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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 11-19-21 – 11-25-21 Reviewed

Jennifer Lopez has had a bad twenty odd years with only that Vegas show (here) making a difference, her movies, even that stripper one, aren’t all that, and the new single, a lowkey piano ballad building to anthem “On My Way (Marry Me)” though pleasant enough is nothing special however, the movie it comes from, a sort of reimagined “Notting Hill” with Owen Wilson, looks great , the single is on Sony Latin -go figure (Grade: B).

Remaining with singles, Walker Hayes has managed a real difficult trick, he has a winner follow-up to “Fancy Like,” as he tries to stay out of “AA” on a country pop winner that is clearly an earworm of great strength (Grade: A-), Ziggy Marley is joined by Queendotcon Yemi Alade on a bass lead, dancehall beauty (Grade: B+), in the aftermath of her deeply meh King’s Theatre gig two years ago (here) FKA Twigs had something to prove and sort of did as she is joined by grime rapper Central Gee on a 007 type song that they should have sold already to some action movie or another (Grade: B+), Alex Cameron, the Brandon Flowers friend, might solve some Killers problems with his understated dadrock “Sara Jo” which comes together on a catchy track about misinformation with a killer horns outro (Grade: A-), Burning Spear, the top Rastaman from the 70s first release in over a decade “Mommy”, is exactly the rub-a-dub old school reggae you hoped for in an ode to women who raise their children: “the woman that holds a family together and prevents her children from fall…”.

I reviewed Adele’s surprisingly lovely ode to love lost and found (and reflected on her child) 30, earlier today (Grade: A-), not only does Motown With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (A Symphony Of Soul) draw the last ounce of blood out of Motown with versions that take out one of the best soul teams ever, the Motown house band, and replaces with horrid, overblown orchestrations, this doesn’t just insult Motown, it doubles as an insult to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra by putting into question their interpretations of the classics. A disgrace (Grade: F), Dan “Soupy” Campbell answers his band, The Wonder Years, complete inability to follow up The Greatest Generation, by ignoring it and instead of giving us a sweet and soulful folk Americana, look at it this way, if he can record a song called “Conversations With The Flowers” and get away with it you know he is good (Grade: B+), Sting? The lead singer of a band we once dubbed the worst of all time (here), so I have a vested interest in deposing him (here is the 2014 Paul Simon and Sting live review) so I am happy to announce that his latest The Bridge is one of his best albums to date, lyrically clunky, and a whole lotta samey bass lines, but the songs connect time after time and “The Book Of Numbers” is a good song (Grade: B). The Bruce Springsteen No Nukes concert from 1979 would be a lot better of there weren’t slews of, dozens upon dozens, of live Bruce albums and except for a terrific “Rave On” to end the weekend, the band and leaders skills are unquestionable… but who questioned them? (Grade: B). One more live, Oasis were seldom better than at Knebworth in 1996 and 25 years later I can’t wait to see the movie, in the meantime this sounds an electrifying collection going through their first three albums (Grade: B+)

30 – Adele – A-

Sara Jo – Alex Cameron – A-

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts – B

Mommy – Burning Spear – A-

Other People’s Lives – Dan Campbell – B+

Measure of a Man (feat. Central Cee) – FKA twigs – B+

On My Way (Marry Me) – Jennifer Lopez – B

Knebworth 1996 (Live) – Oasis – B+

The Bridge – Sting – B

Motown With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (A Symphony Of Soul) – The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – F

AA – Walker Hayes – A-

Look Who’s Dancing Now – Ziggy Marley, Yemi Alade – B+

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