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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 3-31-23 – 4-6-23 Reviewed


The A&M Years…And More! – Burt Bacharach – Burt reminded me a little of George Gershwin during his golden years: couldn’t sing and couldn’t write a lyric but man could he compose a great melody. Burt is in his prime and this 103 song compilation of 60s and 70s tracks from the 2004 release is simply spectacular – A+

The Record – Boygenius – they sound like a female Crosby, Stills and Nash aesthetic taken for a trip to Lilith Fair and if their songs were better well, maybe. But while Lucy and Julien have moments, Phoebe has written precisely two great songs in her entire career and was a drag on the proceedings at Brooklyn Steel (here), Lucy was wonderful and Julien a revelation. But the album? Where are the songs? Where are the melodies? Well, the final song is pretty but… (Grade: C)

I’m A Woman (Expanded Edition) – Peggy Lee – recorded in 1962, dropped in the garbage pail of music month releases, January, to coincide with the title single being a hit, here the fine and smooth jazz-blues-R&b and Spanish tracks have an additional 50% added. This shows that there is nothing much better than Miss Peggy Lee having fun – A

Honey – Samia – while Samia is a Nepobaby and also a lesbian avatar ala boygenius, she is even better than that. The best act I saw at Gov Ball last year and this album is as good as her singer songwriter vibe gets but it is a little slow, on stage she, you know, rocks out – B

CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST: The Estate Sale – Tyler, The Creator – the album was his best to date and so was that MSG gig (here) and this expanded addition loses nothing with the adds except some sense of romantic subtext – A


Float (feat. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80) – Janelle Monáe – it’s been too long! Janelle gloms onto Afrobeats on a thrilling beat manifesto – B+

Middle of the Morning – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – I haven’t said much nice about Jason in years but this has a gorgeous lick and Jason is channelling Gregg Allman and it works – B+

Say Say Say (feat. Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson) – Kygo – Kygo was behind the excellent Whitney Houston remix “Higher Love” and here he turns one of both artists weakest moments and lets it bubble over in pleasure – B

Special (feat. SZA) – Lizzo – a great song, even Max Martin can’t change Lizzo, and the SZA verse is a beauty – A-

Lost The Breakup – Maisie Peters – there is a cottage industry of cheeky birds and Maisie also has Ed Sheeran’s interest and it is easy to say why: she writes hugely catchy pop rock with clever lyrics and if it isn’t as good as it might be the upcoming album should hang it all up together – B

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