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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 7-8-22 – 7-14-22

Manic Street Preachers is one of those English bands who never translated Stateside, they can barely sellout Webster Hall, nevermind the rest of the country. They’ve been at it since 1986 (I saw them opening for Oasis at Jones Beach) and have decided to compile a US friendly greatest covers album and including versions of songs from Madonna to Al Green, to Frank Sinatra to the Small Faces and Nirvana. A fabulous collection and their US streaming releases are such a mess you won’t have heard the majority (Grade: B+).

Still on albums, with Little Mix on hiatus, no less an authority than Official Charts anointed Flo their replacement for their five song debut The Lead -the all women of color trio treading a similar dance and pop but with more soul templet (Grade: B-), the Swedish post punkers Viagra Boys have been around for seven years with a first rate lead singer in Sebastian Murphy, and without their guitarist Benjamin Valle who died last year, have released one of the better all angles West Cave World (Grade :A-), Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu (aka Burna Boy) is poised for greatness and the Afrobeats pop star’s latest is what should get him there with a little help from the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Ed Sheeran and Kehlani, Love, Damini is a clear pop move following his sold out gig at MSG and might be the one to blast Afrobeats and Nigerian vibes into reggaeton crossover dreams (Grade: B+), songs off Neil Young’s 2002 album never released, Toast, includes some albums that would end up on Are You Passionate, and none of which are much more than soupy pop ballads and synth AOR (Grade: C).

Over at singles, I reviewed the Watkins Family Hour’s classic country cover ““(Remember Me) I’m the One Who Loves You” with Fiona Apple earlier today (Grade: B+) (here), Blondie’s “I Love You Honey, Give Me A Beer” is a little thinner and more mercurial than the re-written “Go Through It” circa 1980, the demo is from the eagerly anticipated box set (Grade: B+), Dropkick Murphy’s add music to Woody Guthrie in the Western meets Dublin “Two 6’s Upside Down”, the electronic pop band Hot Chip can be hit and miss but on the pretty pop track “Eleanor” they hit nicely (Grade: B+), better by himself than as half of Run The Jewels, “Run” is Killer Mike’s best work since “Rap Music” and the opposite of bullshit (Grade: A), finally Joey Bada$$ honors Capital Steelz who killed himself nearly ten years on the brutal heartbreaker “Survivor’s Guilt” (Grade: B)

I Love You Honey, Give Me A Beer (Go Through It) – Blondie – B+

Love, Damini – Burna Boy – B+

Two 6’s Upside Down – Dropkick Murphys – B+

The Lead – Flo – B-

Eleanor – Hot Chip – B+

Survivors Guilt – Joey Bada$$ – B

RUN [Feat. Young Thug] – Killer Mike – A

Covers – Manic Street Preachers – B+

Toast – Neil Young – C

“(Remember Me) I’m the One Who Loves You” – Watkins Family Hour – A-

Cave World – Viagra Boys – B+

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