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The Early Bird: New Recorded Releases 12-17-21 – 12-23-21 Reviewed

“It’s for charity” excuses many a sin and has there been anybody as sinful as LadBaby and their pathetic fetishism of sausage rolls? To think the UK went from X Factor winners and MOR dross to the kindergarten “humor” of LadBaby and still only got ir right once, with Rage Against The Machine. LadBaby who have won the Christmas song of the year (whatever is at number one when Christmas hits) for three years straight and are a last minute entry in 2021. Kinda. Earlier this month we got Ed Sheeran and Elton John’s number one “Merry Christmas” -a nothing much single the equal of, I dunno, “Wonderful Christmastime”. Now we have the remix with the family LadBaby, a way too hard working piece of snooze but it is for charity, giving away lunches to those unfortunate enough to need them, including 4.5 million children living in poverty. 1:5 people in the UK live in poverty and Brexit promises to exasperate it. So with 100% of the profits going to The Tussle Trust -Stop UK Hunger, feel free to hold your nose while you congratulate LadBaby (Grade: C).

Both Morrissey and Johnny Marr were boatloads better with the Smiths, but, between the two, Morrissey’s eccentricities and not his albums are the only reason to put Marr first; while Marr’s EP Fever Dreams Pt.2 has moments of intense beauty most of it is rock ordinaire with bad vocals and worse lyrics and, of course, that guitar (Grade: B-). The Compton native Roddy Ricch’s second album maintains his OG L.A. meets Atlanta trap vibe with a cast of features including 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Ty Dolla $ign, Future, and Kodak Black with a finely tuned take on hip hop (Grade: B+). The past year has been a quiet one for Gucci Mane so it’s good to hear his So Icy Christmas -more bragging rights and gangstaism for Christmas but fun nevertheless (Grade: B). Sam Huber completes his soulful Up double with Down as in get down and a whole lotta Funkadelica and occasional bits of Bowie highlighted on “Trespassing on the Surface”(Grade: A); the first side is pretty good but the second side gets overloaded with Robbie Robertson and all in all except for “Life Is A Caravan”, Cahoots wasn’t a great album, in the deluxe the pickings are slim, a live album, remixes, a demo, an alternative take (Grade: B). Two years from 1975 Eno would be taking on David Bowie’s Low, in 1975 he was inventing background noise and tape delays and pussy footin’ with Frippertronics for the birth of ambient as side show to glam, the legendary concert, forthwith cleaned up and released to a public sick of lousy boots, LIVE IN PARIS 28.05.1975 is an exceptional addition to the story of electronic music and a must hear… but maybe only once (Grade: A).

I reviewed Brando Lair’s sparkling take on Elvis Presley’s “Santa Bring My Baby Back” earlier today (here), serpentwithfeet has had a great year and on the simply gorgeous “Bless The Telephone” he is just in that place where everything he does is perfect and though the song doesn’t need to be prettier the strings improve it anyway (Grade: A), 24Goldn covers Biz Markie’s classic though from a story song of bad news, 24Goldn changes it to a straight teen pop song on “More Than Friends” (Grade: B+), so apparently Morgan Wallen is out of cancelled hell with his adding his chorus to a good Lil Durk r&b mashup “Broadway Girls” he is welcome (Grade: B+), I saw Big Thief earlier this year and was so disappointed I couldn’t listen to them for months, but “No Reason” is the sort of song that reminds you why live music isn’t everything and, much like Morgan and hip hop, I uncancel them (Grade: B+). Finally, “Tears In The Club,” a late night bluesy track, isn’t a return for fka Twigs, it is the woman at her poppiest and Abel only helps (Grade: B+)

More Than Friends – 24Goldn – B+

No Reason – Big Thief – B+

Santa Bring My Baby Back – Brando’s Lair – A

Tears In The Club (feat. The Weeknd) – FKA twigs – B+

LIVE IN PARIS 28.05.1975 – Fripp, Eno – A

So Icy Christmas – Gucci Mane – B

Fever Dreams Pt. 2 – Johnny Marr – B-

Sausage Rolls for Everyone – Ladbaby, ED Sheeran, Elton John – C

Broadway Girls (feat. Morgan Wallen) – Lil Durk – B+

LIVE LIFE FAST – Roddy Ricch – B+

Down – Sam Huber – A

Cahoots – The Band – B

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