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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 8-20-21 – 8-26-21 Reviewed

Martha visits the forest

There was a time, between 2000 and 2010, when the Wainwrights were the first family of folk-pop -call it between Rufus’s Poses in 2005 and his mother’s death in 2010. Between those years, Martha released her two masterpiece as well, the eponymous debut featuring her devastating slam at her father Loudon, “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole” and 2008’s I Know You’re Married But I Have Feelings Too. Then she took off four years and by the time she returned she had lost her mojo. And didn’t get it back till now where her fifth official release, and first in five years, Love Will Be Reborn is a strong outing. Although she loses me on her bigger numbers, like her brother she has the skills to flirt with opera but shouldn’t, it is a beautiful and romantic Americana meets singer songwriter confessional mid-life crisis following her divorce; try the later track “Sometimes,” It is the best thing she has done in at least ten years (Grade: A-).

Let’s stay with albums, I reviewed Lorde’s Solar Power, a sundrenched lowkey sound (here) (Grade: B-), Trippie Redd might not be able to do it without a studio behind him, which kinda explains all the autotune, and he doesn’t need to on Tripp At Knight -an update of the emo rap as perfected by gone Juice Wrld (Grade: B+), the Madonna tribute album Italians Do It Better has 19 artists from 10 countries, I don’t really know anybody here and the album isn’t hurt at all by that (Grade: B+), Angel Olsen’s 80s covers EP with all Bandcamp proceeds from the first 24 hours of Aisles sales to the International Refugee Assistance Project… I wonder how they plan to spend the $50?(Grade: C+), Deafheaven’s Infinite Granite is the modern sound of hardcore as it mixes shoegaze melody with guitar strum power and, what, no screamo vocals (Grade: A-).

Round are way, some singles…. the “Blind Willie McTell” full band performance isn’t as good as the solo take from Bootleg Vol 1 – 3, but it is still good (Grade: B+), I never much cared for Tattoo You and this weak outtake from the upcoming box set is a fair to middling rocker (Grade: B-), “Move” is a failed attempt to glom on to the “Smooth” vibe by Santana and Rob Thomas (and American Authors) (Grade: C+), The dB’s new record of their earliest recordings finds their songs essentially finished before Alan Betrock got his hands on em and that includes the magical “Bad Reputation (Grade: A), “Visiting Hours” is Ed Sheeran at his lachrymose worse (Grade: C-) , it took ten people to write the Shawn Mendes and Tainy gooey, electronic based pop track… TEN PEOPLE? (Grade: B-)

Aisles – Angel Olsen – C+

Blind Willie McTell – Take 5 – Infidels Outtake – Bob Dylan – B+

Infinite Granite – Deafheaven – A-

Visiting Hours – Ed Sheeran – C-

Solar Power – Lorde – B-

Love Will Be Reborn – Martha Wainwright – A-

Move – Santana, Rob Thomas, American Authors – C+

Summer Of Love – Shawn Mendes, Tainy – C+

Bad Reputation – New York Rocker Sessions – The dB’s – A

Living In The Heart Of Love – The Rolling Stones – B-

Tripp At Knight – Trippie Redd – B+

Italians Do It Better – Various Artist – B+

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