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The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Releases 9-16-22 – 9-22-22 Reviewed

Sure, there isn’t another “Hell Yeah” here, after all Harry had only one “As It Was” himself, and the ebullience turns dark making it an odd very late summer album, still Mr. Sun is the country pop four piece, two sex, two decades plus Little Big Town with a just fine even if disappointingly not major 10th album (Grade: B).

Still on albums, I reviewed Jessie Reyez gloriously sung, R&b meets indie somewhere over there Yessie, earlier today (here) (Grade: A), according to the New York Times (here) “A conservatory-trained singer and musician who grew up on musical theater, as well as pop, in Chicago…” the 28 year old Eleri Ward has a gorgeous soprano and on Keep a Tender Distance she rearranges Stephen Sondheim at his quietest for a folk-Americana meets Broadway arrangements that cool and entrance even in the larger songs like “Merrily We Roll Around” and “Another 100 People” (Grade: A-), coming off opening for Harry Styles at Harry’s MSG residency, Blood Orange’s latest, Four Songs, is as accessible as the man ever gets with the wonderful “Jesus Freak Lighter” living up to its name (Grade: B+), I think we can all agree that Yoko Ono was the most underrated artist of the 20th Century, everything she has done has improved with time and this live album is both informed by her husbands commerciality and something else again, the woman who wrote “No Bed For Beatle John” could always write a song and Let’s Have a Dream -1974 One Step Festival Special Edition by Yoko Ono & Plastic Ono Super Band is both creative and commercial and to my ears is one of her top three releases (Grade: A).

Over at singles, meet the Push Puppets first rate practitioners on the beyond catchy “There’s No One Else Like Lynette” written by the pop melodist par excellence Erich Specht (Grade: B+), the TDE signee and Black Hippy Ab-Soul is still underrated and “Moonshooter” is an unblinking self portrait with the finest sample you’ll hear all year heralds a major new album (Grade: B+) , speaking of heralding, those horns are getting cliched though Cam’ron and Conway are in fine fettle and A-Trak minds his own business (Grade: B), let’s end with some Afrobeats, God like genius Yemi Alade is joined by dancehall queen Spice for “Bubble It”, a catchy beats and fine dancehall vibes on a terrific track (Grade: B+), and Afrobeats Prince Of The City Wizkid returns with “Bad To Me” which is hurt with an awful sample (that blaring car horn you hear at rap concerts) (Grade: B)

Moonshooter – Ab-Soul – B+

Four Songs -Blood Orange – B

Ghetto Prophets (feat. Conway the Machine) – Cam’ron, A-Trak – B

Keep a Tender Distance – Eleri Ward – A-

YESSIE – Jessie Reyez – A

Mr. Sun – Little Big Town – B

There’s No One Else Like Lynette – Push Puppets – B+

Bad To Me – Wizkid – B+

Bubble It – Yemi Alade, Spice – B+

Let’s Have a Dream -1974 One Step Festival Special Edition- – Yoko Ono & Plastic Ono Super Band – A


  1. Maureen on September 17, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks for reviewing Push Puppets! You rock, Iman Lanabedi!! Excellent work!

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