Be Here Early: New Albums Review 3-3-17 – 3-9-17

Written by | March 3, 2017 12:00 | No Comments

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Freedom Is Free – Chicano Batman – Outra Latin American funk rock, consider them a Santana for 2017 – B-

Fierce Mercy – Colin Hay – Hand Colin this, he is a plucky lad and a striver. Now shut up and sing “Who Can It Be Now?” – C-

Stuff I Used to Do – deadmau5 – House for electronic majors and really haven’t we heard this all before? – C-

Bruises – Dia Frampton – I love the former The Voice runner up’s vocals, and I love the Lana Del Reyish subdued orchestrated sound, the problem is the songs which need to be less ethereal – B-

÷ (Divide) – Ed Sheeran – This is his FutureSex/LoveSounds moment, an undeniable pop triumph from EDM to Irish jigs, Motown soul to big pop ballads, Sheeran wrote or co-wrote every song and the only other hand I can clearly see is son of Derry Johnny McDaid. The only pop masterwork of 2017 with a chance in hell of bettering it is the upcoming Taylor Swift. But this is the best pop record since 1989,  a flawless pop stroke that puts Sheeran at the top of the pop firmament – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Look At Yourself – Emmure – 31 minutes, 13 songs, all thrash all the time – B-

Last Place – Grandaddy – Jason Lyte and Jim Fairchild were smart young indie tunesmiths in 1982, then disbanded and got back together, and this, their first album in over a decade finds them well into their second coming with tuneful indie on the quiet side mood rock – B

American Teen – Khalid – The Army brat pulls variants on r&b with modern production and a very soulful delivery. Lots of good stuff here, but try “Young, Dumb And Broke” and “Hopeless” – B

Void – Minus The Bear – avoid, boring indie rockers from Seattle – C

Preservation – Nadia Reid – Slow and lovely and… well, boring – C+

English Tapas – Sleaford Mob – Album number four and I am sick of these guys. I keep thinking I like em and yet being incapable of listening to them for any length of time. They are Mark E. Smith without an ounce of his talent or grime if grime was white and couldn’t rap  – C-

Pleasure – Sondre Llerche – Ever the bridesmaid, Sondre is a fine songwriter but he has a quirky edge that stops him from  breaking big time. This is more of the same – B-

No Resolution – Tim Kasher – Both Cursive and his solo work have been pretty good for years and years, this soundtrack to a movie Tim has directed isn’t quite good enough: a vaguely proggy, over arranged solemn sadness permeates the sucker – C+

Def Jam Presents Direct Deposit Volume 2 – Various Artists – I wish it was a little less business as usual, the Big Sean, and Vince Staples songs are beyond obvious, but otherwise this is a terrific collection of recent songs and with one real revelation, Earl St. Clair’s “Feeling Alive” – B

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