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Singles Going Steady: New Album Releases Reviewed Week Of September 23rd, 2013

Album Of The Week? I guess we’re cool…

Mechanical Bull – Kings Of Leon – Quite good rock fodder  filled with moderately swinging rockers and hooks a-plenty, which might not improve on first single “Supersoaker” but don’t leave it in the lurch either. Clanging guitars, would be anthems, real anthems, and catchy  little singalongs, they should be able to tour behind this for at least a year – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – B+

THIS IS – Icona Pop – As lively and positive a shot in the electro pop arm as you will ever here, the only complaint is there is only five new songs and perhaps because of that it fails to hang together as an album really – B+

Nothing Was The Same – Drake – Drake gives dark moody whole new vista of loneliness on “Too <uch” where even the closiest too him don’t know how to deal with Drake the superstar. Tough, right? Feel bad for the kid – B

And Friends – Sammy Hagar – Sure it sucks, but it sucks in a fun way. As far as it goes, these are unassuming songs, most of em we all know (“Margarittaville” any one -plus accordion !) but it has an unassuming thump to it – B

Out Of Many, One Music – Shaggy – Guests aplenty on this sharp, medium cool reggae album. The poppier stuff, the Everly Brothers cover for instance,  should cross right over, the dancehall not so much – A

Move In Spectrums – Au Revoir Simone – ARS are not a bad lo-fi band, but this isn’t a good album because they can’t sustain it much further than three pieces of hummable songs before tedium takes over. Listen to it a track here and there and it is really pleasant enough – C+

Get Happy – Pink Martini – They are like Gogol Bordello with out the attitude problem, very attractive, very catchy world music gypsy weirdness – B

Shout – Gov’t Mule – Same old same old super competent hard rock jam boogie, maybe a little poppier than average – C

The Bones Of What We Believe – CHVRCHES – Please enough synth indie pop bouncer, but doesn’t go anywhere really and merges together. It is missing something, maybe a coupla more songs as good as “The Mother We Share”  – C+

Your Grace Finds Me – Matt Redman – “Who has the power to raise the dead, who can save us from our sins…” No, wait, I know the answer to that one – D

The Bluegrass Album – Alan Jackson – All banjo and jingle, and some smart finger picking, but the songs aren’t very good – C+

The Last Ship – Sting – When you decide to become a rock writer, the right to slam Sting comes with the owners mannual. It’s right there in black and white: “Sting sucks, never like anything he does unless you work for Rolling Stone”. So it must be true, right? And dreary, terrible albums like this make it easy  – D

Closer To The Truth – Cher – Unspeakably terrible dance. She sounds like a hoarse drag queen… looks like one too – D

Get Wet – Krewalla – The problem with this EDM duo from Chicago is that it takes them forever to get to the point. The songs drag when they should sparkle, but when they finally get to a groove they can nail it well – B

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