen does it take to insult a genre? – D

Tough Boy – Carlie Hanson – bedroom sadgirl but more aggressive and with more confusion though sex is what’s on her mind – B

Ellapsis – Dreamtiger – sounds like a shoegaze variant as it builds through walls of guitars to reach a melody tucked beneath it, “O See The Future” is one of the best tracks of the week – B+

She – JP Cooper – British singer songwriter JP: “from my mum who I lost when I was a child, to growing up with four sisters, to the mother of my eldest son, to my wife Lauren…I’m grateful for all of the lessons, however difficult they were to process…I’m so lucky to have had these people in my life.” So why is he punishing them? – D+

Texas Moon – Khruangbin, Leon Bridges -the worst of both worlds, instrumental background music with a soul singer stranded without a melody – D+

Small World – Metronomy – pretty orchestrations on a sweet and solemn tedium – C-

We Are There – Modern Studies – disinteresting indie folk rock from the UK, though “Mothlight” is alright – C

ESIST – Midnight Oil – they’re Australian, right? If not they should be, the 1980s hard rocking mediocrity given A for effort after all these years and as long as we are grading – C

Feeling Good: Her Greatest Hits And Remixes – Nina Simone – The hits are the hits, the two songs from a 1964 Carnegie Hall gig are great, but though the likes of Hot Chip and Sofi Tucker are big time EDM producers, they don’t really matter – B+

Kingman – Ras-I – the best new rastaman since Chronixx’s sophomore album is a soulful trip to lucky town with an edge, for all its good vibes it is lively and excitable. At a brisk and enjoyable 26 minutes, it could crossover if he got the right rapper on board – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Redeemon – Redeemon – call it skacore, a meeting of metal and ska rhythms and I bet it kills the intended audience – B-

Sad Cities – Sally Shapiro – sadgirl with a touch of jazz and electronics – C+

Nightroamer – Sarah Shook And The Disclaimers – more of a classic sound than her alt-country tag suggests, I mean she isn’t Lydia Loveless, let alone Brandi Carlile. Instead, she has smooth rocking country tracks, “Believer” is a stand out, and if you want a more thorough review try my friend Mark Deming in Allmusic (here) – B

Everything Was Forever – Sea Power – the alty darkness Brit band, should be at # 1 on Monday but my version is missing two tracks (or else is the dumbest idea of the year), as for the music? It is Brit Indie rock – C

Manticore – Shovels & Rope – this Americana duo always left me cold until now, the consistent catchiness and skifulness is unprecedented in their career, the first two songs “Domino” and “The Show” are must hears and while it scales down from there, none of it is bad – B+

The Slow Rush B-Sides & Remixes – Tame Impala – A moody, guitar rock band from Australia that you could well dub indie, and also very popular except they sound like falling off a log on this odds and sods from the album before last – D

Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono – Various Artists – 1) Yoko Ono doesn’t need her career reassessed and 2) if she did it wouldn’t be from that Death Cab turkey with feathers. Still, kudos to U.S. Girls and David Byrne for the highlights – B-

2 Alivë – Yeat – middling white rapper enamored with autotune and owes a bit to Young Thug – B-

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