The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 6-11-21 – 6-17-21 Reviewed
Although the cost of being cancelled has been huge for Ryan Adams, he did gain one thing: Phoebe Bridgers won’t be harassing him for a feature on one of his songs, the way she is on Lorde’s excellent first single since 2017, “Solar Power,” a great bass hook holds the song steady as a hot summer day at the beach (Alyson liked it as well here) (Grade: A-). It also works on the beach as Marla Mase works on the park on “830” (my review here) (Grade: A-). As for Ryan, no features except John Mayer on “Fuck The Rain” -before the fall -and certainly not Bridgers, on his excellent Big Colors. The songs are Americana rock, stunningly executed tracks that are greater than anything he has given us since Cardinology in 2008, much better than last year’s spotty and sad Wednesday, here he is depressed but pressing forward on one great song after another. Really, if this doesn’t get Ryan out of purgatory, what will? (Grade: A).
Staying with albums, I’m Only Dancing (The Soul Tour 74) [Live] is Bowie’s post Young Americans album, literally somewhere between David Live and Stage, better than the former, not as good as the latter (which has him in Low mode as well), nothing stands out except the stand out “John, I”m Only Dancing” on his tenth live album since he died (Grade: B+), Mingus At Carnegie Hall (Deluxe Edition) [2021 Remaster] [Live] – from the 1974 concert, adds over 70 minutes of unreleased material including “Big Alice” off the CD release of the underrated Mingus Moves (Grade: A), staying live, Kiss release the typical and useless KISS Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 (Live) (Grade: C-) and Joe Bonamassa’s typically abysmal guitar histrionics Now Serving: Royal Tea Live From The Ryman. no “Hurry On Home” here, but a return to a more angular post-punk sound after St. Vincent messing with the secret sauce, the pandemic Portland #BLM protests lead the now duo from the streets back to the studio where they produced Path Of Wellness themselves: a little hit and miss but it certainly has some strong moments (Grade: B). Maroon 5 with more featured overwhelmed pure pop, the sort of thing they release every three years, on Jordi, a bore but not terrible (Grade: B-).
Back to singles, Illuminati Hotties don’t have quite the overwhelmed fun of their “MMMOOOAAAAAYAYA,” but “Pool Hopping” is as good a summer song as you’d want to hear (Grade: B+). H.E.R.’s year was the last one and not this one, and having said that, her latest “We Made It” is an electronic neo-r&b stroke and that “weeeee” is a great hook (Grade: B+), so Lindsey Buckingham got fired from the band, had a heart attack, got divorced, and returns with a very Mac-y new single, “I Don’t Mind” (Grade: B) and that’s it… Lata.
Mingus At Carnegie Hall (Deluxe Edition) [2021 Remaster] [Live] – Charlie Mingus – A
I’m Only Dancing (The Soul Tour 74) [Live] – David Bowie – B+
We Made It – H.E.R. – B+
Pool Hopping – Illuminati Hotties – B+
Now Serving: Royal Tea Live From The Ryman – Joe Bonamassa – C-
KISS Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 (Live) – Kiss – C-
I Don’t Mind – Lindsey Buckingham – B+
Solar Power – Lorde – B+
830 – Marla Mase – A-
Jordi – Maroon 5 – B-
Big Colors – Ryan Adams – A
Path Of Wellness – Sleater Kinney – B