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Going Steady: New Single Releases 4-28-23 – 5-4-23 Reviewed

What You Heard – Amy Grant – back in the day it looked like Amy Grant and Vince Gill were about to step into the shoes of Tammy and George and Johnny and June, they haven’t and despite Vince’s work with the Eagles it wasn’t that either. The songs weren’t strong enough. This is a sweet nothing – B

California Sober (feat. Willie Nelson) – Billy Strings – Willie defines the flash term for substituting weed for booze, Billy and Willie have a fine bluegrass sound on a fun track – B

Яitual – Arca – On October 1st, the Venezuelan hyper-pop and experimental musician will be performing at Park Avenue Armory. This is the biggest concert of the year, there is no one like her, and I am freaking out: I might not pay $500 for Bruce but I will for Arca – A-

King of a Land – Yusuf / Cat Stevens – the new album will be great, here we have Yusuf at his most Cat Stevens imaginable, it would fit comfortably on “Catch Bull At Four” – A-

Worth It – Colbie Caillat – written by Liz Rose, Taylor Swift’s early go to, Colbie had the potential to follow Taylor to the top and punted. She is lovely and talented but this ain’t much – C

Cast Iron Skillet – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Jason’s best work since 2017 is a very quietly intense set of character studies with an outstanding melody and vibe – A-

To Lay Me Down (feat. Jamey Johnson) – Dave McMurray – the song is written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter in a famous lyric marathon writing session in 1970 and finally released in 1981. Here jazz guy and master wind instrumentalist continues his reworkings of classic Garcia, Jamey doesn’t strain his voice – B

Three Drums – Four Tet – if your taste goes towards digital instrumentals you could do worse – B-

Eat The Acid – Kesha – produced by Rick Rubin, this is exactly what we don’t want from Kesha: we want her to tic tock our asses off and not lullabye us to death – C

The Score – Grian Chatten – Fontaines D. C. lead singer with a dreary piece of folkiness – C

un x100to – Grupo Frontera, Bad Bunny – I missed this a coupla of weeks ago because I was, frankly, a little bored of reviewing Bad Bunny every week. But this is at # 2 in the US Charts and the regional Mexican vibe is quite an interesting mix with Bad Bunny’s nasal harshness – B

Cast Iron Skillet – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Jason’s best song since “If We Were Vampires” is equally a sobering dream track of moody making whole – A-

supernatural thing – M. Ward – Remember when Ward and his best buddy Oberst were the hippest indie acts in the world? But that’s the thing with hipness, by definition it has a shelf life. Poor M. Ward. But this is a pleasant indie indie piece of softness – B

Meltdown – Niall Horan – Mr. Shower Of C*nts himself turns his back on his earlier Americana vibe for a far more indifferent UK style boy band pop tart – C+

A Child’s Question, August – PJ Harvey – back in the 1990s I saw Harvey four times on her To Bring You My Love tour, back when she was a guitar slinger. And I have admired her ever after, she is a superb songwriter and is highly consistent if a little too inscrutable. This is a lovely, bass heavy track with a nod to “Love Me Tender” and her best since “Let England Swing” – B+

Turn It Up – Rico Nasty -what do you get when you add the hyperpop giants 100 Gecs to Rico’s effective spitting? A tonal workout that is both impenetrable and addictive – A-

Please Take a Step Back – Snoop Dogg, GaryVee – “Translating, educating, financial literacy, I’m speaking facts to you literally, Now take a few steps bac bac, adjust ya cap, Integrate, calculate, Bout to whip you into shape, Re-invest in real estate…” Boujee sure, but he has a point – B-

Shoong! (feat. LISA of BLACKPINK) – TAEYANG – Eleven years ago I saw the band TAEYANG was lead singer for, BigBang, the K-Pop best in class proginators. I liked them a whole lot more than I liked BTS some three years later. In 2023 I find K-Pop to be difficult to write about and while this is the usual electronic hoo hah, it doesn’t hook me – C+

After All – Texas -whatever you want to claim about Sharlene and the boys they remain very consistent. This is a first rate 70s could be anthem that sounds like Roxy Music – A-

No More Lies – Thundercat, Tame Impala – Love Thundercat, don’t love Tame Impala, though they work well together and this weird product that ends with a monologue and a creepy life isn’t the wost thing you’ll hear – B-

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