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The Early Bird: Top New Releases 12-28-18 – 1-3-19 Reviewed

This is how the years pass by in a rush, the move from one to another as imperceptibly as the 12-28 to 1-3 and off we go again headline here, a mad rush ever forward till it stops.

Sure, life is quiet on Christmas week, but quiet isn’t dead. And there are two huge releases at the top of the post: Bad Bunny’s debut album X 100PRE which exploded in raves and streams galore, a huge album and one that instantaneously found its way on my top ten list. If you haven’t heard of the King of Latin Trap, and poster boy for everything great about Latin Pop, you haven’t been reading rock nyc, we have written about the producer and slurred, character filled singer, countless times since 2016, culminating in a game changing performance in August 2017 at Mega Summer Concert At Madison Square Garden (here). At the time I wrote “Bad Bunny came out to screams of adoration before snapping “turn up the fucking bass” and bringing the entire evening to whole other levels of energy. On record, Bad Bunny has a dark trap sound, I dubbed him Latin pop’s “Drake” though the 23 year year old is nearly young enough to be Drake’s son.” Drake would go on to feature on the smash hit “MIA,” that closes X 100PRE. It’s a highlight but so is everything else, though 53 minutes in length it feels shorter as it bends and blends Latin pop tropes along with US hip hop sensibility (Grade: A).

The other biggie is Dej Loaf’s ‘Go Dej Go’ Vol 1 -I guess her album in volumes, and a strong return to rapping. Six songs, two oldies, four new ones and the top of the EP is also the best on the EP, “Big Shit Talking” -though don’t let that put you off as she goes 6 for 6 (Grade: A).

On to the singles, which also quiet, though at the top is “Masters of War – SherGun Remix” yes, the Bob Dylan classic given a full tilt and deep bass metallic and brittle remix by  Drew Sherrod & Strange Daddy (as if it wasn’t dramatic enough already), from the Jack Ryan reboot on Amazon (Grade: B+). I wish Robbie williams performed in the States more often, I’ve seen him twice over the decades, once at Jingle Ball and once at Hammerstein Ballroom…. “I Just Want To People To Like Me” is a fun rocker with backbone, that must be a stormer on stage (Grade: B+). Russ, as popular a rap meets singer songwriter as you’ll find, has a real tearjerker with “Nobody Knows” (Grade: B+). To end off the singles for the year (more or less), Post Malone’s “Wow.” A strong little song, with Post has clearly out front as ever and less a pop swoon than “Sunflower” and more a reminder that he can do it because he can do it (Grade: B+).

There is more but I think I’ll hold off telling you about Jamie Cullum’s cover of “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” till very early next year (hint: he ups the American Songbook till it doesn’t exist), though it makes you wish he was still opening for Billy Joel at MSG.


X 100PRE – Bad Bunny – B+

Masters of War – SherGun Remix – Bob Dylan, Drew Sherrod & Strange Daddy – B+

‘Go Dej Go’ Vol 1 – Dej Loaf – A

Wow. – Post Malone – B+

Nobody Knows – Russ – B

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