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The Early Bird: Top New Releases Reviewed 2-2-18 – 2-8-18

If ever there was a time for specialists in music, this is the time. There are too many options for an artist s strong as Justin Timberlake,  favorite of mine since 2000, the no Strings attached era, Man Of The Woods is Justin taking a look at Chris Stapleton and thinking, hey, I did that and can do it. and he can. just not as well. The Chris Stapleton song is not all that while the second song on the album is an all out banger of immense proportions. if you add to that the lack of a huge song for the charts, this adds up to a disappointment. Grade: B.

It is a quiet week for new albums, with AWOLNATION’s third good album in a row, Here ComesThe Runts, is electronic rock pop and a lively pleasure. Grade: B+. Scottish 80s superstars Simple Minds’  Walk Between the Worlds, isn’t the return to power that 2014’s Big Music was, but it is a reminder that once soul and rock made good bedfellows. Grade: B. Troy Gentry of badass country duo Montgomery Gentry died in a car accident last year, So the least we can do is give the hard rocking Here’s To You the benefit of the doubt as they add southern rock to country blues. Grade: B

The real action is in the new singles. Missy Elliott has been hinting at some new releases, I hoped it was an album or at least a single, instead it is a verse on Busta Rhyme’s nothing much “Get It,” and of course Missy steals it. Grade: C+. In his ongoing attempt to be on at least one new song every week, Offset misses but  Quavo joins Iggy Azalia on the armed for the charts hooky “Savior”. Grade: B. If J Lo’s “Us” is a dance beat declaration with A-Rod, maybe the doubters are right and it I all fake. Grade; C+. I the being hard sell on anything, including the upcoming “Black Panther” movie, however The Weeknd and Kendrick have a potential smash with “Pray For Me”. Specifically, The Weeknd sounds great. Grade: B+

AWOLNATION  – Here Come The Runts – B+

Busta Rhymes – Get It – C+

Iggy Azalea with Quavo – Savior – B-

Justin Timberlake – Man Of The Woods – B

Montgomery Gentry – Here’s To You – B

Simple Minds – Walk Between the Worlds – B

Pray For Me (With Kendrick Lamar) – The Weeknd – A-



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