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The Early Bird: Top New Releases 6-29-18 – 7-5-18 Reviewed


At the half way mark of 2018, a case could be made for this being hip hop’s greatest year and if this is the greatest year for hip hop then Drake has put his name at the very top of the list, only Kids See Ghosts is on the same level. The 25 track Scorpion doesn’t have a weak link and while it isn’t he revelation that More Life was, I’ve always preferred art to pop anyway. And Drake also gets the last word on his son: “I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid.” Scorpion is so good that the Michael Jackson track is an afterthought (Grade: A).

I liked Florence Welch when she first broke through but a lousy show at Radio City coupled by a lousy show at Governors Ball a coupla years later and suddenly a powerful voice and a self evident chorus weren’t enough. “South London Forever” is a good song but otherwise the same ol’ overblown and over sung Bono for Millenniums (Grade: C). Gorillaz The Now Now rids Gorillaz of their Gorillaz mix and match (except for George Benson and Snoop) and become a Damon Albarn solo album, though his better solo album, try “Fire Flies” (Grade: C+), Ray Davies has a lot of brownie points but with the atrocious Our Country: Americana Act 2 he has run out (Grade: C-).An expanded from 12 to 51 songs version of the 1967 The Supremes Sing Holland- Dozier-Holland reminds you their music, as Ken Shane noted, is immortal (Grade: A+). Speaking of which, Guns N Roses owe their entire career to Appetite For Destruction and this 51 track expanded version includes the entire Sound City versions (Grade: A), Graham Nash was always a better songwriter with the Hollies then with anyone else and his career retrospective Over The Years… would have been helped a great deal if he’d included a “On A Carousel” or a “Carrie Ann”, as it stands it doesn’t prove he was major but it does prove he wasn’t minor (Grade: B+)

On to the singles: All Time Low’s “Birthday” is an imminently catchy rock and roll come on (Grade: B+),, Bad Bunny moves further from reggaetón and closer to mainstream trap on the first rate “Estamos Bien” (Grade: B+), Max’s Joey Bada$$ featured “Still New York” is a terrific ode to our hometown by the beautifully voiced tenor (Grade: B+), I’ve never been a big fan of Popcaan’s dance hall EDM but “Wine For Me” will give you a pause in a real good way (Grade: B+). And finally, “Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You” has Sheryl Crow working with Annie Clark on a very good mixing of subgenre’s (Grade: B+)

Birthday – All Time Low – B+

Estamos Bien – Bad Bunny – B+

Scorpion – Drake – A

High As Hope – Florence + The Machine – C

The Now Now – Gorillaz – C+

Over The Years – Graham Nash – B+

Appetite For Destruction (Super deluxe Edition – Guns N’ Roses – A

Still New York – Max, Joey Bada$$ – B+

Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You – Sheryl Crow, Annie Clarke – B+

The Supremes Sing Holland- Dozier-Holland – The Supremes – A+

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