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The Early Bird 6-24-22 – 6-30-22: Top New Recorded Releases Reviewed

DeFord Bailey, Charley Pride, Darius Rucker, have lead us to Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton, and Jimmie Allen, with Jimmie doing the best job of glomming on r&b crossover: he isn’t soul but the sound is informed by r&b to a certain degree. Allen’s second album jumps genre’s from time to time on Tulip Drive, especially on the T-Pain and Cee Lo Green (Cee Lo was just heard on Eminem’s “Elvis And Me”) featured “Pesos” and constantly lands on its feet, the album has a seamless flow of Allenness, family friendly vibe that embraces everything, and especially country rock (check out the guitar solo on “Settle On Back”) on a very good modern country effort (Grade: B+).

Still with albums, the ultimate bedroom sadboy with his second album and what was cute when Conan Gray was 17, is sad in a different way when he is 23 on the dour bummer Superache (Grade: C), Madonna is in the process of reviewing her back pages and re-releasing em and if anyone should be on top of that it is Madonna, Finally Enough Love is first rate disco remixes built solely for the dancefloor, and with songs from “Into The Groove” to “Medellin” it works; the “Frozen” didn’t do it but everything else is excellent (Grade: A), during a split program of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin repertory at the Hollywood Bowl, on Aug. 16, 1958, Ella Fitzgerald performed with an elaborate congress of musicians billed as the Hollywood Bowl Pops Orchestra, conducted by Paul Weston, who’d also conducted and arranged the orchestra on the Berlin songbook album.” and now the Berlin portion is available as Ella At The Hollywood Bowl: The Irving Berlin Songbook (Live), it was on the heels of her very popular “Sings The Songbook” series (the Berlin original recording was nominated for a Grammy), and live is maybe not the wow of the “12 Nights” from a coupla years ago yet is still pretty wow (Grade: A), it must be the autotune that makes Chris Brown sound exactly the same despite features from WizKid, H.E.R., Lil Durk, Jack Harlow and a cast of thousands, the 24 song Breezy is less a breeze and more a snooze (Grade: C+).

Over at singles, I reviewed Beyonce’s dancefloor magnificent “Break My Soul” earlier this week (here) (Grade: A-) and Lil Nas X’s business as usual but business is good BET dis “Late To Da Party” (here) (Grade: A-), remember Taylor Swift on Red? she complained to a guy that her music was never as cool as the indie bands he liked? Well, with “Carolina – From The Motion Picture “Where The Crawdads Sing” it is and the moral is be careful of what you wish for (Grade: B-), the honky tonk is in Elle King’s voice, the disco in Niles Rodgers production on “Honky Tonk Disco Nights (Grade: B+), co-written by the duo, Eminem is as mouthy and dexterous as ever and Snoop is Snoop and better than anything on his new album (Grade: B+), the first hiatus BTS move is Jung Kook on Charlie Puth’s slice of pure pop heaven “Left And Right” (Grade: B)

Break My Heart – Beyonce – A-

Left and Right (Feat. Jung Kook of BTS) – Charlie Puth – B

Superache – Conan Gray – C

Breezy – Chris Brown – C+

Ella At The Hollywood Bowl: The Irving Berlin Songbook (Live) – Ella Fitzgerald – A

Honky Tonk Disco Nights – Elle King, Nile Rodgers – B+

From The D 2 The LBC (with Snoop Dogg) – Eminem, Snoop Dogg – B+

Tulip Drive – Jimmie Allen – B+

Late To The Party – Lil Nas X, YoungBoy Never Broke Again – A-

Finally Enough Love – Madonna – A

Carolina – From The Motion Picture “Where The Crawdads Sing” – Taylor Swift – C+

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