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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 5-19-23 – 5-25-23

ALBUMS

Excuse The Mess – Ella Langley – on her debut EP, Ella proves herself adept about country classicism with a tinge of 80s about her, “Could’ve Been Her” is a goodie and while most of the rest can get a little too generic rocker blues, most of it works – B

Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent – Lewis Capaldi – did you read Robert Christgau’s review? “as the classic shape and pace of a first-rate long-player: 12 tracks, the first six all aces, then a mild seven-eight-nine dip ready and eager to be righted by a strong three-track finale. As is generally the idea, the most fetching melodies tumble by fetchingly up top and then take a break before bringing the album to a proper close at the very end. And as is also the idea although not always the reality, the lyrics sharpen the enjoyment quotient of tunes that sound like folkish power ballads for an aural world where hip-hop never happened…” I saw Lewis at Jingle Ball one year and was charmed myself, but I was charmed by James Blunt opening for Ed Sheeran as well, and those fetching melodies? Not so much – C

Seven Psalms – Paul Simon – a death rattle as scary invitable, one song, seven recurring psalms, and a sign that says entrance he hopes with an acoustic guitar and moodiness (but I bet you got to fill out a form first, and then you wait in the line) – B+

FAST X (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Various Artists – the franchise continues its pivot from all hip hop to a huge dash of Latin pop added to the mix, especially a great J Balvin track name after the family that races together “Toretto” – B

The Little Mermaid (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Various Artists – I am all for the colorblind casting for the live action version from Disney, what I am less keen on is the songs which are even worse than “Aladdin” with only “Part Of Your World” even vaguely memorable – C-

SINGLES

The Narcissist – Blur – they never understand that we don’t love em for “Bad Head” but for “Park Life” and yet they continue to, well, Blur the lines: this starts as a typical piece of insipid Damon whinge but builds to an anthem and a titanic conclusion – B+

The Journey – H.E.R. – apparently she doesn’t want to miss airing those lungs and covered a terrible Diane Warren ballad – C-

Don’t Touch Me – Sam Huber -of hard rock that takes off from Sam’s usual r&b takes and into a plain sink of riffarama, Sam is a great singer and his rasp here is a wonder and who is behind that psychedelic guitar break? – A-

Fun, Fun, Fun – Steve Aoki Remix – The Beach Boys – until he drops the bass, Aoki has done the undoable, he has made a Wilson remix where the distance between nostalgia and today is ridden through: the second time round might make you want to sink into yesterday… then he drops the bass again – B

GODDAMNITALL – The Wonder Years – an outtake from their tenth anniversary Greatest Generation box set and pretty damn magnificent. I had completely forgotten why I once loved these guys – A-

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