The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 4-30-21 – 5-6-21 Reviewed
Billie Eilish has her sound, all electronica and whispered lyrics, that hold within in them a certain, well, power (pace the 007 theme “No Time To Die”), which has opened her to all distance clear vision of a long term career with her brother Finneas producing. Her latest track, “Your Power” returns her again to her ex-boyfriend, rapper wannabe 7: AMP. the song is a sadgirl distillation, condemning him for messing with her when she was sixteen and he was twenty-two., and it is a fine and discrete version of sorrow as revenge (Grade: B+).
Over at albums, I reviewed the new DJ Khaled features packed snooze, Khaled Khaled, saved from ignominy by Justin Bieber and Jay Z (here) (Grade: C). Last week we were overwhelmed by two huge box sets from The Who and John Lennon, this week the 60s are represented by Marianne Faithfull’s spoken word with backing music by Warren Ellis, with her upper middle classic voice never so Convent School Girl, reading Lord Byron and John Keats with a perfection of emotion and skill on She Walks In Beauty (Grade: B), the show at the famous festival is considered a post-Roger Waters triumph, with David Gilmour in full rockstar mode and a huge touring band joining the trio on Live at Knebworth 1990, and the seven track nearly hour long album is alright and not much more while admittedly, the “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is magnificent, it doesn’t make up for the rest of it (Grade: B), the three song addendum to James Taylor’s genius covers album, Over The Rainbow: The American Standard EP, is more than welcome if also no less than obvious, his guitar on “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face” on the all strings arrangement is lovely (Grade: B+), recorded February 2020, just before the pandemic closed business as usual, and five months before the great former Fleetwood Mac guitarist died, Mick Fleetwood brought together a who’s who of Brit bluesmen and beyond to celebrate Peter Green, highlights include “Oh Well, Part One” with Steven Tyler and Billy Gibbons, “Oh Well, Part Two” that sounds just like Pink Floyd, featuring David Gilmour, and much more, including (gasp) Jeremy Spencer, Bill Wyman, Noel Gallagher, and Pete Townshend (Grade: B+). remaining rock wise and into the present day, Manchester Orchestra are a cult band’s cult band, the indie rockers from Atlanta are somewhere within a lot of the best genre’s for rock, emo, shoegaze, prog, all come together in glorious waves of melody and it saves them from the obvious complaint of boredom and a singer songwriter in Andy Hull, who doesn’t have the right voice for the material (Grade: B+).
Back to singles, DMX’s “X Moves” farewell finds him in typical voice, but joined by Bootsy Collins, and by proggers old school Ian Paice and Steve Howe, it is a pleasant enough sound though let’s hope there is more in the vaults (Grade: B), Gucci Mane was quiet last year but nobody does trap the way he does, “Shit Crazy” is a hook filled return to power featuring BIG30 -yes, the Memphis newcomer Mane got to feuding with on Instagram for using Gucci’s name without really being his friend (Grade: B+), after Garbage’s awful first single, the title track of the upcoming album “NO Gods No Masters” is a power pop goes electronica winner, the first in way too long (Grade:B). Finally, a year since her last release, Hayley Kiyoko returns with all her powers intact with one of her best sounds, an indie pop wonder “Found My Way” (Grade: B)
Your Power – Billie Eilish – B+
Khaled Khaled – DJ Khaled – C
X Moves – DMX – B
No Gods No Masters – Garbage – B
Shit Crazy – Gucci Mane, BIG30 – B+
Found My Way – Hayley Kiyoko – B+
Over The Rainbow: The American Standard EP – James Taylor – B
The Million Masks Of God – Manchester Orchestra – B+
She walks In Beauty – Marianne Faithfull – B
Celebrate the Music of Peter Green and the Early Years of Fleetwood Mac (Live from The London Palladium) – Mick Fleetwood And Friends – B+
Live at Knebworth 1990 – Pink Floyd – B