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Brief Encounters: New Albums 9-30-22 – 10-6-22 Reviewed

Barstool Whiskey Wonderland – Adam Doleac – mainstream country pop by a good songwriter with an ear for a tune – B

Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville – Ashley McBryde – some country rockers, about as good as you expect from a collaboration with other up and comers over a long weekend, any hook that goes “put your bra on, bra on” is gonna be better than we give it credit for – C+

Mani/Pedi – Baby Tate – a mixtape from the black women rap files, before her major label debut proper. Very strong rap tracks from the ATlanta rapper who sounds like she is from Texas (Austin not Houston) – B

Weather Alive – Beth Orton – nine years after her last album the tall glass of water returns with her best work since Central Reservation, at its best ( and “Friday Night” is among the very best albums of the year) it is a heartfelt and deeply moving self-portrait – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Fossora – Bjork – after dismissing the very difficult, very digital, visual and sound mood album, it is growing on me though unless I go and see her live I don’t see it possible to give it the time it requires – B

The Blues Don’t Lie – Buddy Guy – I’ve seen Buddy live twice, once holding his own with BB King and Eric Clapton and the other with a uniquely egotistical and boring lesson in the blues at the late nightclub BB Kings. At 86 years old he is better on recordings and is joined by the Likes of Jason Isbell and Mavis Staple on a fine if minor late career (his 34th album) brouhaha – B

Lap 5 – D-Block Europe – London based Young Adz and Dirtbike LB and you probably remember “Black Beatles”, with their second album including an Ed Sheeran feature on the predictable “Lonely Lovers” as the duo start to grow up – C+

Melt My Eyez See Your Future (The Extended Edition) – Denzel Curry – the “Cold Blooded Soul” session is no better than the original though recorded live the level of Curry’s rapping over jazz bones is very impressive – B+

This Machine Still Kills Fascists – Dropkick Murphys – adds music to Woody Guthrie words and it is better at it than anything except Mermaid Avenue – B+

EBM – Editors – more electronic rock via the UK – C-

misery – EKKSTACY – Canada’s version of Yungblud but with more mood electronics – C+

$oul $old $eparately – Freddie Gibbs – the og has been always a potential GOAT, his work on Alfredo alone makes him a contender. On his latest album he adds some major features including Pusha T and Musiq Soulchild but is never better than on the album opener with an excellent Kelly Price – B+

Older (Expanded Edition) – George Michaels – six years after Listen Without Prejudice, Older was his coming of age as a middle of the road soulman and a coming out of the closet (it would all end in a restroom with a state trooper of course) and “Jesus To A Child” the lead off single, is excellent and the album is George Michael back at the top with what was his best album since Faith and now feels like his best album ever. This plus four hour extension is more than welcome as a fitting tribute to the late superstar – A

RUFFS – Kenny Mason – Atlanta’s latest offering is a heavy metal riffs meets trap mish mash mixtape, not as good as his debut from 2021 – B-

Entergalactic – Kid Cudi – Cudi is in a new Netflix movie, and this is the soundtrack mixing a coupla raps with instrumentals – C+

Land of Dreams – Mark Owens – the third of the Take That alumni is hit and miss with his first album in nine years, AOR pop tracks with a middling ration but when he hits, on “Boy”, it is as if the arrangement and not the song comes together – C+

Free LSD – OFF! – supergroup OFF! return with a prog thought, heavy punk killer sound, apparently it is a space opera about aliens rebuilding your record collection but that needn’t bother us here – B+

Doggerel – Pixies – the much loved and tedious harbinger of grunge with yet another set of astringent post-punk – C

Nymph – Shygirl – the English DJ cum electronic soul woman with a fine collection of excellent beats and deep feeling confessional – B

Derealization – Julia, Julia – The Coathangers are a great, feminist band and the lead singer Julia Kugel-Montoya is less post-punk riot grrrl and more Americana folkiness – B

The End, So Far – Slipknot – the nu-metal guys are now mainstream metal on a pleasantly dull set of burners – C-

I Don’t Live Here Anymore (Deluxe Edition) – The War On Drugs – added two songs to the 2021 release, both are goodies – B+

The Will To Live – Titus Andronicus – the punk vibe is still there, very noticeably on the Cock Sparrow cover “We’re Coming Back”, though the album opens with the Tommy The Who style classic rock instrumental “My Mother Is Going to Kill Me” and adds the high melodic rocker riffology of “Baby Crazy” on a track about mental illness and its reflection on American politics. This is as good as Titus gets, the segue from “My Mother Is Going to Kill Me” is a showstopper to “(I’m) Screwed” -one of the best singles of the year, it is really thrilling and will blow you away on stage I guarantee – A-

Sorry 4 What – Tory Lanez – yep, the Canadian r&b guy is the one accused of shooting Megan Thee Stallion, here with an album of modern hip hop beats and autotune set that sounds generic in the extreme – C

Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven? – Tyler Childers – a triple set of country, the first eight songs the “Hallelujah Sessions”, the “Jubilee Sessions” is the next eight and adds overdubs, and the final eight are electronic noise experiments “Joyful Noise” . At least two of the “Purgatory” are great – C+

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Deluxe Edition) – Wilco – the only thing with Jeff Tweedy’s name on it that is unequivocally great and it has a great backstory, but not for four hours – B-

Cool It Down – Yeah Yeah Yeahs – I never really bought into the final stand of New York rock circa 2000, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs certainly have some great songs in their catalog, “Maps” comes to mind, and their first album in eight years is alright psyche rock belligerence, try “Different Today” – B-

I GOT ISSUES – YG – YG at his most misogynistic though to be fair he hates everybody else as well – C

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