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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 3-10-23 – 3-16-23

A huge album for Miley Cyrus, Endless Summer Vacation is as fun as its name, a collection of post-break up disco pop -it shares a producer with Harry Styles, but while Harry is a classic rock variant, Miley is all about power pop. It doesn’t take much to predict hugeness behind the album (but will the new single “River” maintain the brand?) and despite its slight confessional pop opera vibe, it keeps the right amount of distance (Grade: B+).

Let’s go singles with some big country tracks and the “Touchdown Jesus” cowboy Tim McGraw is back a touch better than his usual middle of the road stuff on “Standing Room Only” though when it goes into anthem mode it dies (Grade: C), Carrie Underwood, who is terrible on stage, with a pleasant little ear ripper “Out Of That Truck” (Grade: B), and now the American Idol alumni Lauren Daigle as top Contemporary Christian singer songwriter on a classic “Thank God I Do” (Grade: A-), Robert Smith is in the news over the Cure 2023 tour and also for a terrific remix for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’s “Pretty Boy” as an out and our rocker (Grade: B+).

Back at albums, Andrew Trendell of the NME claimed Sleaford Mods new album UK Grime sounds like West Coast rap made in the East Midlands, or maybe The Fall with John Cooper Clarke? Try “On The Ground” (Grade: B), As the last Van Morrison fanatic standing (even Rob O’Connor has jumped ship) and I get it if Van’s politics are so repugnant a Don Gibson cover isn’t enough to entice you back. But how about “I Wish I Was An Apple On A Tree”? “Cotton Fields”? “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”? Every Van Morrison fan for themselves and god against all (Grade: A-). “TWICE is a K-Pop girl group produced by JYP Entertainment through the reality program [SIXTEEN]. The group is composed of 9 members: NAYEON, JEONGYEON, MOMO, SANA, JIHYO, MINA, DAHYUN, CHAEYOUNG, and TZUYU” and on READY To Be the prefab nine handle pretty good and straightforward r&b K-Pop dance (Grade: B)

Out Of That Truck – Carrie Underwood – B

Thank God I Do – Lauren Daigle – A-

Endless Summer Vacation – Miley Cyrus – B+

Pretty Boy – Robert Smith Remix – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – B+

UK Grime – Sleaford Mods – B

Standing Room Only – Tim McGraw – C

Moving On Skiffle – Van Morrison – A-

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