Van Morrison changed circa 1994 with A Night In San Francisco, where he paired his sound to his genre and narrowed his vision to blue, soul, and celtic mysticism. And he has done the same on album after album, and they are all about as good as each other ever since, with the occasional humdinger, like 2008’s “Behind The Ritual”. His latest saves us the anti-vaxxer nonsense and the rest is steady hander mediocre Van, “Psychoanalysts Ball” is the best, though hardly top tier, and while the rest is just what Van does and as generic as its title, Latest Record Project, Vol 1. But if you are as big a fan as I am be glad to own it (Grade: B).
Still with albums, the Irish EDM master Roisin Murphy remix album Crooked Machine is a must for dance fans, state of the art remixes by DJ Parrot, all of which should work at the disco (Grade: B+), when your name has become a code for lesbians on Tik Tok, you are the face of LGBTQ as surely as King Princess is, but if Girl In Red is all that on if I could make it go quiet -produced by this year’s Jack Antonoff, Finneas, it builds up from her bedroom pop , and like Billie it is a quiet storm that places her out of the indie netherland into mainstream pop singer songwriter (Grade: B). The one time I saw New Order on stage (I’d seen Joy Division several times), I thought they were dreadful in 2012 (here) and in retrospect I was being kind, there is nothing interesting in a bunch of guys behind synths and the songs we know and on Education, Entertainment, Recreation (Live) it is nothing special live takes on some great and some less than great songs (Grade: C+). The New Van Weezer is really just too gooey to compare to the hair bands – Kiss, Van Halen obviously, that inspired it, and that is something incomplete about Weezer, like one more run through and they might kill it (Grade: C). The half of Heart married to Cameron Crowe, Nancy Wilson, has an album of socal meets Americana. If Nancy dueting with Sammy Hagar on “The Boxer” is your idea of fun, knock yourself out (Grade: C-).
Over at singles, Coldplay meet Max Martin in a bid for the charts, but the only time Coldplay were legitimate was circa the late 00s and not since, their last album tanked and while “Higher Power” is catchy enough, it is completely nondescript (Grade: B-), just what the world needs: a remix of Bowie’s 1971 “Holy Holy” (Grade: C+), David Guetta on the dancefloor for a one night stand on “Get Together” (Grade: B-), J. Cole picks himself back off the ground after Noname’s knockout punch, “Interlude” is a soulful, hand clapping track (Grade: B-). And finally the return of P!nk with an acoustic Americana “All I Know So Far” (Grade: C+)
Higher Power – Coldplay – B-
Holy Holy – David Bowie – C+
Get Together – David Guetta – B-
if I could make it go quiet – girl in red – B
Interlude – J Cole – B-
You And Me – Nancy Wilson – C-
Education, Entertainment, Recreation (Live) – New Order – C+
All I Know So Far – P!nk – B-
Crooked Machine – Roisin Murphy – B+
Latest Record Project, Vol 1 – Van Morrison – B
Van Weezer – Weezer – C
Eileen Shapiro: “Portfolio Of A Rockstar Journalist” With Philip Bailey Bringing Earth, Wind, And Fire
Jazz has always been my first love as a kid
some big country and Americana names
free for all has always been the idea behind EPR
The power-pop sensibilities of the Black Lips
Bey with a double header
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – October 1976 (Volume 8, Number 5)
the man who made the world a safe place for Richard Simmons.