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The Early Bird: Top New Releases 2-1-19 – 2-7-19

It isn’t a quiet week but, certainly album wise, it is missing that big, big release or three that we’re used to. So let’s start  singles:  Billie Eilish, the seventeen year old wunderkind for girls everywhere, whose tempo swerving, Andrew Lloyd Webber stealing (the question here isn’t why Billie is but why more people aren’t, think “This Jesus Must Die”), lo fi depressing, electronically bizarrely, potential hit “Bury A Friend” (Grade: B+), finds her rolling right along on this follow up to the Roma inspired song last week.  “Gucci Gang” Lil  Pump is so great at repetition it is like he is inventing a whole new genre, nursery rhyme repeat when necessary, “Racks On Racks” is a blast of pure fun (Grade: B+). The Labyrinth, Sia, Diplo (aka LSD) remix of “Genius” is completely major because they do the right thing and open with a Lil Wayne verse (Grade: B+), speaking or remixes -Ariana Grande adds 2 Chainz to “7 Rings” with a harmless sing speak verse (Grade: B). There are two songs on the latest Big Boi release but keep with “Doin’ It” featuring the legendary Atlanta soul singer Sleepy Brown, the rap is strong and the song is stronger (Grade: B+). Cowpunk progenitors Mekons have announced a huge tour, their first new album in eight years in the immediate future, and debut single, a raucous Western swing rager “Lawrence Of California” (Grade: B+).

Over to albums, Luis Fonsi is ready for his close up (and when I saw him opening for Bad Bunny he killed it), VIDA is a first rate Latin pop album with plenty of hits in the tank (Grade: B+). Over in the UK, Flicker Featuring The RTÉ Concert Orchestra (Live) is exactly what it says it is, the Niall Horan solo album with strings, alright but pointless (Grade: B-), Martin is Gavin Martin, one of the best music critics during New Musical Express’ mid to late 1970’s classic years, Utopia is his spoken world album with instrumentalist Martin Bell. My first reaction was Sleaford Mods with better accents, but on further listening this is a very powerful addition to the spoken wave scene (Martin owes Martin a favor here!). – hang around for the Mark E. Smith tribute, “Roman Totale’s Turn Death Song” (Grade: B+)… so agitprop with roots in Belfast (Grade: B+).

Okay, that will do for now. The singles (48 and counting) and album overviews will be up early next week…


7 rings (feat. 2 Chainz) – Remix – Ariana Grande, 2 Chainz – B

Doin’ It (feat. Sleepy Brown) – Big Boi, Sleepy Brown – B+

Bury A Friend – Billie Eilish – B+

Racks On Racks – Lil Pump – B+

Utopia – Martin & Bell – B+

Lawrence of California – Mekons – B+

Flicker Featuring The RTÉ Concert Orchestra (Live) – Niall Horan – C+

Genius (with Lil Wayne, Sia, Diplo & Labrinth – Lil Wayne Remix) – Sia, Diplo, Labrinth, LSD, Lil Wayne – B+

VIDA – Luis Fonsi – B+

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