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The Early Bird: New Recorded Released 1-28-22 – 2-3-22

2022 could be a US breakthrough year for Colombian producer (think Costello’s last two albums) Sebastian Yatra, who is no Latin-Trap come lately hanging onto Bad Bunny’s shirt for all he is worth. On his latest album, Dharma, he features Rosalia and Daddy Yankee, sings in English and Spanish and moves from Latin Pop through Reggaeton all the way to trap and then back. Yatra is on “Encanto” and between everything that is going on, this latest album should put him in the middle of Latin Pop 2022 (Grade: A-).

Over at singles, I reviewed Dashboard Confessionals bland emo takeover “Burning Heart” (here) (Grade: C), the popular Brazilian singer Anitta returns with a strong piece of modern EDM that positions her around the Dua Lipa edge on “Boys Don’t Cry” (Grade: B). Navy Blue is an English rapper breaking in the States and Babeheaven is an r&b style UK duo, I’m surprised Babeheaven aren’t bigger in the UK where the market for black women singing neo-r&b is huge, singer Nancy Andersen and keys player Jamie Travis add trip hop beats to mood music and Navy’s rap is great on “Make Me Want You” (Grade: B+), a lot of trauma with Joanna Gruesome (the Welsh pop punk band) with Alanna leaving and forming this band with also Gruesome Owen William, on Don Giovanni no less, and they are a fine if not particularly original pop punk meets power pop band as Ex-Vöid, “Churchyard” is a winner in a minor key though it might get the label on the charts! (Grade: B), Franz Ferdinand’s “Curious” is as usual art rock and pop with just the right attitude, they are a good band performing iffy songs like this though four times round the lick really kicked in (Grade: B), from the exceedingly little I’ve heard off Ben Gibbard’s upcoming Yoko Ono tribute I am not expecting “No Bed For Beatle John” and instead am locating her sweet spot, indie sweetheart Japanese Breakfast does a very good job, Yoko’s original “Nobody Sees Me Like You Do” dates from 2007 and is with the great Apples In Stereo (Beatle fans, as you can see), Japanese Breakfast makes it a much quieter experience and it shines either way (Grade: B+).

Over at albums, Anaïs Mitchell, the composer of “Hadestown”, returns with an eponymous album so lovely it makes you wonder if she is gonna be the next Duncan Sheik (Grade: B+), Let England Shake was a huge album for PJ Harvey but I was never that crazy about it, the demos improve a little here and there, less busy though essentially all completed (Grade: B), Steve Gunn exists somewhere between Kurt Vile and The War On Drugs, here he gets with world music rockers who give his new EP, Mdou Moctar on one song, art folkie Circuit Des Yeux on a somewhat moribund EP, Nakama (Grade: C), the new Pink Sweat$ Pink Moon is his typical R&B for teens who missed out on Khalid, it’s a good album and anytime you can see Tori Kelly or 6lack you know it won’t be terrible (Grade: B).

Anaïs Mitchell – Anaïs Mitchell – B

Boys Don’t Cry – Anitta – B

Make Me Want You – Babeheaven, Navy Blue – B+

Burning Heart – Dashboard Confessional – C

Churchyard – Ex-Vöid – B

Curious – Franz Ferdinand – B

Nobody Sees Me Like You Do – Japanese Breakfast – B+

Nakama – Steve Gunn – C

Pink Moon – Pink Sweat$ – B

Let England Shake – Demos – PJ Harvey – B

Dharma – Sebastian Yatra – A-

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