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Brief Encounters: New Albums 2-3-22 – 2-9-22 Reviewed

Norm – Andy Schauf – there is something about Andy that feels more interesting than it has any reason to be on a somewhat dowdy set of singer songwriter small band stuff, it is that he likes telling stories and at his best on this tale of unrequited love and divine intervention, he tells them well – B-

Small Craft – Brian Eno, Jon Hopkins, Leo Abrahams – this is straight up ambient – C

Home Again – Live From Central Park, New York City, May 26, 1973 – Carole King – two years after her epic Carnegie Hall gig in 1971 Carole King was still our New York girl at Central Park in 1973, as wonderful a concert as you’d expect until she leans hard on the iffy latest release at the time Fantasy, and can’t pull it off – B

Desire, I Want To Turn Into You – Caroline Polachek – on first listen I immediately bought a ticket to her Radio City Music Hall gig in May, the singer songwriter is a pop musician all the way, she is at service to a unique sound, a hyper pop variant with beats from rock to dembow. The songs are wonderful, big, and colorful (the calypso on “Sunset” is brilliant), and this might make her a superstar – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell – Chase Rice – The “Cruising” songwriter rejects his bro roots for a classic country album that seems to lack a “Cruising” to push you over the edge though “All Dogs Go To Hell” might fight its way up the chart – B-

The Corner: Vol 1 – Jadasea, Laron – A London meets New York rap hook up which covers immense ground in 60 minutes but never seems to hit it heart enough, the backing tracks are HUGE (thank you Laron) – B

Raven – Kelala- low key , soul, r&b, kinda loud beats but not too bad, electronic mood mode but not very memorable – C

Fantasy – Chapter 1 – M83 – Anthony Gonzalez returns to lead his ambient sounding walls of synth hiding out with melodies, over ten years after the break through Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, he continues to build symphonic sounds on a treadmill – B

The Jaws Of Life – Pierce The Veil – one of those Warped Tour type punk with a touch of prog – C

This Is Why – Paramore – I’ll own up the the title track being killer, but then what? A disappointment which should be very successful: the rockers are okay with Hayley’s whiny vocals but the ballads aren’t – B

Let Her Burn – Rebecca Black – the one hit wonder behind “Friday” returns with a set of dance pop going nowhere – C

Welcome To The Block Party (Deluxe) – Rebecca Block – country pop, not bad, but not special – B

Blood On The Tracks – Ryan Adams – maybe Ryan was born for this length of the album cover of Bob Dylan’s masterpiece – A

Breaking the Balls of History – Quasi – the reformed duo still define post-punk obstreperousness digital form of analog – B-

The Blues History – Son House – Son House – An interesting case, who came up playing rhythm and slide guitar for the likes Charley Patton before a stint in prison and a retirement… this was at the start of the 1930s and he wasn’t rediscovered till the mid-1960s. This compilation is a fantastic collection of Delta Blues and a case for legend – A

Pollen – Tennis – the lo-fi, 50s inspired pop duo with a sophomore that is not catchy enough – C+

The Future Is Your Past – The Brian Jonestown Experience – Typical enough from one of the biggest dicks in rock and with yet another alty rock album – C

GRRR!! Live – The Rolling Stones – a little beyond useless, the Stones drop a greatest hits live that despite having Lady Gaga on “Gimme Shelter” and Bruce Springsteen on “Tumbling Dice” defines meh (though Mick Taylor on the twelve minute “Midnight Rambler” is a must hear): still doesn’t everything have to have utility? – B-

This Stupid World – Yo La Tengo – there is Fake Book, there is I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, and there is nothing else in the same league, even as this sounds similar. If it continues the bad vibes of We Have Amnesia Sometimes, the freestyle rock attempt, it does so very, very focussed. It still seems like a rumble behind a disturbed and psycho vocal – B+

Truth Decay – You Me At Six – absolutely horrible modern day hard rock, unlistenable – MUST TO AVOID – D-

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