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The Early Bird: Top New Releases 1-11-19 – 11-17-19 Reviewed

The album releases are still on the quiet side, with only a Taking Back Sunday retrospective in celebration of their twentieth year in the emo game, named,  intelligently enough, Twenty catching much attention.  Better on a greatest hits than ever over the album, plus there is two new songs, so if you’ve been wondering about Taking Back Sunday, start here (Grade: B+). The other biggie is the always individual Big K.R.I.T., his new release, TDT is Southern Rap preTrap, soul samples plus strong, somewhat old fashioned raps (Grade: B) .

On to singles, Sharon Van Etten’s third single off her upcoming album, “Seventeen” is her third great single off her upcoming album, this may be the best of the the lot, indie folk rock with a heavy backbeat and a sentiment that echoes back to the Buzzcocks “Sixteen” sentiment (Grade: A-). Future, who had that great mixtape with Juice WRLD last year, seems poised to return back to the top of the class after this second terrific song “Jumping On A Jet” -trap 101, all percodan influenced, autotuned sing wrap and a clap machine: works every time (Grade: B+). Gesaffelstein,the French DJ and producer, manages to make a more The Weeknd song than the Weeknd did in the entire 2018 (including his EP), and it is just a pleasure, “Lost In The Fire” goes right back to “The Hills” with skills that hopefully leads to a hit (Grade: B+). Fidlar’s “By Myself” is actually and literally woozy, a drunken rocker that winks at Amy Winehouse through the years (Grade: B). The movie “Roma” is on Netflix and I’ve been planning and planning to watch it, Billie Eilish’s “music inspired by” new single “When I Was Older” doesn’t much help, a brooding electronic based throbbing beat over quiet vocals (Grade: B). Lana Del Rey was great at first, contemplating blue jeans and derby days and suicide, though crappy live, but album after album she has gotten better at everything, including live shows and including life itself even if she is dancing in her nightgown to Sylvia Patha (I know)  as the gorgeous “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it” proves (Grade: B+).

Another coupla biggie albums, both live: The Turn Up Godz Tour by Waka Flocka Flame featuring… Howard Stern? Waka is hella wack  but this mixtape is an energizer, nonstop, hard rocking, hard rapping, exercise in hedonism. As for Howard, listen to his sample on “All The White Bitches” -the song is good and the sample is smart.  DJ Whoo Kid, who released an album I missed in November, is all over this (Grade: B). They’ve risen from the Dead more times than Jesus ever mustered, and Dead & Company’s PLAYING IN THE SAND, RIVIERA MAYA, MX 2/18/18 is three hours of waste, but if you have the urge to hear D&C you could do worse and probably shall (Grade: C).

One more single? Joy Williams’ live cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The SIlence” is the single best reason to take Americana seriously. Sure, she should reform The Civil Wars, but till then this is how to rearrange a song. Along with Danielle  Bradbury’s “Psycho” and Jamie Cullum’s “I Took A Pill In Ibiza,” this is what should be happening to new classics (Grade: A-)

TDT – Big K.R.I.T. – B

WHEN I WAS OLDER – Music Inspired By The Film ROMA – Billie Eilish – B

PLAYING IN THE SAND, RIVIERA MAYA, MX 2/18/18 – Dead & Company – C

By Myself – Fidlar – B+

Jumping On A Jet – Future – B+

Lost in the Fire (feat. The Weeknd) – Gesaffelstein, The Weeknd – B+

Enjoy The Silence – Live From The Front Porch – A-

hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it – Lana Del Rey – B+

Seventeen – Sharon Van Etten – A-

Twenty – Taking Back Sunday – B+

The Turn Up Godz Tour – Waka Flocka Flame – B

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