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Brief Encounters: New Albums 8-13-21 – 8-19-21 Reviewed

Long Term Effects of SUFFERING – $uicideboy$ -Nu metals’ bearers of the cross are the right band at the right place for the revival, the horrorcore antecdent rap like barnbusters remind you why teen boys loved the form… before the sex got cancelled – B

ACR/EP – A Certain Ratio – The other band still standing from the late Tony Wilson’s equally late Factory Records, still perform electronic dance, mood music, and while it does get old at least on “Night People” they haven’t lost it – B-

misery lake – blackbear – blackbear is nondescript enough to be the featured artist of choice on everything from hip hop to indie pop, the EP is just fine though… nondescript – B-

I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself – Colin Hay – Men At Work’s lead singer performs credible takes on 60s hits including the title track, “Across The Universe” and “Waterloo Sunset” … altogether, “dirty old river, must you keep rolling…?” – B

Pono – A Great Big Pile of Leaves – emo as indie rock with fuzzed out guitars and hooks up to here – B

Reverie – Ben Platt – the Broadway bound star of Dear Evan Hansen, Ben’s second album is better than his debut, so is a plank of wood – D+

Bo Jackson – Boldy James,The Alchemist – The Buffalo rap sceen have been releasing variants on 90s boom bat stylings for two years now, signed to Griselda, Boldy has a monotone voice that can get tedious, though Al(chemist) provides some excellent backing tracks of dark mood ambience and introverted garage rock – B

Good Things – Dan + Shay – “10,000 Hours” with Justin Bieber is here, and then the title track is a doozy even if this time round the country duo don’t have the follow up to the follow up, and the album, filled with harmonies and tunes to carry it, is not quite up to standard – B

Refuge – Devendra Banhart, Noah Georgeson – just when you thought Devendra couldn’t be any more boring, Devandra drops an ambient album -I mean really background sound – D+

Independence Day – Fredo – dark blue tracks with drill violent rap stories from London’s Dave ally – B

Mr. Country and Western – George Jones -the original album was Jones learning from Owen Bradley and entering the countrypolitan sweepstakes in Patsy Cline’s wake, this is yet another compilation of classics, and a pretty good one… is that the Jordanaires added to “She Thinks I Still Care”? – B+

RESPECT (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Jennifer Hudson – I can’t blame Hudson for not being Aretha Franklin, and she gives credible if useless versions of some of Ree’s greatest moments, but acting out Aretha was always a crap idea and the singing just completely can’t reach Aretha’s joyful Gospel, or angry Black Pride. Just be grateful Phoebe Bridgers didn’t get her hands on it – B-

still slipping vol. 1 – Joy Orbison – the electronic dance DJ with what adds up to experimental ambient – C

The End of an Era – Iggy Azalea – black women have been itching to cancel Iggy the way white women are cancelled Ryan Adams, and with her third album they might finally get rid of the black man fucking white Australian rapper. I have a soft spot for her and though she has never managed to capture her live performance on record, her flow is world class and her skill set might well have black women screaming cultural, not to mention sexual, appropriation. Also, she is very kind and gentle with her fans even as her team tries to hustle her away – B

The Apple Drop – Liars – on Andrews tenth (count em) album, he remains experimental prog rock ambient and also more accessible, in an intriguing burst of creative persuasion – B

When Facing the Things We Turn Away From – Luke Hemmings – the 5 Seconds Of Summer lead singer with a collection that reminds me of Harry Styles’ debut solo album – well sung, well recorded, mainstream, adult rock pop -B

Say Things That Matter – M.A.G.S. – six years on, Elliott Douglas’ drops his first full length collection, but, as you’d expect from a chameleon, some works better than others: “Wait” is a minor master stroke of indie pop, “Beg” is indie New Wave which veers into missed grunge and a guitar kick that fails to make its point – B-

Trinidad Heat Wave – Mighty Sparrow – I couldn’t get a ticket to see the 86 year old King Of Calypso when he played Lincoln Center earlier this year, so this unearthed for streaming services album from 1965 will do – B+

Making Memories – Paul Anka – amazingly enough still recording new material on pure 70s style MOR -it is the Anka we know from “Having My Baby,” some new, some old and the Olivia Newton-John raison d’etre, as “Put Your Head On My Shoulders” became a surprise (is there any other kind?) Tik Tok hit and forcing his hand to drop a new album eight years after his last one – B-

Give Out But Don’t Give Up (The Original Memphis Recordings) – Primal Scream – from 1991 to 2000 Primal Scream were the greatest rock n roll band in the UK -badass Stones wannabes who could, you know, actually do it, and near the beginning is one of their best, here in a drop of all 23 songs from their Memphis sessions in a case of more being more… “Rocks” is the greatest Stones steal I’ve ever heard -and dig those Memphis horns – A

Scout – Samia – a brief EP with only four songs, but all four expand on her sadgirl template from bedsit to a band aesthetic, try “The Promise” … in fact, try all four – B+

Live From the Ryman And More – Sheryl Crow – two and a half hours of live boredom, listening to it from one end to the other is punishment and bad karma for sins in a previous existence- D+

Annette (Cannes Edition – Selections from the Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Sparks – yes, “So May We Start” is Sparks at their best, but as a nonfan of the glammy weirdos I can’t hear the rest of it… perhaps because I don’t buy Adam Driver as a singer, and perhaps once I get to see the movie I’ll have my opinion changed… – C+

Pressure Machine (Abridged) – The Killers – if this is their Nebraska, where is their “Atlantic City” or “Open All Night” or… what’s the point – MUST TO AVOID – D

Harmonizer – Ty Segall – is that seagulls on the first track. No way Ty has that good a sense of humor and his album is more semi-memorable guitar rock out of the garage – C+

Madden NFL 22 Soundtrack – Various Artists – not bad at all series of mainstream rap tracks, top of the morning is Swae Lee and Jack Harlow, but Belly comes in a close second and a lot of that has to do with Shenseea’s performance – B

Twin Plagues – Wednesday – hard rock meets indie rock meets shoegaze, and the better for it with twelve thrilling songs that should move Wednesday up the food chain fast – B

The Day The Earth Stood Still – Willie Nile – back in my (and Willie’s) day we called this New Wave, today it is an Americana variant, and a beautifully constructed and maintained late career blast, the title track is worming its way on to my best of 2021 list – A-

Queendoncom – Yemi Alade – the Queen of Afrobeats, Nigerian Yemi doesn’t have another “Yoyoyo,” and she dropped it to tie in with her upcoming tour of the US this September. It’s not the greatness that is Empress and Mama Africa, but it equals Woman Of Steel and “Fire” is both the end and beginning of complete infatuation -ALBUM OF THE WEEK- A

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