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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 10-22-21 – 10-27-21 Reviewed

The other day I was wearing my Lana Del Rey “Lust For Life” tour tee shirt (here) and was complimented by young women no less than three times in two hours, thereby beating out Amanda Palmer’s “We Are The Media”‘s record by one. Yes, oddly, in New York at least women respond well to Lana’s relentless pinky blue romances and pessimism. But not me so much. Earlier this year Chemtrails At The Country Club was pre-pandemic California aimlessness, and a huge warning sign, that Blue Bannister doesn’t need, her latest is a covid-19 as break up, post-pandemic as new love metaphor that while a whole lot too bleary eyed has moments Chemtrails doesn’t, and in “Black Bathing Suit” (Grade: B+).

Over at singles, earlier today I reviewed Jack White’s XBOX theme, as a white noise guitar plunge “Taking Me Back (Grade: B-) and his genre playful 1920s style “Taking Me Back (Gently)” (Grade: A-) here. Abba’s best new release of the three is the latest, a reworking of a 1978 outtake, the women harmonizing, and the band with a jaunty positivity, the vocals remain the same and the instrumentation is fresh, but it proves that they once really had it and sadly now not so much, at least not on harmony (Grade: A-); if ever an album deserved a (metal) box set it is Public Image Ltd’s The Metal Box, but more than anything John Lydon would ever do, PiL were a band at that time and a band that moved on Jah Wobble’s magnificent bass playing. I sure wish Johnny was involved in this version of “Poptones” -to my mind as great as anything Johnny ever did, Wobble’s spoken word take sincerely misses the original vocal but the sound itself is magnificent, a nihilist’s anthem (Grade: A), speaking of magnificence from the late 1970s, Paul Weller’s remake of his own “English Rose” is a gorgeously orchestrated and arranged beauty -better than the All Mod Cons original (Grade: A), Swedish House Mafia will never be admired they way they were after being caught using pre-taped music instead of DJing in real time, but time wounds all heals and they return with a sure shot “Moth To A Flame,” mainly because The Weeknd kills the vocals (Grade: B+).

My Morning Jacket’s first album in six years is a self-titled, relatively minor work which is better for its muted ambitions and its joy in a simpler world of jam band (Grade: B), I haven’t loved Jarvis Cocker since 2009’s Further Complications and CHANSONS d’ENNUI TIP-TOP finds Jarvis between Sacha Distel, Plastic Bertrand, Charles Aznavour and all those 1960s French power ballads, but he isn’t the right guy for it (Grade: B-), Fetty Wap never managed to cash in on his trap pop so on The Butterfly Effect he mines the sort of hip hop soul you expect from Youngboy Never Broke, to limited effect (Grade: C+). Of all the albums to offer up a Box Set of, why on earth choose Tattoo You? Sure, “Start Me Up” is classic Stones, and “Waiting For A Friend” is Jagger’s classic ode to Keef, but the nine in between? On the box set, except for the Chi-Lites cover the outtakes ain’t up to much, and the live album from 1982 Wembley is nothing special (Grade: C+). Finally, I admire Elton John for his stamina and his knowledge and care for modern pop, and The Lockdown Sessions is his best album since The Diving Board, though chiller and more fun… as for features? Young Thug, Nicki Minaj, Dua Lipa…. and that’s just the first two songs (Grade: B)

Just A Notion – Abba – A-

The Lockdown Sessions – Elton John – B

The Butterfly Effect – Fetty Wap – C+

Taking Me Back – Jack White – B-

CHANSONS d’ENNUI TIP-TOP – Jarvis Cocker – B-

Taking Me Back (Gently) – Jack White – A-

Poptones – Jah Wobble – A

Blue Banister – Lana Del Rey – B

My Morning Jacket – My Morning Jacket – B

English Rose – Paul Weller – A

Moth To A Flame (with The Weeknd) – Swedish House Mafia – B+

Tattoo You Super deluxe – The Rolling Stones – C+

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