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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 2025-22 – 3-3-22 Reviewed

Johnny Marr is not bottom of the barrel English rock, the former Smiths’ lead guitarist can sure play the sucker, he plays well with classmates, and knows a good dye job when he gets one, but he can’t sing and he can’t write a song without Morrissey as his muse. The one hour and sixteen minutes Fever Dream Pts 1 – 4 is the equivalent of a rainy Wednesday afternoon in Manchester, England: dreary but not without its charms (Grade: C+).

Remaining with albums, I reviewed Kanye West’s Donda 2, Ye’s songs of break up and misery is another major work from the always major Ye, I earlier today (here), if you are in the market for a thirty-seven year old woman, produced by Travis Barker, who spells sucks sux on Love Sux, who sings like a chipmunk on helium and doesn’t have the songs to go with it, go head lalalalla (Grade: D), Chris Carrabba is Dashboard Confessional, the former crown prince of emo who just kept going through one major depression over another like a nervous wreck teen, now having said that, here and there Chris comes up with a goodie, and on All The Truth That I Can Tell, “Southbound And Sinking” saves him from anomie (Grade: C), imagine that Outkast dropped their coolness and rapped a little less and you would have the excellent duo Earthgang, the vibe is early 00s Southern hip hop and while it chases its own tail here and there it is hip hop r&b and if only they had continued their flirtation with Afrobeats it would have been major (and skits???) (Grade: B+).

Over at singles, if Drakeo The Ruler’s murder last December at the age of 28 didn’t freak you, well, it was a real loss, he had just got out of prison and begun really creating a career, his last two albums both made my best of 2021, “Want Me” is an icy cool come on to a woman (Grade: B), after seeing Florence + The Machine in 2012 and again in 2017, I love her voice but her songs are electronic indie folk meh and “King” (as in “I am no mother, I am no bride I’m…”) isn’t much -plus JACK ANTONOFF? AGAIN??? (Grade: D+), it’s been years since we heard from Regina Spektor, and “Becoming Alone” is what you have? Not untypical Regina anti-folk but nothing more than that (Grade: C+), Torres performs an alright Kurt, pretty dramatic stuff (Grade: B+), meanwhile “Making Memories Of Us” is a fine try at Rodney Crowell (Grade: B+), and finally, if you must hear post-punk from the UK, by all means let it be Porridge Radio whose “Back To The Radio” is first rate (Grade: B+)

Love Sux – Avril Lavigne – D

All The Truth That I Can Tell – Dashboard Confessional – C

Want Me – Drakeo The Ruler – B

Ghetto Gods – Earthgang – B+

King – Florence + The Machine – D+

Fever Dreams Pts 1 – 4 – Johnny Marr – C+

Donda 2 – Kanye West – B+

Back To The Radio – Porridge Radio – B+

Becoming Alone – Regina King – B-

All Apologies – TORRES – B+

Making Memories – TORRES – B+

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