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Brief Encounters: New Albums 8-12-22 – 8-18-22 Reviewed

KEYS II – Alicia Keys – “features both the “Originals” version and the Mike Will Made-It-produced “Unlocked” version of the album, which Rolling Stone called Keys’ “most ambitious” album to date, “going from torch ballads to dance tracks and spanning decades with ease.”… that’s Rolling Stone on this crappy piece of extended tedium – MUST TO AVOID – E+

teaching a robot to love (additional data) – Amelia Moore – she grew up homeschooled and extremely religious and on this expanded EP it doesn’t much matter since it reads like a diary, a bedsit dance alone party – B

Pensive Pop – Amythyst Kiah – four covers by the likes of Tori Amos and Joy Division but trying to cash in on “Black Like Me” maybe she didn’t need this – B-

Excess – Automatic – Alyson Camus has been raving about this all female post-punkers (here) for years and this album from earlier the year is as good as bassline walking gets – B

Day-Glo (Based on a True Story) – Erasure – the longstanding, always interesting duo are as dramatic as fuck on this collection of The Neon (their 2020 release) tracks re-imagined – C+

Hotel Kalifornia – Hollywood Undead – unspeakable nu-metal – D+

Only Honest On The Weekend (Deluxe) – Joel Corry, Becky Hill – EDM pop music via the UK, Becky is always a keeper but there is a blandness at its heart – C+

The Alchemist’s Euphoria – Kasabian – UK rock and yes, UK rock often sucks, including these guys, but this is a relatively strong piece of rock mixing RHCP with Muse to varying degrees of pretty good – B-

Everywhere I Used to Be – Mariel Buckley – no sophomore jinx for the singer songwriter with a fine set of pop after open heart surgery that can twang without being twangy – B+

Unwanted – Pale Waves – ah yes, the 2020s are a different country where alt pop rock group from Manchester suggest Paramor except where they don’t and the lead singer writes love songs for the girls in her life, and the drummer continues their transition. All of which makes it mainstream but a different type of mainstream – B+

Beautiful Mind – Rod Wave – peak Rod Wave follows up last year’s album with another beautiful and soulful collection of hip hop sing rap autotuned on its fringes – B

The Heaven Experience, Vol. 1 – Royce Da 5’9″ – a greatest hits… which means plenty of Eminem – B+

No Rules Sandy – Sylvan Esso – I once saw this duo live and they were not all that but on record they can fuck with the electronics any which way and still provide a catchy and enjoyable vibe – B

A Foul Form – Thee Oh Sees, Osees – in an effort to simplify their name they doubled up,but if you are impressed by their psychedelic garage rock you’ll be fine – C+

Drillmatic: Heart vs. Mind – The Game – The Game was never the hip hop superstar he might have been and yet he has maintained a close handle on his rap form and on the nearly two hour album he lays down his claim to being a giant with Ye, A$AP Rocky and Big Sean being among the major features, and everything in the shade of The Game’s ten minute brutal dismissal of Eminem on “The Black Slim Shady” – A-

Brexit at Tiffany’s – The Streets – The Streets had the potential of becoming the best English rapper of all time (or at least the best white, etc.) and with three masterpieces he kick started his career and then fell apart, finding religion and losing his chops. All these years later, these three songs are plenty good but not a “When You Wasn’t Famous” in the lot. The title track is really love thanks to Jazz Morley’s singing – B+

The Last Slimeto – YoungBoy Never Broke Again – his third hit album of the year with features a plenty and a trademark of rap and autotune with both Kehlani and Rod Wave on the best songs – B-

ACT II: EXILE – Young The Giant – electronic mood music, if euthanasias had a sound…. Grade: C

Yodney Dangerfield – Your Old Droog – the guy is so fucking prolific that if this ain’t great (it’s alright) then the next one might do it as he deconstructs pop culture on a come and gone EP – B-

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