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The Early Bird: Top New Record Releases 1-17-20 – 1-23-20 Reviewed

I saw Eminem a coupla years ago at Governors Ball and he was not very good at all -same ol’, same ol’, trying to sell us on the nothing much Kamikaze. He is having problems growing up, it’s been ten years of trying to replicate “Love The Way You Lie,” and in 2017 neither Beyonce nor Alicia Keys could help him, so he went back to Slim Shady but it fell flat and that’s why the set disappointed. Music To Be Murdered By, surprise drop today, is a filled to overflowing featured album, and Eminem’s rhymes are as sharp as ever speed flow, and his flow world class, plus Alfred Hitchcock makes TWO appearances.  It’s a solid effort without being anything special, if you wanna give it a try, the Royce Da 5’9″ featured “Ya Ya” and the late Juice WRLD appeared “Godzilla” is where to start on the 67 minute release (Grade: B).

You can consider today the start of 2020 when it comes to albums, after a month of nothing  going onn now the deluge. Anti-Flag’s 20/20 Vision is a fair to middling exercise hard rock exercise in Trump hatred, though they have only one “Christian Nationalist”  (Grade:B). J.Cole’s  has released another compilation of artists signed to his label, Revenge Of The Dreamers III: Director’s Cut; not much Cole but a lot of Earthgang and a lot of the should be breaking big this year r&b singer Ari Lennox (Grade: B). I wouldn’t mention the Bad Boys For Life Soundtrack at this juncture, just another child of “Twilight”,” but Buju Banton, who released a good song last November , has a terrific dancehall banger here, “Murda She Wrote” (Grade: B). If none of this is shockingly good, Halsey’s Manic is her best album to date, in its own way as strong a dismantling of romantic love as thank u, next, though not as innovative (Grade: B+). Of course I am sorry Mac Miller died  so young (I’m also sorry I have to write that but my death by year columns is, apparently, upsetting) but I was never sold on him, and the posthumous Circle is more r&b than rap, and the rap, “Hand Me Downs” is slow and sad and sorry (Grade: C+).

Last week I reviewed 80 songs in my single column, this week I am already up to 92 songs. Let’s start with a David Bowie’s “I Can’t Read ’97”: “Stripped-down solo rendition of the Tin Machine track was originally recorded during Earthling sessions,” it says in Rolling Stone, a dreary bore and a reminder of how spotty he was in the 90s (Grade: C), Green Day’s latest song off their upcoming motherfucking album, “Oh Yeah!” is a glammy piece of  pop rock (Grade: B), the former Mrs. Ryan Adams, Mandy Moore, has two great albums to her name, the Jeffrey Epstein approved debut So Real, and the only problem being it’s about Zach Brach  Wild Hope (I saw her on stage around 2007 and she was very good), her first release in a decade “Save A Little For Yourself” is just a terrible slice of pop rock, Ryan would have saved it (Grade: C-), we haven’t heard from Moby in awhile and thank the vegan Christian for going back to straight up house on “Power Is Taken” (Grade: B+), Bob Marley’s grandson Skip Marley might be the first talented scion of the reggae giant, with the great H.E.R. on the gorgeous lover’s rock “Slow Down – Acoustic,” H.E.R.’s harmonizing and backing vocals are as good as you think they are (Grade: B+), The 1975’s release date for Notes on a Conditional Form (album # 3) has been pushed back till April) and the first three singles haven’t been bad, though not great, so it is good news that “Me & You Together Song” is such a lovely jingle jangle of a recording (Grade: B+).


20/20 Vision – Anti-Flag – B

I Can’t Read ’97 – David Bowie – C

Revenge Of The Dreamers III: Director’s Cut – Dreamville, J. Cole – B

Music To Be Murdered By – Eminem – B

Oh Yeah! – Green Day – B

Manic – Halsey – B+

Circles – Mac Miller – C+

Save It For Yourself – Mandy Moore – C-

Power Is Taken – Moby – B+

Me & You Together Song – The 1975 – B+

Bad Boys For Life Soundtrack – Various Artists – B

Slow Down – Acoustic – Skip Marley, H.E.R.


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