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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 10-15-21 – 10-21-21 Reviewed

Of all the differences between two artists that just don’t do it, at least Sting is self-aware. Chris Martin certainly isn’t as the entire rollout for Coldplay’s awful new album Music Of The Sphere proves beyond a reasonable doubt. Martin is such a plank he told NME “This album is our period of having no rules or fear about what people think or say about us.” All this band has is fears, when you’re roping in both Max Martin and BTS to lend a hand, and after your awful 2019 album stiffed big time, and after you have to eat your no touring nonsense from a coupla years ago, they are -reasonably- scared. Coldplay are insufferable, simultaneously self-effacing and egomaniacs, and on their latest, the untenable Music Of The Spheres, they reach their nadir. The BTS featured track has already sunk like a supernova and they are a coupla iterations from being a nostalgia band (Grade: D).

Let’s stay with albums, the Let It Be Box Set is a disappointment because try as they might, and add what they will, it is the one from the one time where we already know the process and it really doesn’t have as much to add as the three previous box set. The remaining mop tops need to see what there is floating around for an earlier period, pre Rubber Soul Box Set (Grade: A because disappointments are relative). Young Thug is one of Atlanta’s top rappers, and earlier this year Slime Language 2 was very good, but Punk is actually pop-punk and it isn’t quite that, Young Thug adds guitar and and melody to a an alright collection of emo-rap and a cast of dozens (Grade: B). The other day I mentioned Tommy Stinson as to how rock needs to be to breath new life into the genre and you can add Matt Whipkey’s exemplary new divorce album Hard as another example. Whipkey is the rock and roll god as taxi driver, a career rocker who knows his way around a song and a hook, who knows his history (The Sgt Pepper guitar break on the title track is a must hear) and the first three songs on his new album are a terrific ear worm that doesn’t make you feel like a shower after listening to it: the Omaha based rocker is the essence of undie (Grade: A-). I am not sure how well known Louis Armstrong is outside the jazz world in 21, but I am sure that with all the will in the world, A Gift To Pops, despite being a New Orleans bent album, isn’t gonna change a damn thing. Do yourself a favor, pick up the compilation Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man right now, a much better spending of your time than this (Grade: B). Bloated, self important, and bad, Tom Morello has yet to recover from Bruce letting Tom play guitar for him on “Tom Joad” -here he collapses into hard rock with a cast of helpers on a tired and antithetical to rock The Atlas Underground Fire (Grade: C-).

On to singles, I reviewed Adele’s branding exercise “Easy On Me” yesterday (here) (Grade: C+), serpentwithfeet already owns one of the top ten albums of the year (here) and his new single “Down Nuh River” is a joyful, r&b singalong song of the highest order (Grade: A), “Call My Name” is a goodie from one third of Peter, Bjorn and John, plus electro-popper Teddybears and Robyn singing lead on a Swedish superstar conglom (Grade: B+) , Miranda Lambert remains mired in mediocrity on the meh “If I Was A Cowboy” (Grade: C). Finally, Zack Fox is an Atlanta based multimedia star and comedian and “shut the fuck up talking to me” is a seriously good rap and a pleasant (if pleasant is the word) love slam -it’s from his new album which I will get round to (Grade: B+).

Easy On Me – Adele – C+

Music Of The Spheres – Coldplay – D+

Hard – Matt Whipkey – A-

Of I Was A Cowboy – Miranda Lambert – C

Down Nuh River – serpentwithfeet – A

Call My Name (feat. Robyn) – Smile – B+

Let It Be Box Set – The Beatles – A

A Gift To Pops – The Wonderful World Of Louis Armstrong – B

The Atlas Underground Fire – Tom Morello – C-

Punk – Young Thug – B

shut the fuck up talking to me – Zack Fox – B+

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