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Brief Encounters: New Albums 7-21-23 – 7-27-23 Reviewed

I Keep My Feet on the Fragile Plane – Allegra Krieger – singer songwriter, quiet, sometimes tepid but sometimes very lovely indeed, and her high notes are right on target – B-

Outside Problems – Andrew Bird – Bird is an arty, experimental, music guy who invents sounds with whistles and toots and makes us sit through them – C

The Ballad of Darren (deluxe)– Blur – Damon found himself with a whole lotta songs that didn’t fit into Gorillaz and solo stuff, even as it maintained once or twice too often some of that dreary melancholy he specializes in. Some of what amounts to his break-up album is better than ever, “The Narcissist” is a winner, but most is like the very next song, the wearying “Goodbye Albert”, and the album starts to drag in the typical manner that has afflicted the band ever since “The Universal”. Nobody expects “Parklife” or “Chemical World” every trip out of the gate, but stuff like “The Height” is just the same not all there as ever though, oddly, the two best songs were added to the deluxe – B-

Supermodels – Claud – they follow their debut, recorded in their childhood bedroom, and substitute with their studio creation with a larger, yet still bubblegum-y addictive sound like “Paul Rudd” -a very pretty and sad story of a bummer party – B

Decay – Fatboi Sharif, Steel Tipped Dove – Dove gives samples galore on a low key and bent out of shape sense of impending harm – B

i care so much that i dont care at all – Glaive – eight years after it arrived as electronic pop on steroids, hyper-pop is heading more mainstream and what makes this difference from electronic pop is that it is more self-aware bedroom pop comes of age vibe – B

Starcatcher – Greta Van Fleet – unless you include Lez Zep (which I don’t) and Rob Halford (which we obviously do), there are less same sexers in metal than there is in even rap, so lead singer Josh Kiszka coming out is braver than it appears; sadly, the album is overblown prog rock with pretty ace vocals but too much restraint: its like the 80s without the camp – B-

Like…? (Deluxe) – Ice Spice has had some year, a smash feature with Taylor Swift, the PinkPantheresse hit, and her debut album is a winner, “How High” and “Butterfly Ku” were such a strong opening I assumed it would fall apart but in fact, they were both new to the EP (now album), so was the excellent “Under The Radar” and “Bikini Bottom” and she can rhyme, can rap and has a nasty mouth – A-

Oppenheimer (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Ludwig Göransson – the incidental music from the historic and historical movie, so if you liked the movie that much be my guest though I can’t imagine who listens to it for fun – C

City of Gold – Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway – when she doesn’t sound like Frankie Laine she sounds like a bluegrass classicist to beat, and that’s enough… hell, she even helps Dave Mathew look less like a has been – B+

Magic 2 – Nas – all that is worth keeping from his boom bap years, and some fine rapping and the best Godfather joke I’ve heard in years, at least two songs (the one with 50 Cents is one of them) well worth your time – B

You’ve Got To Learn (Live) – Nina Simone – from the 1966 Newport Folk Festival, nine not previously discovered song, only half an hour but half an hour well spent – B+

Infinite Psychic Depths – Outer Heaven – death metal via the coal mines of Pennsylvania, sounds like string instruments being stitched into the stomach of pure evil personified by bowels of hell vocals – B

MID AIR – Paris Texas – what do you get when you mix electric guitars and rap? I mean, what else do you get? Quasi experimental rap with biting through the midway scrape off the dust guitars. Try “Lana del Rey” – B+

Transit Damage – Shinyribs – nine piece collective featuring Kevin Russell sounds like it should be on Daptone and pulls off a pseudo-soul classicism; they have been around since 2010 and they have a 10s feeling, songs to come together like the lovely “Pin To Blue” which adds yet another hook at the end – B+

Purple Pie Plow – SLW -cc Watt, Mike Watt, Samuel Locke Ward – a 70s glam update that despite the wondrous Mike Watt is a draggy unglam whateverism – C

Who’s Next : Life House – The Who – from the press release: “Featuring 155 tracks, of which 89 are previously unreleased and 57 feature fresh remixes, the set will delight longtime Who fans with its long-sought, complete picture of Townshend’s incredibly prescient songwriting, while captivating a new audience with his visionary description of a future that has, in many ways, come true. It features all of his songs, in their many stages of development, from the abandoned, audacious Life House project, started in 1970 as a follow-up to The Who’s epic Tommy, and from the undisputed rock classic of 1971 that it evolved into, Who’s Next.”. This is an eleven track taster – A-

Virtuoso – Valee, Harry Fraud – the Kanye find, Valee, is excellent on this low key, heavy bass, smooth asf raps that is more than a little boring for stretches – B-

Barbie The Album – Various Artists – the dreaded Mark Ronson rustles up every pop star peaking in 2023 (Billie Eilish, Ice Spice, Lizzo, Dua Lipa) for a well overblown set of single drops and you’d think they’d hit but they haven’t hit at all… even Fifty Fifty’s track won’t make it – C+

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