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Brief Encounters: New Albums 9-17-21 – 9-23-21 Reviewed


A Southern Gothic – Adia Victoria – an Americana like Rhiannon Giddens without the instrument flavoring Giddens has – B-

Jesus Christ Superstar (50th Anniversary / Deluxe) – Andrew Lloyd Webber – I couldn’t stand Andrew’s highbrow/lowbrow axis of bland for decades, but after reading his biography, and after going to watch him being interviewed I mellowed, and I never didn’t love “Jesus Christ Superstar” from its earliest days as a double album onwards, to this deluxe. We get an additional two albums of outtakes, demos, etc., and while my born again big sister Feriel considers it sacrilegious she admits she hasn’t really heard the pretty straight retelling of the Christian lord’s death and resurrection. For a slacker like me, show me an album with Yvonne Elliman singing “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” or Murray Head’s epic take on “Heaven On Their Mind” (and Murray singing Yvonne’s hit as an outtake) and I’ll show you an – A

BDE – Big Freedia – a first rate EP of electrifying and badass dance music, a party on record – A-

The Roadside – Billy Idol – a glammy, hard rocking Billy with his first new material since 2016, and it could have come out circa “White Wedding” with guitarist Steve Stevens in great form, though the production could use more punch – B

Springtime in New York: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 16 / 1980-1985 – you want an excuse to invest $30 on the box set? If Dylan’s version of Dave Mason’s “We Just Disagree” doesn’t do it, his Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” will – A

Buena Vista Social Club (25th Anniversary Edition) – Buena Vista Social Club – adds 19 songs (outtakes, rand alternate takes mostly) to the original fourteen on the world music classic via Ry Cooder and Cuba – A

Dearly Beloved – Daughtry – The American Idol alumni hasn’t changed a thing over the years, he continues to have an awful and overblown and whiny hard rock – C-

Heartbreak Anthem (with David Guetta & Little Mix) [Remixes] – Galantis – 10 remixes when one was more than enough from the EDM band – C

Catch The Wind – Herb Alpert – if ever a song gave an audience the wrong idea of a musician, Herb and “This Guy’s In Love With You” is precisely the song. It made him a pop star when he was actually a jazz musician with an ear for Mexican bolero. At 86 years old, this is almost zen like calm jazz vibes with a coupla McCartney covers, “Eleanor Rigby” and “Yesterday”, added for taste – B

Grapefruit Season – James Vincent McMorrow – a pure pop move from the singer songwriter confessional had the NME comparing him to Ed Sheeran… I agree, at least in the sense that both singers are relentlessly mediocre – C

MONTERO – Lil Nas X – starts with a bang and gets slowly darker and darker and then ends on X’s excellent debut – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Lindsey Buckingham – Lindsey Buckingham – the problem here is that “Scream” is so great the rest of the album, though excellent Lindseyish pop rock 70s style, is a comedown… though not that much of a comedown – A-

Black Encyclopedia of the Air – Moor Mother – the performance artist and jazz hip hop spoken word rap state of the art’s Gil Scott-Heron soundalike continues – C+

The Convincer (20th Anniversary Edition) – Nick Lowe – That “Mama Said” is new to me and the return to “Lately I’ve Let Things Slide” is welcome – A

One on One – Paul Carrack – if all you know of Carrack is “Tempted,” you know the best of him. That soulful vocal saves the otherwise very, very average rock and pop soul, bluesy as well, completely whatever album – C

Mr. Luck – A Tribute to Jimmy Reed: Live at the Royal Albert Hall – Ronnie Wood – It seems to be a week for guitarist Mick Taylor, he is all over Ronnie’s live recordings of a blues great and he is all over Bob Dylan’s bootleg early 80s latest – B-

The Nowhere Inn – St. Vincent – the soundtrack to her mockumentary with Carrie Brownstein. So if you are in the mood for a mockumentary listen to the incidental music – C-

Aja / Hey Nineteen / Reelin’ In The Years – Steely Dan – the post-Becker Dan with relentlessly pointless live cuts of classics – B-

Rings Around the World (20th Anniversary Edition) – Super Furry Animals – the band exemplifies the post-UK Pop revival of the 90s that didn’t make it any further, 20 years later the Welsh rockers still suck – D+

Get Back (Take 8) – The Beatles – we have three additional songs to the three previously dropped ; it continues to sound like Billy Preston auditioning for the role of fifth Beatle (the black and homosexual Billy would have roiled their fanbase more than Lennon dating a Japanese woman) -the keeper is the new take on “One AFter 909” – A

From Dreams to Dust – The Felice Brothers – “Jazz on the Autobahn” is the Lou Reed return of our dreams, though after that it settles into a Dylanish Americana meets glam – A-

Inshallah: Tomorrow We Inherit the Earth – The Muslims – From 2020, this is industrial noise instrumentals – C+

Horizons / East – Thrice – they remain the meeting ground between emo and post-hardcore but not in a good way, they are like Coheed And Cambria with their prog mode under wraps – C

The Wanderer – a Tribute to Jackie Leven – Various Artists – The late Doll By Doll is saluted by UK folkies I’ve never heard of – B-

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