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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 6-4-21 – 6-10-21 Reviewed


I’d like to call Prince’s “Born To Die” a return to form but obviously it isn’t, recorded as a part of a hidden in the vaults album from 2010 Welcome 2 America, one of his more political attempts, the second single is by far the better of the two we’ve heard, a straight forward, hard and horn laden beauty of falsetto soul that sounds like Curtis could have written it (though not Isaac) (Grade: B+).

Staying with singles, as we await the huge Beach Boys box set, the first single is Mike Love’s “Big Sur” -about the California music festival, written at the peak of Mike’s powers and visible on Holland and on this lo fi demo take (Grade: B+), Billie Eilish’s second song as a blonde is better than the first one, a fun, whispery, wispish soul pop “Lost Cause” (Grade: B+), King Princess has a return to form newbie with “House Burn Down”, no “Pussy Is God” but tuneful and soulful (Grade: B), Laura Marling is a huge didn’t happen, she is like the Steve Earle of English indie folk, and her duo Lump are predictably bland on “Climb Every Wall” destroyed on the bridge (Grade: C), Lil Baby and Lil Durk were born to make an album together as both use lush melodies and tie em to autotune and “Voice Of The Heroes” is good for what it is (Grade: B), Denzel Curry came out of Broward County as part of the OG factor of soundcloud rap, on “Bad Luck” he turns to hardcore rock with a very strong effort on “Bad Day” (Grade: B+)

Over at albums, Liz Phair’s first album in ten years plus is the hit and miss… but sometimes hit Soberish (my review from earlier today is here), if you wanna listen to Rod Stewart don’t start at 1975, start at 1969 and end at 1972, because god knows the four albums represented are all retrograde secondary and sometimes, by the time you get to Blondes Have More Fun, slop (Grade: C+), Gang Of Four always left me a little cold, while the late Andy Gill’s  influence on post-punk can’t be denied, is that necessarily a good thing? It is on The Problem of Leisure: A celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four,  as post-punk stars like Idles perform credible covers (Grade: B), of their three albums,  Wolf Alice’s middle one was the goodie, Blue Weekend is UK indie rock with everything that implies in walls of sound and overblown choruses  (Grade: C+), Rise Against might have their heart in the right place but who cares on tedious, noisy melodic hardcord agitprop crap Nowhere Generation (Grade: C-) , Drive-By Trucker’s Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood, Jason Isbell, returned to the place where they started for a benefit seven years after Jason left the band in 2007. It is actually excellent and if I was you I’d look around for live video of the show because, really, this is as good as Southern rock ever gets (Grade: A-), speaking of Southern boogies, Texas favorite son Billy F Gibbons is on top of his game on the thrilling bruised blues rocker Hardware (Grade: B)

Lost Cause – Billie Eilish – B+

Hardware – Billy F Gibbons – B

Bad Luck [Feat. PlayThatBoiZay] – Denzel Curry – B +

Voice of the Heroes – Lil Baby, Lil Durk – B

Climb Every wall – Lump – C

Live at the Shoals Theatre – Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood, Jason Isbell – A-

Born To Die – Prince – B+

Nowhere Generation – Rise Against – C-

Rod Stewart: 1975-1978 – Rod Stewart – C+

Big Sur – The Beach Boys – B+

The Problem of Leisure: A celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four – Various Artists – B

Blue Weekend – Wolf Alice – C+

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