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Brief Encounters: Top New Albums 4-23-21 – 4-29-21 Reviewed


Mutator – Alan Vega – the first posthumous release is nothing like what I want from the suicide half, it is electronic mood music and really, not like the Vega I know and love – C

Bring Backs – Alfa Mist – UK jazz rapper and a slow, smooth ride through his past – C

Crestone (Original Score) – Animal Collective – Josh “Deakin” and Brian “Geologist” Weitz perform the incidental music on an indie project about a filmaker and her friendly rappers in the Colorado desert – C+

Vulture Prince – Arooj Aftab – instrumentalist and singer, mostly in Pakistani, though last night is in English, who has arranged some lo fi and beautiful songs with a hint of Islamic prayers – B

Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth – Body Void – slow, modly, screamo as black magic horrorshow with lyrics that peek out and are never very pleasant. Call it the essence of black metal and drift into nothingness, via Vermont and that explains a whole lot – B+

Sweep It Into Space – Dinosaur Jr –  Kurt Vile co-produced with J Masci, and Lou Barlow, who is one of the nicest rock stars you ever want to meet, wrote two of the songs here, and Murph is a great rock and roll drummer. Whatever it is you might think you don’t wish from , a great rock and roll trio you will find here. Low key yet strong classic rock with a world of melodies. Maybe a little lacking in ambition but certainly a very good album otherwise – B+

Soul – Eric Church – the third part -remember & is vinyl only to fanclub members, and this match of rock, soul, and country is fabulous and “Rock & Roll Found Me” is undeniable for sure – A-

Inbred – Ethel Cain – Ethel Cain is the transgendered Hayden Anhedönia, whose last name is clearly fictitious, though on her  goth ambient  world of sound and quietness clearly has a problem with happiness … – B-

Timeless (25 Year Anniversary) – Goldie – Drum n bass seemed to be the building blocks of an electronic mutation but it didn’t carry far enough and the EDM explosion of the early 10s weren’t interested. Listening to Goldie’s masterpiece it is easy to hear why it failed to gain traction apart from the Bristol bands guys like Tricky and Massive Attack who evolved into hip hop. The three hour remastered album  reminds you why the ambient soul of the sound didn’t break big in the US – A

11 Past The Hour – Imelda May – UK folk soul singer songwriter,  sweet but also boring and endless, and way up there in sonic thrills that don’t quite do it, oh and she plays an Irish drum called a Bodhrán, and I hope they will both be very happy – C+

Ska Dreams – Jeff Rosenstock – The punk rocker great re-recorded his last album as a ska-punk, and comes out non the worse for it – B

Plastic Ono Band (The Ultimate Collection) – John Lennon – The best post-Beatles release to date with the entire album, outtakes, dems, jams and more for 120 songs and over seven hours, and a must own – A+

Michigan Boy Boat – Lil Yachty – congrats to Alphonse Pierre for the line of the week during his Pitchfork review of this album: “almost any rapper eligible to appear on the top three lines of a Rolling Loud bill is a brand”. Yeah, Lil Yachty should have been the teen brand of your dreams rapper and instead grew up and gave us Minneapolis Part Two, a stupefied piece of lame beats and iffy raps … I’m done, and I am pissed – MUST TO AVOID – C-

When The World Stopped Moving: The Live EP – Lizzy McAlpine – singer songwriter who picks her acoustic guitar well and treats her songs as economic degrees of bummer pop – B-

Louder Than Noise… Live in Berlin – Motorhead – recorded he Berlin Velodrom during the band’s “Kings of The Road Tour,” three years before his last tour (and also three years before Lemmy died). This was a business as usually hard and fast Lemmy show (I actually saw him on the tour here) and it was just as good in person – B+

Frampton Forgets The words – Peter Frampton – with his full band he continues his retirement by refusing, on the all instrumentals,  to sing… though forgive him because covers of everything from George Harrison classics to  the only Lenny Kravitz song you wanna hear, are worth your while. Pete has one of the sweetest sounds you will ever hear – B

People Don’t Change – PJ Harding, Noah Cyrus – Australian singer-songwriter PJ Harding and the other, other Cyrus, in full Americana sadgirl mode -not bad but not much – B-

Fire It Up – Steve Cropper – The stax records living legend producer with a tough minded collection of guitar rockers plus sax wherever there’s a hole – B

Turn My Dial – M Squared Recordings and more, 1981-84 – Tangled Shoelaces –  the Australian pop band were between the ages of 10 and 14, and they found a middle ground between post-punk and natal shoegaze that survives completely in tact here – B

The Who Sell Out (Super Deluxe) – The Who – their second attempt at a rock opera of sorts, isn’t as good as A Quick One but is in many ways better than the overblown Tommy. These 115 songs and jingles find Pete Townshend near the top of his creative powers – A

Surrounded By Time – Tom Jones – his first release since his wife of 49 years died in 2016, they are superb covers reaching an apex of soul and power singing on “One More Cup Of Coffee” and one of the finest “The Windmills Of Your Mind” you’ll hear. His son Mark Woodward and go to producer, Ethan Johns, join him for an excellent, and let’s hope not final, release – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A-

Slime Language 2 (Deluxe) – Young Stoner Life – mostly Gunna and Young Thug, adds eight songs to the album currently at number one, not bad at all and hang out for Skepta on “Wokstar” – B+

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