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Brief Encounters: New Albums 3-10-23 – 3-16-23 Reviewed

Pain Provided Profit – Conway The Machine, Jae Skeese – gone from Griselda, he still has an epic boom bap sound and lives up to his mental health concerns as the album title suggests, but it isn’t a strong album, it is too lo fi and distracted – B-

I Can Only Be Me (Orchestral) – Eva Cassidy – dead at 33 some 27 years ago, the glistening soprano sounds gorgeous on this powerful middle of the road from the vaults – B

Radical Romantics – Fever Ray – The Knife’s Karin Dreijer is Sweden’s answer to nothing anyone asked, but her electronic weirdness washes over you in a world of beats that are quite unique from the queer avatar – B

Love As Projection – Frankie Rose – you don’t know the indie woman? yes you do, she was in Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Beverly. Her first album in six years is a synth swirl of pretty sounds and weirdness – B

The Valley Of Vision – Manchester Orchestra -indie rockers big in the 2010s, a little quiet for today – B

Takin’ It Back (Deluxe) – Meghan Trainor – thank God she is away from adult pop and back to her greatest strength doo wop, this is an excellent album and deluxe just makes it better – B+

Endless Summer Vacation – Miley Cyrus – isn’t it a little late for her break up album? Didn’t she divorced Chris in 2019? Anyway, if she doesn’t love Chris she sure loves Cali and this celebrates the price and rewards of fame. It is a pity the songs aren’t better but I realize she might even bump Morgan from # 1 – B-

Post-American – MSPAINT – industrial strength metal with noise hand in hand with hooks on the screamo variant – B

Victims & Villains – Musiq Soulchild, Hit-Man – years ago Musiq seemed ready to take his soul pop to the top but it kept getting weirder and while Hit-Boy gives him a commercial edge here, it isn’t enough for a hit – B-

Sunrise Bang Ur Head Against Tha Wall – Nia Archives – drum n bass and a side of Afrobeats – B-

The Jaws Of Life (Extended Version) – Pierce The Veil – just awful grunge punk – D+

UK Grime – Sleaford Mods – Andrew Trendell of the NME claimed Sleaford Mods new album UK Grime sounds like West Coast rap made in the East Midlands, or maybe The Fall with John Cooper Clarke? Try “On The Ground” – B

JUNGLE – The Blaze – a French duo, borderline ambient and decidedly electronic lo fi – C+

From Nothing To A Little Bit More – The Lathums – aren’t much but they have one good song and the rest is moldy – C

Lover’s Game – The War And Treaty – classic rock style soul with great singing and tons of hooks, try the title track – B

Ready To Be – Twice – another manufactured K-pop band, this time featuring nine nondescript but pretty women doing mainstream disco product – C

Moving On Skiffle – Van Morrison – his second skiffle album is a magnificent thing and the first that looks as though it will be one of the best of the year. A covers album of songs from pre-Presley, Lonnie Donegan, skiffle on a washboard, which means a mix of English vaudeville and American country. Song after song Morrison is just magnificent, that “Oh Lonesome Me” is classic but so is everything and while I agree to a limited degree Glide’s take “the weight of so many background vocalists with call and response or echoes in every chorus on these tracks becomes wearisome” – I wouldn’t say wearisome but unimportant but that’s it ; the one time he gets back into his shitty politics on the trad “Gov Don’t Allow” it is terrific – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Blacklips Bar: Androgyns and Deviants – Industrial Romance for Bruised and Battered Angels, 1992–1995 – Various Artists – “a compilation combining original recordings and select DJ tracks from the vaults of Blacklips Performance Cult, a collective of underground performers, artists and drag queens who took to NYC’s Pyramid Club stag” or to quote Meng And Ecker MOTHERFUCKER, the only name I recognize is ANOHNI – B+

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