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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Release 12-10-21 – 12-16-21 Reviewed

American Football, the emo dream pop band to namedrop, just released a superb cover of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” with LA indie artist Miya Folick (Grade: A-) and the self penned “Rare Symmetry” which is a little on the beautiful but obscure side, like coming into consciousness from a vivid and yet boring dream, and still beautiful, it returns you to where you were even as it jangles in your ears (Grade: A-).

Over to albums, and oddly still on emo, I reviewed the second Juice WRLD posthumous album Fighting Demons earlier today (here), which plays out as a major tragedy with melodies to burn (Grade: A-), Mr. Maybach Music Rick Ross’s wishful thinking Richer Than I’ve Ever Been, is old school OG for a man who lost his opportunity and the proof is how good the album is and it will not be in sales but in memory (Grade: B). Beach House’s second EP leading to the album is Once Twice Melody, four songs of impeccable loveliness and tastefulness (Grade: B+), power pop punks from London Fresh would be good anyway but they also have a singer in Kathryn Woods who sounds so lovely and oddly though on The Summer I Got Good At Guitar it moves to a whole other level (Grade: A-), for the always prolific A Boogie Wit A Hoodie, a seven song EP B4 AVA is hardly a stretch and, hardly surprisingly, every song is an r&b gem (Grade: B+). Atlanta soul singer Sleepy Brown joins Outkast Big Boi for a set of hip hop rap tracks on Big Sleepover (Grade: B).

Back to singles. Woody Stuart reboots Bay City Rollers with a coupla 20 something ringers on a perfect facsimile “Rollin’ Into Christmas” (Grade: B), Olu Fun of Earthgang made himself a lotta friends singing with Angelique Kidjo earlier this year (here) at Carnegie Hall, but it is business as usual for the Atlanta duo on a string hook and a smooth rap via Atlanta “American Horror Story’ (Grade: B-), Girlpool return with “Faultline” – a low key pretty pop that goes south on the bridge (Grade: B+), Mitski’s first single off her upcoming album was killer, but “Heat Lightning” is too minor to be saved by a gorgeous piano bridge (Grade: C+)

B4 AVA – A Boogie Wit A Hoodie – B+

Rare Symmetry – American Football – A-

Fade Into You – American Football, Miya Folick – A-

Rollin’ Into Christmas – Bay City Rollers – B

One Two Melody – Beach House – B+

Big Sleepover – Big Boi, Sleepy Brown – B

American Horror Story – EARTHGANG – B

The Summer I Got Good At Guitar – Fresh – A-

Fighting Demons – Juice WRLD – A-

Heat Lightning – Mitski – C+

Richer Than I’ve Ever Been – Rick Ross – B

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