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The Early Bird: The Biggest Releases Of The Week reviewed 10-20-17 – 10-26-17

Another day, another drama drama and Taylor Swift, and despite the percolated drum machine, she is back to the drama we expect her to have on “Gorgeous”.  The sad even when happy, furious when glad, is a gorgeous itself song for her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn (according to People, who know about these things).  The song is just a lovely piece of love enfolding, the second best off her newbie (I adore “Look What You Made Me Do”). Grade: A-. BUT…. she gets beaten by Kelly Clarkson’s best new Christmas song by anyone in years and years and years. It might not be “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” but “Christmas Eve” is old school classic rock like an update of Phil Spector, and with Christmas Bells ringing in the background, it is the very apex of pop wonderfulness. Grade: A. The Carrie And Lowell mixtape has been held back a week, still the first single “Wallowa Lake Monster,” finds Sufjan Stevens as great as any track on the album, I have no idea why he didn’t include this snapshot memory. Grade: A

On to the albums, Niall Horan’s eagerly anticipated neo-folk singer songwriter,  even including a duet with Maren Morris, is better than the singles, which I was uniformly indifferent to, and is better than the sum of those parts. The Morris track, “Seeing Blind,” is a keeper, and “On My Own” is a brilliant sweet track with a brittle message. Grade: B. Tegan and Sara, who have proven themselves more than a modern day Indigo Girls, have brought together artists from far and wide to cover songs off their 2007 breakthrough ,The Con, Tegan And Sara Present The Con X: Covers.Cyndi Lauper and Ryan Adams old school, Bleached and Hayley Williams (of Paramore) modern pop, new world pop rockers Muna (who just opened for Harry Styles!) among many,  and singer songwriter Ruth B steals the show with “I Was Married”. Grade: B+

Finally, two terrific rap albums. Young Dolph nearly got himself dead last week in an assassination attempt where he was shot multiple times and is now in hospital. Tracks with Gucci and the great Dram doesn’t get on the way of this ice cold gangsta shit, nasty and vicious even when quoting Rihanna, Grade: B+. But the Future and Young Thug, children of Guc but freezing cool, slurve, diction mindfucks and all tough flows joined together, is even better than Drake and Future. These two rappers complement each other in ways the endless featured artists on so many hip hop records really don’t. The former enemies join together with a half dozen producers for what will be a huge mixtape,  Super Slimey! Grade: A-

I’ll get around to a full round up in a coupla days.

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