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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 10-1-21 – 10-7-21 Reviewed

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, make the most of it because we won’t be getting them again. And if your taste is towards the American Standards it is “The Godfather III” of Bennett’s career. Love For Sale absolutely doesn’t stand up to prime Tony… no scratch that, Tony sounds remarkable, Stefani doesn’t do it as a great American classicist: if you’ve never heard the greats, perhaps you can embrace her pitchy professionalism, but if you have there is something weak-kneed about the enterprise. Anyway, I prefer it to Cheek To Cheek: the songs are 100% greats and the performances, the orchestra, are on their game. Yet, listen to Lady Gaga’s intro to “You’re The Top” and compare it to Barbra Streisand’s (pace “What’s Up Doc”) and you can hear where the problem arises. Gaga has her gifts, but she is minor league. So it won’t have me putting Twelve Nights In Hollywood in the remainder bin, and , except for “Dream Dancing” I’ll probably never listen to it again… but it could be and has been worse and I regret not seeing them at Radio City Music Hall earlier this year (Grade: B-).

Over at singles, I wrote about Slowhand And Van’s response to cancel culturer rock pop “This Has Gotta Stop” earlier today (here) (Grade: B-), Kehlani gave the performance of the weekend when I saw her GovBall, and she performed “I Like Dat” so I am very excited to hear T-Pain’s song streaming, a joyful, autotuned of course, hip hop pop take (Grade: A-), still remembering last weekend, young newcomer Bankroll Hayden performed a fine, early afternoon set, and especially “Come Through,” and it is a fine modern hip hop track, even a little better on record because we get Lil Tecca adding his voice (Grade: B+), speaking of youth: Gavin Eimerman is the fourteen year old new kid on the block taking off from power pop master, and grandfather Herb Eimerman’s template of all guitars, on a slice of moody , political bummerdom and disillusioned youth that sounds nothing like bedroom pop, it is electrific and ringing and the sound you hear is produced by Joe Algeri (get it here) (Grade: B+), Burna Boy and Polo G have at least this in common, they are both about melody, Burna Boy is an AfroBeats superstar from Lagos and “Want It All has a trap meets dancehall via Lagos sound (Grade: B+), anytime you hear H.E.R. is on a track you know you at least have that voice to pull you through and Kane Brown proved he could handle hop pop on last year’s “It Be Like That” but his skills fail him on the predictable “Blessed And Free” -hey, maybe Hillsong can be brought in for a remix (Grade: B-).

At the albums table, UK grime have some superstars, and a whole lotta also rans catching drill’s coattails…. Headie One is the former: he’s been around for knocking on five years and is in Stormzy skill level with one of the best voices in the UK and a way with a hard, hard hitting beat and following last year’s brilliant Edna, Too Loyal for My Own Good is just as good (Grade: A-), following the 2020 industrial metal machined Inshallah: Tomorrow We Inherit The World, The Muslims’ punk rock meets hardcore over Jello Biafra’s grave (I know, it’s a simile), on the political furious, back against the wall Fuck These Fuckin Fascists…. if Lady Parts were better they might sound this angry and snide (Grade: A-), at least The Muslims are real protest, The Specials tedious Protest Songs 1924 – 2012 doesn’t even nearly work: they’ve yet to improve on their debut and if you think covering “Freedom Highway” is protest in 2021, they might as well go whole hog and do “Hallelujah” (they do do Cohen’s “Everybody Knows”…) (Grade: C), yes, Neil Young’s Carnegie Hall 1970 (Live) is epic and yes this is a beautiful album, but it isn’t Young Shakespeare great because he doesn’t have the Harvest songs yet (Grade: B+), Reprise Rarities (Vol. 5) seconds as a duets album, Frank with rat packers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jn, as well as Rosemary Clooney, Nancy Sinatra, and Bing Crosby, the “Some Enchanted Evening” with Rosemary is a must hear (Grade: B+)

Come Through (feat. Lil Tecca) – Bankrol Hayden

Want It All (feat. Polo G) – Burna Boy – B+

Reprise Rarities (Vol. 5) – Frank Sinatra – B+

Losing Ground – Gavin Eimerman – B+

Too Loyal for My Own Good – Headie One – A-

Blessed & Free – Kane Brown, H.E.R – B-

Carnegie Hall 1970 (Live) – Neil Young – B+

This Has Gotta Stop – Slowhand And Van – B-

Fuck These Fuckin Fascists – The Muslim – A-

Protest Songs 1924 – 2012 – The Specials – C

Love For Sale – Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga – B-

I Like Dat (feat. BIA & Kehlani) – T-Pain – A-

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