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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 4-29-22 – 5-5-22

Holly Humberstone was very good on Wednesday opening for Olivia Rodrigo, the one woman band with PC, loops, guitar and keyboards is a first rate songwriter and “Sleep Tight” -which dropped today but which she played on Wednesday- is possibly her best work to date, though an assist from Matt Healy didn’t hurt, an addictive sex song with a hook to die for, not the chorus where he (or she?) takes off his jeans in the back of her car, but just before that with ” oh my god, I’ve done it again, I almost killed our friendship, and…”. I can’t think of a woman writing better songs about sex and romance (and sex… yeah, it’s kinda important) than the English 22 year (Grade: A).

Let’s stay with singles, Pooh Shiesty was just sentenced to five years three months in prison for gun possession, begging the question as to why can’t you take the gangster out of the rapper? Lil Durk is subbing on the OG “Switches & Drac” but it is the Memphis mafia that is carrying it (Grade: B), Arcade Fire grew into my favorite band and are now retreating into the same ol’ AF anthem indie, “Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)” is alright and should be fun on stage but that’s about it (Grade: B), always a pleasure to hear from Sam Smith and “Love Me More” is a pleasant piece of EDM pop though the beats a touch too obtrusive (Grade: B), “Secrets” by Oni is screamo metal with one star of the genre in Randy Blythe and another (astoundingly) last man standing Iggy Pop (Grade: B+), ten years ago the Wanted were on the cusp of superstardom, performing at the 2012 Jingle Ball and doing pretty well even with One Direction and Taylor Swift on the same bill. It didn’t happen for The Wanted which is sad, and then in March of this year lead singer died from cancer at the age of 33, “Gold Forever – For Tom” is a re-recording with strings attached in honor of their fallen comrade (Grade: B).

Over at albums, I reviewed the fine new Future drugs and girls and trap I DON’T LIKE YOU early today (here) (Grade: B) , country continues a good year for the stars of the genre, this is a set of exciting rockers and a pure pleasure from Chris Janson on All In (Grade: B+), still on country and sure Miranda Lambert has a nice twang even while defining mediocrity with more country blues twang (Grade: C), Action Bronson’s Cocodrillo Turbo is a mix of a lizard king and psychedelic hallucination that big ups when Action raps (Grade: B) , a set of Merle Haggard songs as country soul by the always just about good enough Eli “Paperboy” Reed (Grade: B)

Cocodrillo Turbo – Action Bronson – B

Unconditional I (Lookout Kid) – Arcade Fire – B

All In – Chris Janson – B+

Down Every Road – Eli “Paperboy” Reed

I DON’T LIKE YOU – Future – B+

Sleep Tight – Holly Humbertson – A

Palomino – Miranda Lambert – C

Switches & Dracs (feat. Lil Durk & EST Gee) – Moneybagg Yo, Pooh Shiesty – B

Secrets (feat. Iggy Pop and Randy Blythe) – ONI – B+

Love Me More – Sam Smith – B

Gold Forever – For Tom – The Wanted – B

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