Be Here Early: New Albums Reviewed 4-7-17 – 4-13-17

Written by | April 7, 2017 16:38 pm | No Comments


Vault Playlist Vol 1 EP – Alicia Keys – I have this waking daymare  wherein two years from now I’m sitting  through Vol 49…”No One” is her best song and it  sucks  – D-

Rules – Annie Hardy – “Here comes the train, it takes my baby away…” Hardy repeats throughout this derailment of an album memento mori to her late baby son and her late significant other. So uneasy to listen to, it shines a light into the darkness and only finds more darkness – B+

La Divine – Cold War Kids – Train for would be hippies, but still probably their best work to date – C+

Swear I’m Good At This – Diet Cigs – Tightly structured, shirt rock poppers that manage to take the time to meander. The singer has a good voice and the drummer is a guy (they’re a duo), plus “Bite Back” does – B-

InFinite – Deep Purple – Loud and heavy, yet again. Those proggy keyboards bore me to death  – C+

Coming Home – Falling In Reverse – Same ol’ same ol’ from former Escape The Fate singer emocore, hack melodies and loud guitars and ethereal songs riding on riffs – C

August By Cake – Guided By Voices – I’d like to take that fucking guitar and smack it over their heads – D-

Pure Comedy – Father John Misty – He looks like Jim Morrison on a diet and won’t shut up and I don’t like his songwriting and absolutely don’t like his production. We are going to have to agree to differ on the smirky dick… oh and he was terrible live – C

The Far Field – Future Islands – If you can get past Samuel T. Herring increasingly overwrought vocals (like Morrissey meets Scott Walker but without the stamina), the synth poppers know their way round a melody – B-

Write In – Happyness – Just what we needed,  slower happiness songs with some jazz licks here and there – C+

All Amerikkkan Bada$$ – Joey Bada$$ – Old school rap with a political bent and at least one great track, the Schoolboy Q featured one. But, like so much rap, when Joey goes after Trump, and after institutionalized racism, it is still about him and while he can turn a phrase he can’t flip a thought – B-

If Not For You – Joey leek – The late Christian singer with a post-humus mellow listening for her husband Rory and always with God somewhere in the background. Unlistenable dross but even so, sad to die so early – D+

Every Where Is Some Where – K. Flay – a part of that new women playing alt-y mainstream, on Imagine Dragons label so you can’t have everything – C+

Afterhours – Mack Wilds – Actor becomes r&b singer. Not bad, not much – C+

Hopeless Romantic – Michelle Branch – Rock pop romance lost and found songs, some good, some a little on the meh side, but all well sung and well presented – B-

Let Me Fly – Mike + The Mechanics – Mainstream soul rock from the 80s and still around today and just about as good as ever – C-

PTX Vol IV – Classics – Pentatonix – Having a popular mainstream acapella pop band might not be a bad thing… until you hear “Imagine” – C-

Renee Fleming: Distant Light – Renee Fleming – Fleming tries to find the middle ground between classical and pop that eluded her on 2010’s Dark Hope, and finds it on four Bjork covers – B

Dominion – Tech N9ne Collabos – His latest collaboration with members of his Strange label, Tech N9ne aint horrorcore anymore. The ridiculously prolific indie rapper offers more or less interchangeable rap tracks plus beats and general weirdness though with less A listers on hand. It is trifling though not unpleasant bore – C+

Crawl Space – Tei Shi – Her upper register is a smart change up and and her  twisty alt r&b meets dance meets blatant weirdness songs are ok but might take more getting used to  – C+

Memories… Do Not Open – The Chainsmokers – The EDM duo had a terrific 2016, a better 2017, and with the release of this debut album have proven themselves a hit making machine, with one slice of mainstream pop after another. By the end of the album they do  the undoable, they make Florida Georgia Line sound real good – ALBUM OF THE WEEK –  A-

Whiteout Conditions – The New Pornographers – If alt went Americana it would sound like this band: intense and boring at the same time – C+

The World We Built – The Wild Reeds – Catchy as hell pop rock with a nice sound built around sturdy harmonies – B

Outlaw: Celebrating The Music Of Waylon Jennings – Various Artists – Not bad live tribute album, Chris Stapleton kills “I Ain’t Living Long Like This,” Lee An Womack is represented twice, wife Jessi Colter represents, Jamey Johnson has his best vocal in years, Alison Krauss, who has already had an excellent year, represents, with Jamey on one song and solo on the other, Eric Church rips it up, Kris Kristofferson is on hand and another Highwayman, Willie Nelson, sings the last five songs. An outstanding tribute – A-

Long Live Nut – YFN Lucci – This Atlanta rapper isn’t your average trip hop stylist, he sings and speaks and sings again, and can really be addictive. Try “Way Up”. – B-

Bulletproof – Young Dolph – Hardcore gangsta, exemplified by the brutal “100 Shots<” the sorta stuff he does with ease for obvious reasons – B-

Bach Trios –  Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer –  Yo-Yo Ma:  “How often do you work with people who are master virtuosos and also master improvisers and composers, who know at least two musical traditions unbelievably well? It’s just extraordinary when you have people who can actually show on their instruments what they’re thinking at any moment, without a delay. As soon as you think it, it gets transferred in your neuromusculature immediately into sound.” Highbrow, middlebrow, no brow – C+



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