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Brief Encounters: New Albums 7-1-22 – 7-7-22 Reviewed

Rise Up (Live 1995) – Bunny Wailer – and then there were none, Bunny Wailer, the last of the three original Wailers, passed last year and the just dropped new album, recorded on stage in 1995 for a Santa Cruz Broadcast, is a 28 song full, full blown reggae rasta brilliance from one of the true greats – A

Good Things Take Time – Bruno Skibbild – via Denmark, a collection of rock and soul songs with a side of country vibe over five Stevie Winwood sounding, 80s style blues and soul – B+

The Full Moon Lady – Chris Rea – miles away from his metal-prog rocks, here is a collection of short and sweet guitar mood pieces – B

Montega (Deluxe) – French Montana, Harry Fraud – From GQ (here) “, Montana unleashes his Carlito Brigante-like persona to maximum effect. On the opener, “Blue Lines,” he mentions brokering peace between Drake and Diddy, the death of his Coke Boys labelmate Chinx, and the incarceration of friend and influential artist Max B. If there is a theme on the project, it’s that Montana has overcome all of this like a man who has seen too much.” The deluxe adds a minimal two songs – C+

Ghost Woman – Ghost Woman – garage rock, bluesy psyche rock from Evan Uschenko, “All The Time” is a goodie – B-

P.S. – Kylie Morgan – old school country woman on a straight ahead and enjoyable set of jingle country and jangling hooks – B

Jazz Codes – Moor Mother – free jazz meets free form from the experimental musician on the most accessible we’ve ever heard heard -aka not very – B-

Public Displays Of Affection Too – Muni Long – the r&b songwriting pen for hire gets in front of the mic on a fine selection of old-school, 90s style soul follow up to her 2021 album with an additional 5 songs – B+

IM NAYEON – Nayeon – The K-Pop popstar is head and shoulders above her work with the all girl group Twice, she came through the reality shows/ band prefabs with a fine collection of catchy dance and pop percolators – B+

For The Birds – Neighbor Lady – Athens, Ga have one more indie band up their sleeve, Emily Bracken’s alt Americana hued country sounding pop exemplified on the haunting “Sister”… – B

Seven Psalms – Nick Cave – “Have mercy oh Lord, for I have done wrong…” Writing Psalms aren’t as easy as you might have hoped, and this series of six psalms spoken word and an instrumental added to the end are proof not everything works – C

Last Night In The Bittersweet – Paola Nutini – the English singer songwriter pours out his damaged soul in over an hour of deep feel sounds and vocal gymnastics with industrial sounds added to singer songwriter pathos – B

Sessions – Paul Anka – As long as he can do it, Anka should do it. Here he swings Sinatra and others (including Bob Dylan) with complete authority… he might have oversung Buddy Holly even though Paul wrote it himself – B

CLOSURE / CONTINUATION – Porcupine Tree – the Brit proggers with their first album in thirteen years is as aggressive as prog gets and is as much seascape as seasick – C+

Planet Zero – Shinedown – mainstream rockers with a thematic set about social media and cancel culture (they don’t like it) – C

I Am The Moon: II. Ascension – Tedeschi Trucks Band – the second part of their ambitious and yet distinctly overwhelming prog inspired by the Persian epic Layla and Majnun and is the place where the hopes for a difficult but rewarding epic itself collections defaults to difficult, “All Is God” is brutal – MUST TO AFFORD – C-

Minions: The Rise Of Gru (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Various Artists – the movie was a dog but Jack Antonoff’s cast of hundreds 70s covers works intermittently, Caroline Polachek’s “Bang Bang”, St. Vincent’s maximal “Funkytown”, Phoebe Bridgers minimalist “Goodbye To Love” and more are pretty good – B

Songs of Townes Van Zandt, Vol. III – Various Artists – Marissa Nadler, Amenra (yes, that one) forego metal for country Americana, and Cave In in alt rock mode, it is a wonderful album and a worthy continuation of the preservation of Van Zandt’s songs – B+

Valley Of The Sun: Field Guide To Inner Harmony – Various Artists – ambient quietness, new age as healing sounds via Arizonan therapist – B

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