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Brief Encounters: New Albums 7-2-21 – 7-8-21 Reviewed

ACR:EPC – A Certain Ratio – The last Factory Records band still standing not named after a Nazi movement are funky electronic winners here – B+

We Speak of Tides – Aziya – English rocker is a Princess of Tides on these abrupt rockers – B-

Death Doula – Snag – screamo from Milwaukee with melody gracing moments – B

Fat Niggas Need Love Too – Bdf Da Packman – funny guy rapper from Flint “don’t drink the water” Michigan, like Biz Markie meets Wu Tang  while representing, we could do without the return of the skit but Benny The Butcher makes a cool feature  – B-

Utopian Ashes – Bobby Gillespie, Jehnny Beth – I love both these guys in their bands, together they sound like classic rock and also classic MOR balladeering on mostly dreary exercise,  “Chase It Down” is a disquieting rave up and everything else not  – C

Angel or Alien – Born Of Osiris – a finger picking style called Djent, but sounds like prog meets screamo – B

Welcome To Jet Life Recordings 2 – Curren$y – Jet Life is the fine rapper with a Danny Brown like flow’s record label. Here he raps himself with artists, especially Fendi P, who is new to me and a real find – B

Houston 2012  – Damon Smith, Keith Rowe, Sandy Ewen – a minimalist Glenn Branca with noise variations on a radio frequency – B

25 – G Herbo – the Chicago rapper’s beats are trap but his attitude is Chicago Drill though with a nimbleness when it comes to rapping and a skill set when it comes to rhyming – B

Bernstein, Barber, Crawford & Ives: Americans – James Gaffigan and his Luzerner Sinfonieorchester – spectacular take on Bernstein, and consistent and beautiful mini-realization of American compositions – A-

Space-Time – Jeff Lorber Fusion – the pianist is fusion indeed in these prog meets jazz tracks – B

Who Hurt You – Jensen Rae – singer songwriter sadgirl tropes – B-

The Reprise Albums (1968-1971) – Joni Mitchell – recorded for Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records (which explains Frank’s cover on Cycles), all of which we know like the back of our hands and yet, alright, let’s listen once more – A+

Tell Me About Tomorrow – jxdn – jxdn is my favorite pop punker, Tik Tok famer, singer songwriter (his “Driver’s License” cover is a must hear), on the fine rocking, Travis Barker produced winner – B+

Pink Noise – Laura Mvula – I saw Laura Mvula at Le Poisson Rouge back when her second album dropped, five years later her third album has heavy beats pounding an album of neo-R&B art bangers –  B+

Louis Andriessen: The only one (feat. Nora Fischer) – Louis Andriessen – the avant garde composer passed last week, and leaves behind an incredible catalog of compositions, consider him a Stravinsky disciples Nora Fischer is a glorious soprano from the Netherlands who can sound agonized – A

Star Girl – Naomi Cowan – I can’t take Major Lazer at any price, but here they produce for the gifted reggae popstar’s crossover sound and wink at dancehall – B

It Was Written (Expanded Edition) – Nas – adds nothing much on the expanded edition to 1996’s  no it isn’t Illmatic follow up – A-

Queen’s Greatest Hits – Queen – is getting a makeover on vinyl, CD, and cassette, the 1981 release remains, essentially, except for a handful of songs, everything you need from the band… one of the songs missing is “Bohemian Rhapsody”  –  A

Stories To Tell: Greatest Hits and More – Richard Marx – a tenth year anniversary reissue, by an  adult contemporary hit making machine – B

Forest of Your Problems – Snapped Ankles – the UK band  claim to live in trees, and spend their music concerned with nature and climate control, but the music stands up as catchy psychedelia – B

SGV1 – Surf Gang – New York dril variant with big bounce on the beats and a strong collective of voices – B

Thank You For Believing – Toosii – on his sophomore album, the young and very intelligent rapper, singer, is even better than his double platinum debut album last year. An immaculate set of songs, it is all good and the daBaby collab “Shop” is best. One of the best hip hop albums of the year – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

I’m A Freak Baby 3: A Further Journey Through The British Heavy Psych And Hard Rock Underground Scene 1968-1973 – Various Artists – at the time, I wasn’t impressed by these hard rock jam excursions that all sounded like Status Quo meets Zep, it sounds better today – B

Consolamentum – Year Of No Light – sound modulations meets post-hardcore from France, an overpowering sound – B+

Coochie Chronicles – YN Jay – with his second album of the year, Jay remains a sex-obsessed adolescence but no less fun – B


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