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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Release 11-25-22 – 12-1-22 Reviewed

A terrific song from Lord Morrissey, typical terrain through the past (50s-60s) with rearview mirror and aided and abetted by various Red Hot Chili Peppers with a lousy pun “Generation X and X-Ray Specs” but a very strong hook:

The gang’s all gone
And now I am the only one
No more to give
Too late to live
Last on the bill
I see them still
Rebels without applause

It amounts to nostalgia as the last exit to oblivion (Grade: A-).

Staying with singles, I reviewed Zayn Malik’s vocals over Jimi Hendrix’s guitar with nothing but pleasure in tribute to what should be Jimi’s 80th birthday with “Angel” (Grade: A) , it is always a pleasure to hear from one of the major pop and soul singers around, serpentwithfeet with a love, or at least sex, electronic track (Grade: B+), Sam Smith and Kim Petras “Unholy” is one of my top five songs of the year and this wonderful orchestration add per remix is fine (Grade: A). There has been something so mindless about the attacks on Van Morrison, to my mind he has been always a consistently powerful singer, songwriter, and all round asshole, but who cares when he is covering Hank Snow on “I’m Moving On” (Grade: A)?

Over at albums, Divine Symmetry (aka An Alternative Journey Through Hunky Dory) is the usual box set from the UK (demos, John Peel session, etc), except its chronology makes it of specific interest as we see his songwriting slipping and sliding the way “Waiting For A Friend” winks at VU as it goes its own glammy road not travelled (Grade: A), who needs a Christian bellwether singing yuletide on Christmas With Cliff? I do (Grade: B+) , the former Divine Council returns solo with an astounding, sound barrage, great lyrics, good rapping and the album title of the year I Don’t Give a Fuck About This Rap Shit, Imma Just Drop Until I Don’t Feel Like It Anymore (Grade: B+), Stormzy’;s newest album, This Is What I Mean, first in three years, is a serious, self-important piece of r&b and gospel and rapping so self-satisfied he sounds like Common when what we want is grime, or even London drill (Grade: C), from 1992, and Robert would follow it up with one of his greats, Wild Mood Swings, but Wish is better than I remember and a thoroughly enjoyable set of goth pop (which should have been pop-er, it would be years before they dropped “Fast Cars” and that if you aren’t a fan well maybe it’ll change ya? (Grade: B)

Christmas with Cliff- Cliff Richard – B+

Divine Symmetry – David Bowie – A

Angel – Jimi Hendrix, Zayn – A

Rebels Without Applause – Morrissey – A-

Unholy (feat. Kim Petras) – Orchestral Version – Sam Smith – A

The Hands – From the Original Motion Picture “The Inspection” – serpentwithfeet – B+

I Don’t Give a Fuck About This Rap Shit, Imma Just Drop Until I Don’t Feel Like It Anymore – $ilkmoney – B+

Wish (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) – The Cure – B

This Is What I Mean – Stormzy – C

I’m Movin’ On – Van Morrison – A

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