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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 3-25-22 – 3-31-22 Reviewed

When Daddy Yankee coined the word reggaeton he might not have known what he was starting and though I have never been that big a fan of reggaeton in the 90s and 00s, once it became Latin Urbano my ears perked way up. And Daddy Yankee was always the exception that proved the rule. Now LEGENDADDY is his final album and his final tour at the age of 45 (until he changes his mind and unretires) and it is an exceptional set of straight ahead reggaeton filled with features and always with Daddy Yankee in the spotlight. It has been nine years since his last album but, to paraphrase “Dropkick Murphys, we call this going out with a blast (Grade: A-)

Still on albums, Ryan Adams Chris dropped on his Pax Am website (here) and on first listen it doesn’t change anything and I get the sense it was recorded at the same time as Wednesday, though with 19 songs and 59 minutes in length there is more of it and it is all beautiful Ryan Adams songs. I am still feeling my way around and will leave the main review to Alyson though on first listen it might be one of the year’s best albums (Grade: A), whoever thought it was a good idea to let Michael Buble castrate “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything”? It is the worst song on Higher and it has serious competition on the craptacular Sam Cooke cover, a dreadful album, a complete disaster (Grade: E+), I disliked Maren Morris’s last album so much that I dismissed the new album Humble Quest based on one song, but the first five are great country rock pop here and if she doesn’t sustain it, that is still pretty great (Grade: B), a couple of weeks ago “Fever” was one of the best songs from Aldous Harding but the indie goth popster can’t sustain it at all on the disappointing Warm Chris (Grade: C+), three years ago Pup’s post punk rockers were popular and the four song EP Totally Fine will only add to their luster (Grade: B+).

Over at singles, Bright Eyes roughens up Elliott Smith’s “St. Ides Heaven” on his ongoing Companion Versions EPs, but there was no reason to do so and if Phoebe Bridgers is here she is sure in the background till the last verse (Grade: C), I reviewed Chance The Rapper’s (or is it Common The Rapper, maybe Chance The Legend) “Child Of God” earlier today (here) (Grade: C+), Amy Grant is lovely and good hearted and navigates secular pop as well as Christian, and Jackie DeShannon’s masterpiece “Put A Little Love In Your Heart” is first rate (Grade: B+), Yemi Alade was great when I saw her last year at LPR (here), her latest single “It’s Up To Us” with Effyzzie Music is a fine slice of Afrobeats (Grade: B+), and finally Britney Howard moves further away from her soul Americana roots with the dance track featuring the r&b songwriter Tia. P on “Running With Angels (Grade: B- )

Warm Chris – Aldous Harding – C+

Put A Little Love In Your Heart – Amy Grant – B+

St. Ides Heaven – Companion Version – Bright Eyes – C

Running With The Angels – Brittany Howard, Tia P. – B-

Child Of God – Chance The Rapper – C+

LEGENDADDY – Daddy Yankee – A-

Humble Quest – Maren Morris – B

Higher – Michael Buble – E+

Chris – Ryan Adams – A

Totally Fine – Pup – B+

It’s Up To Us – Yemi Alade, Effyzzie Music – B+

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