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Brief Encounters: New Albums 4-16-21 – 4-22-18 Reviewed


La Machina – Conway The Machine – The Grisalda guy with a swift forty minutes of scary sounds (including howls) and hard raps over grimey beats, try the terrific “6:30 tip Off”  – B

Heart – Eric Church – great country rock triumph for half an hour of top rock plus “Put That In Your Country Song”. It is, in fact, the album of the week except I wanted to note someone else… I consider it the best year of the year (so far!) – A

Losers Weepers – Babygirl – aptly named album filled with lo fi bummer tracks by the Canadian duo, they are capable of taking a quiet song you’re done with and adding a lovely sax at the end – B

California Soil – London Grammar – brutally bad synth pop ambient from the dreadful UK populists, this is exceptionally bad… if you are gonna do ambient don’t do ambience, there are pills for that, and write sturdy tunes right under the surface – C-

My Midnight Special – Lonnie Donegan – a greatest hits from the skiffle legend who was the king of proletariat UK pop back in the 1950s, put out to pasture due to rock and roll – A

The Sonic Ranch – Midland –  recorded in 2014 along with a documentary, and it isn’t terrible though it isn’t much either, “Fourteen Gears” is actually quite good from the  country trio – C+

Boilermaker – Royal Battle – Produced by Josh Homme, the duo’s schtick is to make the bass sound like a guitar and bass at the same time. The music is just about unlistenable – C-

epic Ten – Sharon Van Etten – if you don’t like Fiona Apple you will loath Sharon Van Etten, in 2019 when her latest was the next big thing I found her beyond boring, and when this album, I mean the original epic ten years ago, dropped I missed it (or at least don’t remember it). I feel the same way now in the seven songs recorded with feature performers like Big Red Machine and Shamir, though any Lucina Williams does anything with it  – C

Ultrapop – The Armed – a thrilling mix of hardcore meets hyperpop on waves of guitar ,while the eight piece art noise band from Detroit make your ears fall off as they master capitalism… and as good as that sounds, is as good as it is – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Let The Bad Times Roll – The Offspring – The pop punkers of your youth have always done what they do, tuneful twist and shout  for white kids with low self-esteem. It might not more than what it is, it is still precisely what it says it is – B+

Finding Wildflowers (Alternate Versions) – Tom Petty-  yet more from the triple platinum and well loved album, which is fine but that will do it, thanks – B

6 Cover Songs – Wild Pink – The New York indie with quiet and very sweet covers of stuff like Taylor Swift’s “we Are Never Ever Getting back Together” and… the Jeopardy Theme, the Springsteen take is excellent  – B+

Slime Language 2 – Young Thug, Gunna – plus a cast of dozens, including Drake and Travis Scott, from the YSL label a fine odds and sods of songs I really am not certain why I have never heard of a single one, it should be huge because as pop rap goes it has edge to spare and Young Thug remains a world class rapper  – B+

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