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Brief Encounters: New Albums 7-29-22 – 8-4-22 Reviewed

Take It Like A Man – Amanda Shire – she can play a fiddle but her classic rock meets country (does that mean Americana?) is a drag and the highly rated album is painfully smug and bluesy – C-

Rat Beat – Beat Rats – featuring Brian Baker of Minor Threat and Bad Religion, plus members of various Jersey bands personifying fast loud rules sometimes, New York punk other times – B+

RENAISSANCE – Beyonce – sure, it is great dance music but is it THAT GREAT? – B+

Superghetto (Deluxe) – Buddy – adds four tracks to his sophomore effort and good because I missed it first time but not this time, first rate stuff from the former Ye signee, he uses a mellow r&b plus voice and rap on one goodie after another – B+

NOT TiGHT – DOMi & JD BECK – keyboards and drums jazz duo signed to Anderson. Paak’s label, which explains while they certainly have chops, it might also explain why the drums are too loud – C+

Florist – Florist – lovely and fragile folk songs with haunting backing instruments and a gentle lead singer – B

Love the Stranger – Friendship – a gorgeous country Americana by a man who channels Lou Reed at his most mellow, and a band that twangs with the best of them – B+

The Very Best Of George Jones (Original Musicor Records Recordings) – George Jones – what price George covering Tony Orlando? Just another sublime slice of country pop from a master. I’m not sure I know what is going on with his estate but if this is what they want to give to us, let’s take it – A

PANORAMA – Hayley Kiyoko – pop dance artist Kiyoko is always on her game and her game is girls and PANORAMA is a wide visage of same sex sexual romance well worth exploring -B+

Blinded By Death – Hotboii – Florida rapper with loss on his mind and cul de sacs in his songs that remain ordinary – B-

They Fear Us – Ithaca – “‘Wash your blood down the sink ’cause we don’t keep souvenirs…?” Maybe we fear the London screamo monsters of riff for a good reason, brutal ear bleeding over and over again – B

Going Places – Josh Rouse – Josh is the “Dressed Up Like Nebraska” singer songwriter over twenty years later and still as gifted a songwriter as he has ever been on this remarkably lovely album that harkens to the great 90s time when Freedy Johnston and Aimee Mann (who I once saw him open for at Tramps) ruled and he is just as good today – A-

Hold On Baby – King Princess – moving on to girls who like girls: King Princess is the Princess who has failed to live up to her potential, though the new album changes the trajectory and while it doesn’t include the heights of “The 1950s’” or “Pussy Is King”, it is her best album by a long shot and “I Hate Myself, I Want To Party” (co-written by Aaron Dessner!) is as good as it gets – B+

Diamond In The Dark – Liam Gallagher – three song EP featuring a live “Diamond In The Dark” from the Knebworth gig where he attempts to replicate the Oasis gig and to all intents and purposes pulled it off – B

RED & WHITE – Lil Uzi Vert – When Playboy Carti and Lil Uzi Vert were coming up, Carti was the star but Lil Uzi Vert was beloved by his fans and Lil Uzi’s latest, the gorgeous trap, autotune, cool emo Red And White EP is a nine song, 33 minute peak art less is more, which equals pink so we are still awaiting the album – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Surrender – Maggie Rogers – following her 2019 breakthrough with “Love You For A Long Time” with a set of singer songwriter good enough singer songwriter tracks – B-

WEIGHT OF THE WORLD (Deluxe) – Maxo Kream – a stacked set of features on the deluxe for the reputed gang banger who was raised very poor in Houston -this is perfect for those who want their gangster straight no chaser – B

Not Just A Girl (The Highlights) – Shania Twain – 18 songs from her catalog that will be illustrating her upcoming documentary – B

Celebrate – TWICE – it might be unintentional racism on my part but much (not all) of K-Pop hits me as manufactured in a lab, including these purveyors though it doesn’t sound much worse than most EDM pop, just a little AI – C+

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Prologue – Various Artists – This is just the first three songs from the return of Wakanda, featuring Tems -just heard with Grace Jones on Beyonce’s “Move”, is the highlight with a lovely Bob Marley, the other two include hyperpop goes African, and a dancehall song – B+

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 3 (Episode 1) [From “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Season 3)”] – Various Artists – absolutely terrible, worse and more manufactured than K-Pop, and no one Olivia Rodrigo isn’t following up Sour with a song off here – MUST TO AVOID – D-

Multiverse – Wiz Khalifa – I always though Charlie Puth was the brains behind Wiz’s smash hit “See You Again” but it was Charlie who was featured and Wiz who dropped it and Wiz’s latest is highly melodic breast beating mutifucl set – B-

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