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Brief Encounters: New Albums 3-18-22 – 3-24-22 Reviewed

Pier Pressure – Aardee – announced with a clever pun in the title (think his home town’s Brighton Pier), and including a very expensive sample (Destiny Child’s “What’s My Name”), the UK rapper has seen his star in ascency for the past coupla years and while the US can’t quite hear it, Aardee has a flow to die for and a pop skill set that is purely brilliant. A major release – A-

In Cinerama – April March – think of 60s pop stylists like Cilla Black and the updates from Tracey Ullman, add French pop and you will grasp this excellent set of girl pop -B

Bad Reputation – Kid Rock – yes, I know he was a rich kid who pretended he was working class, I know he is a moron Trumper, I know he is loathsome. But this is Kid Rock at his very best since, at the the latest, 2007 when he was sampling Warren Zevon. A full of rap, rock record that leaves Limp Bizkit in the dust, “Don’t Tell Me How To Live” is the essence of nu-metal meets classic rock. Nobody likes the dickhead, but this is a terrific album – A-

Only Honest On The Weekend (Deluxe) – Becky Hill -Becky came out of “The Voice” though I doubt Ella Henderson is losing sleep, the expanded version of last year’s Only Honest On The Weekend with an additional six songs has her nondescript vocals harmed by the relentlessly mediocre EDM band Galantis -C-

Maida Vale Sessions – Broadcast – lovely and odd BBC sessions, some from legendary DJ John Peel, it is baroque pop from the 1990s and worth a listen – B

Crash – Charli XCX – With Sophie dead, Charli XCX (or as Cardi B called her Charli STD!!) is the standard bearer for hyper-pop, deeply weird sounds and strong, strong beats, and real tunes, and while she takes some getting used to, Crash should be the album to put her over the top. Her most commercial work to date, the title track is masterful dance, the song with Rina Sawayama is already big, and the English woman Charli is a sexpot and an artist – A-

What Are We Waiting For? – for KING & COUNTRY – the CCM band have improved over the years and when they keep it simple it isn’t hell on earth, but most of the time it is dreadful – C-

a study of the human experience volume one – Gayle – in a rush to cash in on “abcdefu”, Gayle drops a five song EP; it is reminiscent of early Meghan Trainor and it really is consistent, even the one with Upsahl, even the one where you don’t want to be her friend, you just want to see her naked again – B

Raised – Hailey Whitters – not surprised to see Hailey on Big Loud Records, she is one of the simplest country songwriters with a knack for sharp lyrics, like the title track, and she is enough mainstream to tour with Maren Morris (who she is better than). She has written for Little Big Town (to be expected) and Alan Jackson (an honor for sure), on her fourth album she is consistent and strong and major – A-

Fighting Demons (Extended) – Juice WRLD – adds three songs to the deluxe version from last year, and there is even a song with Saba of BTS, but it is all a facsimile of the late emo-rapper, it is similar to the guy behind two great albums in 2018 when he was alive (and if you’ve never heard Juice’s album with Future you certainly should), and this doesn’t click that well at all – B-

Main Offender (2021 Remaster) [Deluxe Edition] – Keith Richards – One of the oddest events is how Keith did so much better than Mick solo, including this 25 year old debut album which rocks sublimely despite being somewhat lame vocally and lyrically. Here we get it remastered and a whole live album from 1992 tacked on the end, a winner as well with Keef putting his hand to “Gimme Shelter” among others; and we haven’t made him run – B+

For The Sake of Bethel Woods – Midlake – indie folk Americana, nothing much despite them being around since 1999 and are innovators – C

Nana Mouskouri sings The Beatles – Nana Mouskouri – I  always loved the great 87 year old Greek singer but she can be overwhelmed by bathos and on this compilation of Beatles (plus one Lennon solo) is just too soupy for words. Worst moment? “The Long And Winding Road” is scary – C-

sore thumb – oso oso – Pitchfork gave it an 8.3, and while it is a ringing indie pop it isn’t all that – B-

MOTOMAMI – ROSALÍA – she may never improve on “Milionària” and still be the best in class adding her Flamenco to Latin Trap and she has been moving steadily to the top of Latin pop, with this being a major pop move,a big one, and if it doesn’t break the USA I’ll be surprised, it even has a spice of hyper-pop and a whole lotta weirdness (what gives with the break on “SAOKO”?), but even The Weeknd feature isn’t the best track though given a week or so in rotation it might sound better; the singing on “BULERÍAS” reminds you what she is capable – A-

Forever On My Mind – Son House – the Black Keys may well be loathsome but if I remember I will try and be gentle in my next review though only because Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound is responsible for the release of the father of the Delta Blues Son House new album, not bad for a man who died in 1988 (don’t feel too bad -he was born in 1902). The album of acoustic guitar blues, recorded but not released a year before his return in 1965, includes some of the best blues you’ll ever hear. If only for including “Preachin’ Blues” (not the Robert Johnson song) it would be the best album of the week, but that is just a highlight during 45 minutes of gorgeous acoustic blues. One of the all time greats, it really gets to you on song after song. I have no idea why it was not released (Tom Hammond would produce his 1965 return, which was great and yet not as great) but I am very happy to have it now – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Chasing Ghosts – Stabbing Westward – industrial metal yes, but nowhere in the realm of Nine Inch Nails and never have, a whiny, not loud or excited enough retread with the reformed in 2019 band – D+

Delete My Feelings – The Let Go Clash called it peppy vitriol (here) and for sure it is addictive pop rock from the Liverpool duo – B+

Reeling – The Mysterines – The UK’s rock revival continues and while most of it can be ignored without fear of missing anything, the Liverpool four piece may not be in the league of The Libertines -and they lack a strong identity, but they are fun and rowdy and that is enough on “Dangerous” where they think they are the Stones – B

10 Year Plan – The Shires – I don’t know why the duo think we need an English Lady A(ntebellum) but we don’t – D+

Can The Glam! – Various Artists – the CD has 80 songs, the streamer has 19 and I know glam but iter than the Damned, I know nobody. Having said that, it is real good bubblegum rock and it sounds more sophisticated now then it did then – B+

Blues Friends – Yulian Taylor – “Recorded in Chicago, Mississippi, California, Nashville. Great legends of Blues & Rock sing. Which toured internationally…” Quite, a terrific set of blues rockers with some ear ringing twelve bar blues and a stunning guitar from the Argentinian – B+

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