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The Early Bird: New Recorded Releases 2-3-22 – 2-9-22 Reviewed

Yes folks, today I am RIPing my “Earliest Bird” column. I wasn’t giving myself enough time for a full scale review and so what I will do is call it something else and move it to midweek, but who knows… anyway, if I had done “earliest” it would have been Shania Twain’s Queen Of Me, her first album since 2017 is absolutely captivating, hooklined, country pop songs from a master (Grade: A-)

Let’s stay with long players, the former Chairlift Caroline Polachek has been on fire since you went solo and decided to see how far you can stretch pop without it going hyper, on her new EP Blood And Butter here are two of her best songs to date, “Sunset” and “Bunny Is A Rider” and since she is off on tour it might break her pop (Grade: A-), Raye is riding her smash UK hit “Escapism” and a falling out with her record label but “Escapism” was no fluke and this soul album UK My 21st Century Blues would be better if she laid off the electronic broo-hah-ha a little but you can’t blame her if years of improving EDM has left her waiting to drop the bass when it isn’t necessary (Grade: B), will Young Fathers, the Scottish trio, ever improve on the brilliant debut White Men Are Black Men Too? whatever, because Heavy Heavy is an intoxicating and brutal album even needs more time to settle in to his post-punk Heavy Heavy vibe… pass on the experimentally stuff like “Tell Somebody” (Grade: B+), Jarrod Dickenson was a gifted folk singer and is now a gifted singer songwriter with a taste for country and a skill at melody on the first rate self-appraisal on Big Talk (Grade: B+).

Over at singles, we all know why De La Soul is releasing old songs on streaming services (because finally they can) and the Otis Redding sampled “Eye Know” from their 3 Feet And Raising is a taste and it is better than you remember (Grade: A), Scissor Sister Jake Shears is back with a fine piece of disco beat “Too Much Music” (Grade: B+), after the disappointing HARDY album by his best buddy last year, the question us can Morgan maintain it? On The Three Songs At A Time Sampler, the just released country beauty “Last Night” is first rate… as are the other two (Grade: A-) .

Blood And Butter – Caroline Polachek – A-

Too Much Music – Jake Shears – B+

Big Talk – Jarrod Dickenson – B+

The Three Songs At A Time Sampler – Morgan Wallen – A-

My 21st Century Blues – Raye – B

Queen Of Me – Shania Twain – A-

Heavy Heavy – Young Fathers – B+

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