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Brief Encounters: New Long Player Releases 1-14-22 – 1-20-22 Reviewed

Iridesense – BIGBABYGUCCI – soundcloud rapper following the xxxtentacions and Juice WRLD, with trap beats and autotuned sing speak – B+

Fragments – Bonobo – the UK DJ with an album of ambient prettiness – B-

Old Dead Young (B-Sides & Rarities) – Broken Social Scene – twenty plus years since they emerged from Toronto’s indie world, Broken Social Scene has enough loosies to make for a credible, rock churning, genre tickling album that is better than it has any right to be – B

Covers – Cat Power – modern singer songwriter returns to her passion for a good cover, and though I could have done without her take on Bob Seger’s “Against The Wind” the right songs for her, Jackson Browne’s “These Days”, are the right songs for us. “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” defines wtf and Nick Cave is the right guy and the wrong song – B-

From a Birds Eye View – Cordae – Cordae is on top of his game on his second album, a hip hop extravaganza while missing the hard, loud rapping of his live act, he still excels on tracks with Weezy and Dr. Dre and whether re-mixing with Eminem, introducing Freddie Gibbs to Stevie Wonder or the album highlight “Chronicles” with H.E.R., or maintaining a featured list worth envying, he does it all correct right here… – A-

SICK! – Earl Sweatshirt – I’ve seen Earl hold his own with his Odd Future team on stage, and I’ve seen him so terrible I nearly fell asleep. But on recordings he always pays off as he does on this intensely strange art sampling as he moves past his late poet father, makes up with his Mommy, and embraces his family on this positive touch album of care and beauty. I can’t promise you how it will work on stage – B+

The Boy Named If – Elvis Costello And The Imposters – their best album to date, a great set of Attractions like New Wave marinated in Americana – A-

Alive! – Kid Ink – He has over 100 tattoos, and a penchant for sexism mooted since his long term relationship, still his songs are good even as his rapping is icy cool and Alive is as good as even his best – B

Caprisongs – FKA twigs – the electronic art popster returns with a mixtape – which means there is no hard copy (CDs or vinyl) and therefore is much less expensive than a follow-up album. 2019’s LP Magdalene (in rock nyc’s top five of the year) was terrific and the show wasn’t but I blame a crap seat at King’s Theatre as much as anything (here). The mixtape in easy going electronica featuring the likes of The Weeknd. It isn’t much better than very good though it is very good often, try band in the middle “Papi Jones” to “Jealousy,” from dancehall to hyper pop. In other words, she isn’t the accessory to the rock star, she is the rockstar – A-

Dodging Dues – Garcia’s People – if this were the Dead , from a Jersey septet clearly influenced by them, iy never got past American Beauty. Which is fine, except surely the art is in the improv? When they let loose the guitarist is ace, but they don’t let loose much – C+

Mozart: Mitridate, rè di Ponto – Les Musiciens du Louvre – the famous performers of music from the Baroque period try their hand at Mozart’s first opera, composed when he was 14 years old. While influenced by mentor Josef Mysliveček’s “La Nitteti” it sounds fully formed and an estimation of what genius sound slike. A beautiful version – B+

What Can I Say? No Regrets… Out of the Grey + Live, Demos & Outtakes (Deluxe Edition) – The Dream Syndicate – remember when their first album came out and we thought it was Lou Reed playing a trick, this fine collection of odds and sods will remind you of Steve Wynn doing a trick, as well as Steve’s return with all his powers still in tact. It sounds better than deep album cuts but less than first tier. Out Of The Grey dates from the first iteration of the band back in 1985, 51 songs including 34 never-before heard are here as well as some covers you need to hear, including “The Munsters Theme” – B+

Collected Pieces: 2015-2020 – Mary Lattimore – the only harp soloist involved so completely as an indie harp for hire and studio musician, collects work from her past five years. Beautiful but not very fulfilling – B

Hell on Church Street – Punch Brothers – Chris Thiel with his Nickel Creek follow up band and his mandolin – B

Somewhere (Expanded) – Sun June – a year after the album dropped and eleven months after it kept his position in the best of the year summit meet, they’ve added three songs, all first rate and “Tom Petty” even better than that. They sound more like Big Thief than Bully – A-

Brightside – The Lumineers – the indie folk Americana duo with all too typical half hour set of songs that sound like everything they do – C

Dodging Dues – The Temperance Movement – the UK rockers owe a lot to the 60s, the Stones, as they hang on to the UK rock revival with temperance to spare – C+

Fix Yourself, Not the World – The Wombats – heading for # 1 in the UK, this is the “Kill The Director”‘s finest sustained moments, strong pop rock songs with smartness to burn – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Voyeurist – Underoath – 25 years on, the Florida post-metalers have one slow and soft one and everything else will make your ears bleed though their post-emocore vibe remains a stolid tuneful middle of the mix – B-

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