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The Early Bird: New Album Releases 7-28-17 – 8-3-17

Nearly eight years ago I began a Tuesday round-up of new releases post, back when Tuesday was new music day, but over the years as the website readership increased I couldn’t rush it anymore and it went from same day to nearly nonstop listening to new releases for three days straight. Now I tend to post new releases on Sunday afternoon and if I could find an excuse would even hold it to Monday. This is a problem, I had gone from being the first to the last word. So I decided upon a stopgap, this post, a quick look at the big new albums of the week I will look at longer later on.

The big releases are Arcade Fire’s Everything Now, the Julia Michaels EP, the Mick Jagger double A Side plus remixes, and the Elvis Presley complete Sun Sessions (103 songs). Obviously, A Boy From Tupelo: The Complete 1953-1955 Sun Sessions is a work of history and also hugely great fun just as music. Listen to the slow version of “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone” as a blues burner and wonder what the heck happened between takes! Grade: A+. Arcade Fire’s Reflektor was a terrific album but so is Everything Now. Both have their flaws, which some first rate producers (Geoff Barrow anyone?) seems a little going through the motions. Grade: B+. Julia Michaels EP has seven songs, six of which are masterful modern pop a touch under produced.; I was expecting this to be a big release and a big release it must certainly is, though that ballad at the end is a major bummer. Mick Jagger splits his new release but “England Lost” is one of his best solo songs ever (Grade: B).

Bubbling under, the Santana-Isley Brothers covers album is terrific (Grade: B+), Manchester Orchestra are better than I’ve ever found them (Grade: B-). Alice Cooper has a nice late resurrection (Grade: B-) And Vic Mensa is a featured artist spectacular that I need more time on but for now: Grade: C+.

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