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Brief Encounters: New Albums 7-11-23 – 7-17-23 Reviewed

Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You – Bonnie Prince Billy – he has the worst name, “Bonnie” suggests childishness, a lack of seriousness at odds with Billy’s Americana mood music; at odds with his deadly seriousness and extremely lovely songs – B+

They Live in My Head – Bush Tetras – reeling from the death of drummer Dee Pop, they have reunited for a terrific Bush Tetra form album , it reminds me of a No Wave variant but with a lot of crunch and sound – B+

Victory (With Choir And Strings) – Cian Ducrot – a pox on all Irish singer songwriters – MUST TO AVOID – D-

The Rose of Aces – Cordovas – pretty good country rockers who know how to write an anthem in appreciation of rock n roll and its angels – B

Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite (Deluxe Edition) – Elvis Presley – extended to two and a half hours including all extant recordings from the seminal concert as well as rehearsal tapes. It stands as testament to the Presleyness of Elvis, it is so iconic that it is its own standard: when people think of Presley after the movies what they think of is Aloha, the golden jumpsuit, the karate moves, the southern dreams, the high rock ballads, the rock and soul masterpieces: this is, in fact, Elvis, and would be so till the end of his life – A

Rarities 2001-2010 – Eric Clapton – “Rarities 1983-1998” was released digitally in February. Here is the next half. Heavy acoustic just like his last decade of tours – B-

Under Heaven Over Hell – Florence + The Machine -the red headed singer puts together a compilation of hits, near hits, and straight up losses – C+

MAÑANA SERÁ BONITO (BICHOTA SEASON) – Karol G – the Colombian reggaeton star’s second album of the year is Latin Trap and rhythm based as you wait for melodies to hook you – B

Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (For Good) – Kelsea Ballerini – the last chapter of her divorce ritual songs, very good as well – B+

Knebworth 22 (Live) – Liam Gallagher – 25 years after Oasis do Knebworth, Liam does it solo, a nice helping of his first band and some of his better solo material for a crazy for it English mob of forty somethings – B

One Man Band – Miles Kane – Alex Turner’s ex partner in crime in the late, lamented The Last Shadow Puppets goes solo because, you know, there is room for two, this is alright Brit rocky potential – B-

Timeless – N-Dubz – over fifteen years later, the London rap band are at full strength, adding autotune to pop and three rappers switching lead – B

Chrome Dreams – Neil Young – from a 1977 acetate that didn’t become a finished deal though songs as great as “Pocahontas” and “Like A Hurricane” (and “Powderfinger”) make early appearances, in other words it is follow up to Comes A Town and a plate setter for Rust Never Sleeps. A very quiet and beautiful album, like Harvest with more depth – A

Sundial – Noname – somewhere between slam poetry, ambient jazz, agitprop USA 2023 and pop, Noname is the middleweight contender, better, and certainly deeper, and more compelling, than, say, H.E.R. and openly harmed through an indifference to melody, she is still a racial titan who doesn’t want to dance for white people anymore – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Volume 3 – Pink Sweat$ – I keep on mistaking him for Khalid, both are low key (not lo fi) r&b inched singer songwriters and this is Pink at his most soulful. Just lovely – B

End Of World – Public Image Ltd – his first album of new material since 2015 is his best in decades, with his longtime wife Nora succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease, Lydon less studies his loss and more embraces a form of nihilism and a dead end leading back to The Metal Box. This is post-punk without the rhythm section PiL once had. Both “The Do That” and “Penge” are wonderful – A-

Watch Out for the Wolf – Ryan Bingham – Americana meets Western in a handful of exquisite, soulful dreammares – B+

Smile – Skindred – old school barn burner heavy metal meets punk -I bet the 20 year vets kill on stage – B-

The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons – The Hives – Swedish garage rockers with their first album in ten years haven’t missed a step, straight up no chaser hard rock but not metal -B+

Dirt Femme (Extended Cut) – Tove Lo – “… features all 13 original album tracks, plus the recently released singles “I like u” and “Borderline” – which was co-written with Dua Lipa – remixes by Jacques Greene, Jax Jones and Dorian Electra as well as a brand-new song,”Elevator Eyes”, which serves as the album focus track.” 79 minutes… – B-

Yggdrasil – Ghost – Exploration in music and sound found here. This music is likely not for you -that’s what the Manchester (England) instrumental band claim, it is a beautiful, quasi-ambient beauty – B

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