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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 10-28-22 – 11-3-22 Reviewed

If Kodak Black would leave the guns to his bodyguard and the drugs to the handlers, he might well be one of the most successful rappers in the business. But even a Presidential pardon can’t keep him out of lockdown, and as he once rapped “If I could change I swear I would .. I tried everything but I’m just so hood.” He raps about oging, something he knows a lot about, and he raps about love, and on the best song on his new album, Kutthroat Bill: Vol. 1, performs a dance song while glomming on to some dancehall moodiness on with Trinidadian new master Prince Swanny (quite a week for Trinidad, I reviewed Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” earlier today here, Grade: B-), song for song it is the best pure rap I’ve heard in 2022 and better than the Kendrick Lamar for one: never has sex and violence been quite so appealing (well, maybe prime Jigga) (Grade: A).

Staying with albums, Revolver is one of my top ten albums of all time and I’ve already gone on record as dubbing the Beatles Box Set potentially their best ever. But it isn’t. Even The White Album had double the songs and Get Back? Forget about it… still, I have no kick against hearing early takes on clear standards though Giles remixes aren’t all that (Grade: A-). John Mellencamp doesn’t ALWAYS suck. Ofter, sure, though these demos and remixes of “Small Town” from Scarecrow is worth your while (Grade: B), one of the stranger releases, DJ Fred Again on Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022) has made his music into a form of brooding alty EDM (Grade: C+), YoungBoy Never Broke Again just released a follow up to last week’s album, Ma’ I Got A Family (A Gangsta Grillz Special Edition Hosted by DJ Drama) is the latest and it is a fine piece of work, better than 3800 Degrees and a very well made set of songs (Grade: B).

Back over to singles, Cliff on the money covering the perennial “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” (Grade: B+), SZA has spent years jerking round while we’ve waited for a follow-up to Ctrl (and only got a deluxe back in June), this is pretty good, bass heavy thunder electronic modern r&b (Grade: B+), “Don’t Play That Song” is the third song off Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming old soul songs and the best of the three (Grade: B+) , the singer songwriter Colbie Caillat was close to Taylor Swift size popularity, a West Coast Swiftian, but she couldn’t pull it off and she doesn’t on “Iris” -an iffy little track on big feel (Grade: C)

Don’t Play That Song – Bruce Springsteen, Rob Mathes – B+

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Cliff Richard – b+

Iris – Colbie Caillat – C+

Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022) – Fred Again… – C+

Scarecrow Outtakes – John Mellencamp – B-

Kutthroat Bill: Vol. 1 – Kodak Black – A

Lift Me Up – Rihanna – B-

Shirt – SZA – B+

Revolver Box Set – The Beatles – A-

Ma’ I Got A Family (A Gangsta Grillz Special Edition Hosted by DJ Drama) – YoungBoy Never Broke Again – B

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