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Brief Encounters: New Albums 4-30-21 – 5-6-21 Reviewed

Rosegold – Ashley Monroe – country as alt rock on the singer songwriters first independent album as nobody can figure how to break her on indie pop, the drums are hip hop influenced (she namechecks Kanye west as a huge influence) and the songs work in perfect tandem of would be country but probably indie 10s – B

There Is No God Where I Am – Cruelty – black metal sludge guitars meets borderline screamo – B-

Second Line – Dawn Richards – “a movement to bring pioneering Black women in electronic music to the forefront,” she claims, but it is more ambient than evn electronic, sounds – B-

The Summer I Got Good At Guitar – Fresh – a cross between 60s guitar rock, punk pop and post-punk, the five song EP is catchy and fun – B+

Over The Rainbow: The American Standard EP – James Taylor – the three song addendum to  his genius covers album, this  is more than welcome if also no less than obvious, Taylor’s  guitar on “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face” on the all strings arrangement is lovely – B+

Not In Chronological Order – Julia Michaels – Julia was always better writing for other people than writing for herself, this is a collection of mouthy pop tracks of love lost, and it is OK, but Julia is a great songwriter and I can’t hear it here – B-

The Million Masks Of God – Manchester Orchestra – a strong sixth album from the sometimes boring Atlanta emo meets shoegaze band – B

She Walks in Beauty (with Warren Ellis) – Marianne Faithfull – The woman who wrote “Sister Morphin” and at least inspired “Moonlight Mile,” with backing music by Warren Ellis, uses her upper middle classic voice never so Convent School Girl, reading Lord Byron and John Keats with a perfection of emotion and skill – B

Superwolves – Matt Sweeney, Bonnie Prince Billy – bluesy Americana from the duo who work best together, on a lugubrious, arty bore – C

Celebrate the Music of Peter Green and the Early Years of Fleetwood Mac (Live from The London Palladium) – Mick Fleetwood and Friends – recorded February 2020, just before the pandemic closed business as usual, and five months before the great former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green died, Mick brought together a who’s who of surviving Brit bluesmen and beyond to celebrate Peter Green, highlights include “Oh Well, Part One” with Steven Tyler and Billy Gibbons, “Oh Well, Part Two” that sounds just like Pink Floyd featuring David Gilmour, and much more, including (gasp) Jeremy Spencer, Bill Wyman, Noel Gallagher, and Pete Townshend -B+

Gami Gang – Origami Angel – An original emo band with a double album of hit and miss, but mostly hit, melodic rockers – B-

Be Here Instead – Parker Milsap – the alt country guy with a collection of mini-country rockers – B

Peter Stampfel’s 20th Century – Peter Stampfel – 100 covers recorded between 2002 – 2019, and despite his olf-kilter and weakening through the years vocals, his acoustic takes always finds the pleasure points and presses them, try “I Love You Truly” early and “Concrete And Clay” late – B+

Live At Knebworth 1990 – Pink Floyd – the show at the famous festival is considered a post-Roger Waters triumph, with David Gilmour in full rockstar mode and a huge touring band joining the trio, the seven track nearly hour long album is alright and not much more while admittedly, the “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is magnificent, it doesn’t make up for the rest of it – B

Uh Huh Her – Demos – PJ Harvey – Her first indifferent album returned her to Dry style blues rockers, bluesier and less melodic in demo form – B-

Shelley FKA DRAM – Shelley FKA DRAM – The “Broccoli” guy once blew Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar off stage at Barclay Center (here), and since then has never done a thing r&b lovers don’t love except… the soul here is too off center and alt-y, and duets with Erykah Badu, Summer walker, and H.E.R. while not disappointments could’ve been better – B

My Way – Sid Vicious – “To think, I killed a cat…” I have no idea why this four song EP just dropped, poor ol’ Sid – C

Typhoons – Royal Blood –  “Trouble Coming” finds the English rockers adding beats to their sound, it works nicely on “Trouble Coming” though less so elsewhere, it is still their best to date – B-

Endless Arcade – Teenage Fanclub –  30 years since their first release at the height of Brit Pop, they’ve always been lame MORish bores, but the first song here, “Home,” burst into melodious guitar beauty half way through. Clearly, an exception – C+

This Thing Of Ours – The Alchemist – altrap strangeness by a serious, prolific producer -Earl sweatshirt is on two tracks – B

Country Again (Side A) – Thomas Rhett – MOR country after some side turns beat oriented soul country efforts, he plays it straight through eleven consistent songs – B

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