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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 6-10-22 – 6-16-22 Recorded

Elvis Costello got his mojo back last year with his Spanish language re-recording of This Year’s Model co-produced by Sebastian Ypres, and followed it with his best album in twenty odd years, The Boy Named If… also co-produced by Sebastian and today concluded the triumphant, co-produced by you guessed it, the 50th Anniversary of his first band, with Liverpool mucker Allan Myles, Rusty, reunited to record and release the EP they didn’t manage to before, The Resurrection Of Rust. Rusty happened five years before The Honky Tonk Demos, so this is extant and it is great: Neil Young and Nick Lowe come out smelling like roses, and the real calling card is a very early Costello song “Warm House (And An Hour Of Joy)” that finds him already a strong songwriter (Grade: B+).

Still on albums, I reviewed SZA’s wonderful reboot of her 2017 Ctrl including six new songs and alternative take of “Love Galore” (here) (Grade: A), as an Elton John fan of sorts (I liked him somewhere between Honky Chateau and Rock Of The Westies plus later singles), Madman Across The Water remains an overwrought piece of whatever, and listening to it for 34 songs is nothing but more (Grade: C-), Carrie Underwood is the good guy I hate to dislike but her country is so overblown and overwrought I can’t hear her at all and Denim & Rhinestones is more of the same (Grade: C+), we are given to give Kula Shaker the benefit of the doubt because the lead singer is Hayley Mills son, at least we were in the 90s, and the debut album of Indian derived Brit rock was pretty good, but 1st Congregational Church of Eternal Love and Free Hugs is unspeakable 60s rock, “go go go” indeed (Grade: C-).

Over to singles, yes “Grrls” sounds like Lizzo being Lizzo but it is product from the Max Martin farm and mismanagement of Lizzo’s charms (Grade: C-), Demi Lovato goes pop punk on a song all the better for not being produced by Travis Barker (Grade: B), Kid Cudi is no Ye and his album with Ye is better than this whatever track, the rap ain’t bad but “Do What I Want” is dense and boring and back on the moon (Grade: C+), if you have a taste for Lebanese pop in 2022 try Maya Diab, a terrific singer with a sentimental track “Emmi Ya Emmi” (mother my mother) (Grade: B), much like life itself, people peak and Regina Spektor has never gotten back to What We Saw From The Cheap Seats (ten years ago) if not Far (thirteen years ago), and she doesn’t have it on the slight though not unpleasant “Loveology” (Grade: C+). Finally, Rae Sremmurd return with one of their greatest moments, a state of the art pop emoish melodiousness which finds the brothers better together on a… love song, “Denial” (Grade: A-).

Denim & Rhinestones – Carrie Underwood – C+

SKIN OF MY TEETH – Demi Lovato – B+

Madman Across The Water (Deluxe Edition) – Elton John – C-

Do What I Want – Kid Cudi – C+

1st Congregational Church of Eternal Love and Free Hugs – Kula Shaker – C-

The Resurrection Of Rust – Elvis Costello, Rusty – B+

Grrrls – Lizzo – B-

Emmi Ya Emmi – Maya Diab – B

Denial – Rae Sremmurd – A-

Loveology – Regina Spektor, Skopje Studio Orchestra – C+

Ctrl (Deluxe) – SZA – A

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