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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 8-6-21 – 8-12-21 Reviewed

The initial 1970 triple album All Things Must Pass was 23 songs of which 5 were jams (and which in pricing the album, Harrison didn’t make us pay for) and the remaining 18 went from among Harrison’s best (on his first solo effort -he must have been warehousing em for years). The 50th Year Anniversary reissue provides us with a revised total of 70 songs, adding 42 tracks to the 2014 reissue. At its best (show me Harrison as great as “Apple Scruffs” and I’ll show you Abbey Road) it is amongst the greatest work of his entire career, at its worse, it isn’t. Songs of worship must be very, very good otherwise it becomes hectoring (especially for doubting people). Still, it deserves everything it gets and Disc Three with demos and songs that never made it onto the album, are of more than historic value (Grade: A).

Over at singles, I reviewed Bad Bunny meets Aventura Bachata plus “Volvi ” earlier today (here) (Grade: A), I was surprised former Blur Graham Coxon, super guitarist, gets a co-write on Duran Duran’s synth pop, electronic hybrid “More Joy” (Grade: B-), I never really bought the Italian pop mafia covering the great American songbook, and I see no reason why this nothing much cover of a song Frank Sinatra sure put his imprint upon is necessary, and while I must admit that Tony sounds in great voice, this is meaningless product (Grade: C+), vastly better than the dreadful “I Will Be Your Shield,” ” Ten Mysterious Photos That Can’t Be Explained, ” is Billy Bragg with an easy charm and I just wish there was more acoustic guitar (Grade: B), Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon’s offshoot Big Red Machine’s “Mimi” is pleasant and unassuming enough indie folk (Grade: B). Tom Morello does a little shredding, Eddie Vedder and the Boss add their two great rock voices, slam dunk the old AC/DC track “Highway To Hell”… it’s redundant but as a rock superstars summitt it’s okay, it is rock and roll with all the stuffing removed (Grade: B-).

Back to albums, Nas is the rapper most likely to kill on a greatest hits and only once (Illmatic) over an entire album, on King’s Disease II he is half a man, half a sleep (Grade: C), Metz streamed a live performance of their 2020 album Atlas Vending, a post-hardcore, noisey punk album, and added their biggest hit “Wet Blanket” plus another song on Live At The Opera House (Grade: B), in which Barbra Streisand checks the vaults for some old songs that were never released, for no real reason, they are all pretty good plus a new Barry Gibbs duet on Release Me 2 (Grade: B), way before electronica became the standard bearer of pop arrangements, Art Of Noise lead the way and on Noise in the City (Live in Tokyo, 1986) the sound is timeless, it could be Hot Chip with a nip and a tuck (Grade: B+)

Noise in the City (Live in Tokyo, 1986) – Art Of Noise – B+

Volví – Aventura, Bad Bunny – A

Release Me 2 – Barbra Streisand – B

Mimi (feat. Ilsey) – Big Red Machine – B

Ten Mysterious Photos That Can’t Be Explained – Billy Bragg – B

MORE JOY! (feat. CHAI) – Duran Duran – B-

All Things Must Pass (50th Anniversary/Super Deluxe) – George Harrison – A

I Get A Kick Out Of You – Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett – C+

Live at the Opera House – Metz – B

King’s Disease II – Nas – C

Highway to Hell (feat. Bruce Springsteen & Eddie Vedder) – Tom Morello – B

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