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The Early Bird: Top New Releases 8-20-18 – 8-26-18

Four new Chance The Rapper songs! All of them are excellent, the funky r&b ode to his fiancee Kirsten Corley (the mother of his daughter), remembering their earliest years together living at “65th & Ingleside” (Grade: A) is lovely. “I Might Need Security” uses a brilliant sample off Jamie Fox’s 2002 comedy special and it underpins Chance’s full on look into Chicago’s local politics, demands  Mayor Emanuel Rahm’s resignation and announces his purchase of “The Chicagoist”. “Wala Cam” is a sex song, as Chance is joined by Chicago native Supa Bwa to stan (look it up, but here’s a clue: think Eminem) on the booty (Grade: B+). Finally, “Work Out,” Chance does his own “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” for his exes and gives one get reason for fidelity, he doesn’t want to fight for custody of his daughter (Grade: A-). So, if anyone was wondering if Coloring Book was a freak of nature, it wasn’t.

Onto albums,  Lori McKenna’s The Tree was gonna be great, the two singles were so good  it was bound to be the best Americana album since John Prine’s newbie earlier this year, and it is as good as advertised. Lori has a great voice and these are patient and beautiful folk country songs and among her best recordings (Grade: A). Public Image Ltd’s 76 song anthology The Public Image Is Rotten (Songs From The Heart) features live performances, demos, remixes 7 inchers and best of all the John Peel sessions circa The Metal Box (Grade: A). The Internet are great purveyors of alt-r&b and Hive Mind is an arty, ecletic but funky and rhythm based goodie (Grade: B+)  The great Orange County punk (it says hardcore but it sounds like punk) Adolescence have a terrific fast and loud winner in Cropduster, as well as the album cover the year (see below) (Grade: B+).

Back to singles, Helen Bach raved about Tomas Doncker’s “The Only Way (a Song for Mandela),” an acoustic tribute where Tomas finds a verbal hook on Yusef Komunyakaa’s poem, it isn’t the excellent Black Magnolia, but it will do till True Groove release the eagerly anticipated album (Grade: A-). The recommendation for “Deadcrush (feat. Danny Brown) – Alchemist x Trooko Version ” by alt-J, Danny Brown and The Alchemist, a brooding overwhelmed piece of fresh beats, is a verse by the always great Danny Brown -we haven’t heard from him in way too long (Grade: B+). Alyson Camus and I  seriously disagree over Cat Power though “Wanderer” is an acapella beauty, and her first new song since 2012 and 74 seconds in length it certainly doesn’t overstay its welcome, so maybe Alyson wins this round (Grade: B) so I kinda like it but not as much as I assume Alyson does. Jessie Reyez drops a beautiful soul song with “Apple Juice” -a major piece of melody  with Jessie’s best recorded vocal to date (Grade: A). I could go on, both Muse and Zayn have great singles out this week, but I will leave it till my weekly roundup…

Cropduster – Adolescence – B+

Deadcrush (feat. Danny Brown) – Alchemist x Trooko Version – alt-J, Danny Brown, The Alchemist – B+

Wanderer – Cat Power – B

65th & Ingleside – Chance The Rapper – A

I Might Need Security – Chance The Rapper – A

Waka Cam – Chance The Rapper – B+

Work Out – Chance The Rapper – A-

Apple Juice – Jessie Reyez – A

The Tree – Lori McKenna – A

The Public Image Is Rotten (Songs From The Heart) – Public Image Ltd. – A

Hive Mind – The Internet – B+

The Only Way (a Song for Mandela) – Tomas Doncker and Yusef Komunyakaa – A-

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