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Brief Encounters: New Albums 4-22-22 – 4-28-22 Reviewed

My Jesus – Anne Wilson – sure, CCM sucks but that isn’t to say it doesn’t have its moments and Wilson’s My Jesus, her debut album, is classic country rock as words of pray seeped in backstory and with a taste of carnality you find so often subconsciously peering through the words of devotion from some women – B-

Stoned – Blackberry Smoke – if we all need at least one southern boogie band, by all means let’s make it Blackberry Smoke, they have the snappiness of the Faces to the energy and good vibes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and on this killer album you get six Stones sure licks and a Temptations cover (that the Stones covered as well). Stoned indeed – B+

The Heaven on Earth Tour – Belinda Carlile – she opens the O2 2017 gig with a Cream cover, and handles it quite while, better than thirty years earlier on the solo album she is performing live… she does the album and adds odds and sods on a fine live one – B+

Just Like That… – Bonnie Raitt – Raitt as commercial blues guitar great even as she tackles with stuff like the pandemic (on “When We Say Goodnight”) as well as the usual suspects: broken love and aging – B+

Mingus Three (feat. Hampton Hawes & Danny Richmond) [2022 Remaster] – Charlie Mingus – the great bassist with his three piece, Hampton Hawes is superb here and the extended version adds eight outtakes to the original seven songs from 1957 – A

Skinty Fia – Fontaines D.C. – post-punk whiners veer Ireland, they have moments but the album requires more than anyone has the time to discover – C+

Do All Words Can Do – Fucked Up – B-Sides and EP cuts circa their only masterpiece, David Comes Alive – B+

Giving The World Away – Hatchie – what if shoegaze and dream pop got together with indie bedroom pop and sadgirl? This is what. At its best the Australian singer has moments that sparkle, mostly early on, before losing its way halfway through with the over weaned title track – C+

Everyday People Change Into Someone We Never Knew – Hodgy – has there between an odder second act than Odd Future members? Hodgy is absolutely brilliant on this EP, and while anybody who loved his Mellowhype duo is not really surprised that he is a seriously musical rapper and a great rhymer (personal best? “Everyday I’m on my grind, like a skateboarder, I’m a G, I’m on my rind, like a shaved orange” – A-

GEORGIA – Jason Aldean – The follow up to Macon is quite as good country rock strengths get or less – B

Neon Blue – Joshua Hedley – as traditional as traditional country can possibly get, five years into his career and there is nothing wanting here, sweet, old school, clever and moving and just plain fun, if you love traditionalism there is no doubting this album. One of the best of 2022 – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Look at it in the Light – Kate Bollinger – Ye sampled Kate on the title track of “Donda”, which upped the subtle and quiet singer songwriter’s image bedroom pop sadgirl. If there is nothing as great as “Candy” here, it is still pretty darn good – B+

Omnium Gatherum – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – 23 albums since 2011, these guys won’t come up for air and if you like psychedelic jams, eighteen minutes of “The Dripping Tap” by the Aussies might do the trick, and you can spend the rest of the 81 minute double catching up on your sleep – D+

Euphoria Season 2 Official Score (From The HBO Original Series) – Labrinth – if these dreadful electronic songs are the sound of young America, even if only young America on HBO Max, it would be a sad day. Fortunately, Machine Gun Kelly is the true sound of young America (at 32 years of age) – C

Seasons Of Love – Lani Hall, Herb Alpert – Mrs. Herb Alpert to you, the Latin and American jazz singer returns with another pleasant enough set highlighted by Jonathan Larsen’s title track… whenever Herb plays it improves – B-

Portals – Kirk Hammett – Metallica lead guitarist’s first solo EP, half composed with his wife of 25 years Lani, is cinematic, wide screen, prog guitar instrumentals – C+

Wild Creatures – Neko Cases – the one time I saw Neko on stage I was right next to Jason Isbell, which was a distraction, but even so she was an awful bore. This 23 track retro will help you understand why – C+

Paint This Town – Old Crow Medicine Show – it is odd more people don’t add the literateness of Bob Dylan to the folk rock of the Byrds, it’s just a pity they aren’t better at it – C+

16mm dream sequence – Oliver Keane – the 18 year old English singer songwriter can absolutely write a song, but he is awful weak in how he presents it – B-

Genesis of Genius: The Contemporary Recordings – Ornette Coleman – a compilation of his earliest recordings for Contemporary Records, this is as accessible as you’ve ever heard the saxophonist and already a giant – A

It’s Almost Dry – Pusha T – On Colbert the other day Pusha T claimed that difference between Kanye West (who produced half the album) and Pharrell (who produced the other half) is that Ye loves Pusha as a rapper and Pharrell loves him as a song construction. Together they have manufactured a big pop move, and it is certainly pretty darn good, though Daytona was better – A-

Romeo & Juliet – Ryan Adams – just dropped on Monday (here), songs written over the past two or three years that didn’t quite work on the trilogy and don’t quite stand alone, so it is lucky that the standard of songwriting is through the roof – A-

GET ON BOARD – Ry Cooder, Taj Mahal – a tribute album to harmonica blues giant Sonny Terry by the former Rising Sons band members with a perfect outing of blues beauties executed with maximum hard hitting blues flavors – B+

Everything Was Beautiful – Spiritualized – considered Jason Pierce’s best since Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space in 1997, I tend to agree in at least that Everything Was Beautiful is better than the rest and while it might not be the masterpiece of sonic and melodic brilliance it appears to be on first listen, on the other hand it might be – A-

Masquerades – Tenille Townes – country popster, a little treacly – C+

Strange Orchestra Volume Two – Tyrannosaurus Rex – “A rarities album of the first incarnation of Marc Bolan’s Tyrannosaurus Rex featuring Steve Peregrine Took. The first LP collects all the tracks from the early first two sessions from the summer of ’67. The second LP collects rare and unused alternate versions recorded over the following two years until the departure of Took. Deluxe gatefold sleeve with unpublished photos and liner notes by Andrew J Gardner.” – B+

It’s Time…To Rise from the Grave – Undeath – death metal from the Undead with bowels of hell vocals that sound like Satan with a hangover and noise metal barn burners – B-

Taylor Allderdice – Wiz Khalifa – I wondered why there was suddenly a Wiz mixtape I loved, it’s because it is ten years old – B+

I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) – Yo La Tengo – not their best album, that would be Fakebook, but it includes their best song (“Autumn Sweater” -five times) as well as some John Peel Sessions and remixes – A

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