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The Early Bird: Top New Releases Reviewed 4-13-18 0 4-19-18

Let’s start at the top. Cardi B made a successful move on Nicki Minaj’s crown last week (though I am not crazy about all Cardi B’s schtick, which sure felt old on Jimmy Fallon last week). Nicki made a strong claim that she remains the woman to beat on the worldclass “Barbie Tingz” (Grade: A),an addictive flow and a hard push back that should land her at the top of the charts:

I’m a bad bitch, fuck the bitch (uh)
Bitch get slick, I’ma cut the bitch
I’m a bad bitch, suck some dick (okay)
If that bitch get slick, I’ll cut the bitch
I’ll cut up the bitch, I’ll gut the bitch (okay)
Had to fuck up the bitch, man, fuck the bitch
Won’t shoot her but I will gun-butt the bitch
When we say “Fuck the bitch” dick-up the bitch
She was stuck-up so my niggas stuck up the bitch
Still draggin’ her so don’t pick up the bitch
Get the combination to the safe, drug the bitch
Know the whole operation been bugged the bitch

Still at the top, we knew the new John Prine was gonna be a biggie and a biggie The Tree Of Forgiveness is. Simple, straight, beautiful melodies, beautiful sentiments, and a coming to grasp with his life as lived, a very great album vying for the best of the year (Grade: A).

More singles, 5 Seconds Of Summer rocker “Youngblood” won’t put em back on top (Grade: C), Zayn is on top anyway and this sweet pop track “Let Me” (Grade: B+) won’t hurt him at all, Taylor Swift’s Spotify single “September” (Grade: B+), takes out the horns and plays it straight and acoustic on the Earth, Wind And Fire classic (Grade: B+) , Beenie Man is on fire with “Money Fi Run” (Grade: B+) and Capleton is lover’s rock meets Rasta man meets weed holla “Ganja Call” is terrific with a great rap from I-Atom (Grade: B+). The new Florence + The Machine “Sky Full Of Song” isn’t bad but as her great return after a coupla years it should be better (Grade: B-) and Janelle Monae’s “Pynk” (Grade: B-) is too clever and twee and Grimes is an annoyance (Grade: C+). Last of the singles for now, Sugarland come up with a killer song feel good country rocker on “Bigger” (Grade: B).

For albums, Barry White feels a little forgotten in 2018 so here is a crash course in the best disco ever, his Love’s Theme: The Best Of The 20th Century Records Singles (Grade: A+), even the ones you don’t know, are masterpieces…. all of them.  Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John i(Grade: B), is rearranged for rock and quite good and her singing has seldom been better, but next time how about the Replacements? Derek Smalls (aka Harry Shearer) gets a ton of featured artists but they can’t save Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing) (Grade: C) from not reaching even close to Spinal Tap heights. Manic Street Preachers Resistance is Futile is business as usual agro-rock from one of the best, but nothing even remotely new here (Grade: B-). Jason Aldean’s Rearview Town isn’t very good though it has a coupla keepers (Grade: C).

See you later for the thorough run down.

Youngblood – 5 Seconds Of Summer – C

Love’s Theme: The Best Of The 20th Century Records Singles – Barry White – A+

Money Mi Run – Beenie Man

Ganja Call – Capleton – B+

Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing) – Derek Smalls – C

Sky Full Of Song –  Florence + The Machine –  B-

Rearview Town  – Jason Aldean – C

Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John – Juliana Hatfield – B

Resistance Is Futile – Manic Street Preachers.

Pynk – Janelle Monae – C+

Bigger – Sugarland – B

The Tree Of Forgiveness – John Prine – A

Barbie Tingz – Nicki Minaj – A

September – Taylor Swift – B+

Let Me – Zayn – B+

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