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The Early Bird: Top New Recordings 1-15-21 – 1-21-21 Reviewed

Another quiet week on the albums front, I reviewed Zayn’s third solo album Nobody Is Listening,  a pop-electronica-singer songwriter trope with at least three great songs (here) (Grade: B+), the post-punk spoken meets rap meets spoken Seaford Mods from the UK return with their  eleventh album, Spare Ribs, that is one part more of the same, bass hooks, chant speak and words, words, words, but the songs are stronger than they were and  “Glimpses” is one of the duo’s best to date, and the inclusion of the great Billy Nomates on “Mork n Mindy” reminds us that the sound has legs and Sleaford Mods might very well exist to shift a jaundiced eye on the long lockdown (Grade: B). Shame are a punk to post-punk band with their second album, Drunk Tank Pink, which includes the last words on 2021: “I can’t get up, I won’t get up” (Grade: B+) something of a triumph. The former Van Halen lead singer Sammy Hagar’s Lockdown 2020 (streaming live covers) is now an album, so if you wanna hear shitty versions of “Three Little Birds” or “Heroes” knock yourself out (Grade: C-).

The singles are, again, busier. Selena Gomez’s Latin pop in the Spanish language is the excellent “De Una Vez” -she started 2020 with Rare, that remained on my best of the year for the whole of the year, and this is just as good (Grade: A-). DaBaby’s “Masterpiece” is DaBaby at his complete pop best, a popper and a popper, it burns itself through (Grade: A-). The seventeen year old Disney girl Olivia Rodrigo has life imitate art and mourns a break up on “Driving License” … a very good, strong  song and it will probably be leading the Hot 100 next week (make that definitely, yesterday it had six million plus streams on Spotify alone)… like Taylor, her voice is a little weak, and like Taylor she ignores country and pop for Americana… and like Taylor it is huge (Grade: B+).  Descendents fast, loud punk Trump put down  “That’s The Breaks” is killer (Grade: B). Blake Shelton has been crappy for years and years, actually ever since his divorce, but this is a good country blues rocker with a great line (“all those country songs I played, they didn’t come with a 401K”) (Grade: B+).


Minimum Wage – Blake Shelton – B+

Masterpiece – DaBaby – B-

That’s The Breaks – Descendents. – B

drivers license – Olivia Rodrigo – B+

Drunk Tank Pink – shame – B+

Lockdown 2020 – Sammy Hagar, The Circle – C-

De Una Vez – Selena Gomez – B+

Spare Ribs – Sleaford Mods – B

Nobody Is Listening – Zayn – B+


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