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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 5-20-22 – 5-26-22

Anything to celebrate the truly is G.O.A.T. Biggie Smalls is alright with me, and tomorrow he would have been 50 IF, and the celebrations will be all over NYC including a party at the Empire State Building, specialty MetroCards in Brooklyn only and Biggie music at the entrance to Barclay Center. And a godawful reworking of “Juicy” with alleged rapist Ty Dolla $ign, “G.O.A.T.” (Grade: D).

Staying with singles, the well past their expiration date The Wonder Years whiny acoustic “Summer Clothes” is brutal (Grade: C-), it’s been a long time since “Toxic” and this profoundly iffy slice of Gorillaz like mix and match is carried by Wale and so if you aren’t crazy about Wale as a rapper or Damon Albarn as anything on the horrid chorus, you might not like it (Grade: D+), if you think Diana Ross and Tame Impala together at last sounds pretty awful, now add Jack Antonoff into the mix on “Turn Up The Sunshine” (Grade: D+), it is difficult to fuck up the Beach Boys “Darlin'” but all power to She & Him who slow it down and cower the backing harmonies, I am dreading their Brian Wilson tribute album (Grade: D), I see no reason to complain about Hayley Kiyoto’s lesbian sex songs, and “for the girls” echoes Blurs “Girls & Boys” to fine effect, for one of our most sex positive performers (Grade: B+),

Over at albums, I reviewed the 80s pop revival Harry Style’s slightly disappointing Harry’s House earlier today (here) (Grade: B+), Brighton’s Porridge Radio’s post-punk is remaining the same on one level but on another level the songwriter is better and by better I mean as good as ever AND more accessible on Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky (Grade: B+), the English modern day woman r&b world that gave us Cleo Sol, threw up a 2020 song from Cat Burns this year, “Go”, and so we got an EP now, the excellent singer songwriter with limey accent emotionally unavailable which proves that “go” wasn’t a fluke , try “anxiety” if you don’t believe me (Grade: A-), it is always kneejerk to review Craig Finn because the obvious response is that it sounds exactly like all his other sing speak with brilliant lyricism… and A Legacy of Rentals is exactly the same though “The Amarillo Kid” is a goodie (Grade: B). Finally, from the if you hang around long enough files, the 35th anniversary of Rick Astley’s Whenever You Need Somebody deluxe adds 22 songs and it sounds better than it used to, so, sorry Nick Lowe, time has changed it and ghastly is no longer the word (Grade: B+)

emotionally unavailable – Cat Burns – A-

A Legacy of Rentals – Craig Finn – B

Turn Up The Sunshine – From ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ Soundtrack – Diana Ross, Tame Impala – D+

Harry’s House – Harry Styles – B+

for the girls – Hayley Kiyoto – B+

Bird Calling – Mark Ronson, Damon Albarn, Wale – D+

Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky – Porridge Radio – B+

Whenever You Need Somebody (Deluxe Edition – 2022 Remaster) – Rick Astley – B+

Darlin’ – She & Him – D

G.O.A.T. (feat. Ty Dolla $ign & Bella Alubo) – The Notorious B.I.G. – D+

Summer Clothes – The Wonder Years – C-

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