Be Here Early: New Albums Reviewed 5-12-17 – 5-18-17

Written by | May 12, 2017 16:25 | No Comments


I Can Spin A Rainbow – Amanda Palmer, Edward Ka-Spel – there was a time around 2012 when Amanda Palmer could do no wrong, but everything before and after? Including Dresden Dolls? Not so much. This is a self indulgent hell on earth – C-

King Of The Jungle – Big Bank – No, not hotel motel but The Duct Tape General, average rap for average rap fans by an Atlanta giant – B-

Ether – B.o.B. – Featured artists include like Lil Wayne, Young Thug, CeeLo Green, T.I., and Ty Dolla Sign, and the rapping is OK though the tracks are dull – C+

Hello, Dolly! – Broadway Cast 2017 -This is the wildly overrated (my review here) Bette Midler one currently performed nightly, Bette has a nice enough voice and personality to burn here, but nobody else does. Plus all the songs added in (especially David Hyde Pierce’s “Penny In My Pocket”) aren’t good enough and if you think Bette is better than Barbra please explain “When The Parade Passes By” – B

Colter Wall – Colter Wall – Country Americana folk guy with a croak. Translation: deep, slow, tuneless – C

Don’t Give Up On Love – Don Bryant – The Hi Records resident songwriter and Ann Peebles hubby returns with his second album in five years, pretty much straight up soul tracks – B+

Dreamcar – Dreamcar – Members of AFI and No Doubt come together to perform 80s inspired synth pop and mood music only even worse than that sounds. Make Depeche Mode look like paragons of musicality  – D+

El Jerry – Gerardo Coronel – Mexican pop doesn’t get much better than this, an updated old school Mariachi sound with a youthful step and while I don’t know what Coronel is singing about, I do know an explicit lyric warning when I red it on the label. Start with “La Vida Es Cruel” and then double back to the beginning – B+

Powerplant – Girlpool – This sophomore effort works very well as the same as before only better, fuller sound, stronger songs -with nowhere to grow but grow up, that’s what they did  – B

Harry Styles – Harry Styles – A coupla standouts among the Brit pop ordinaire and modern sounding production values, classic rockisms and acoustic guitars. Plus loads of sex and lashings of cool from the  former One Directioner. But it is missing a great song, though “Only Angels” is a standout that comes close and any song with “New York ” in its title gets a get out of jail free card – B

Later Egos  EP – Ingrid Michaelson – Nice voice, but a tedious songwriter who would fit right into Lilith Faire – C

Common Sense – J Hus – From the UK,  but this rapper isn’t Grime, sometimes his patois is so strong he sounds like dancehall, most of the time he uses dark r&b to pull you into his exhilarating flow and rhymes. Hang around for “Plottin”- B

Mis Planes Son Amarte – Juanes – Starts off with a terrific pop blast “Perro Viejo” and then slows down to a crawl of Latin pop sop from the Columbian star… there is a video component as well, apparently… – C+

Pussycat – Juliana Hatfield – Sounds just like Juliana Hatfield which means she can’t nail a tune and hasn’t in some 30 years but she has a winy predisposition that is like teen angst come to life – B-

Back To Life – Letoya Luckett – The Destiny’s Child we all forgot about is back after an eight year hiatus on this very very average r&b album. Nothing will get to you, except maybe the album cover – C+

Bloom – Machine Gun Kelly – Sure “Bad Things” is a great song, made him a star, the album is rap pop that doesn’t coalesce anywhere. MGK is an iffy rapper and a worse singer – C

Thankful EP – New Kids On The Block – “Heartbeat” is a hit on your pleasure zone that the former boy band perform with stamina, but everything else is business as usual dance pop boy band product  – C

After Laughter – Paramore – The worst sort of sell out, not only does Hayley pick the wrong decade (the 80s), she picks the wrong sound for it (synth pop) and she writes the wrong songs for it (both singles flopped)  and nothing else is worth mentioning – C

Longshot – Passafire – “Growing Up” is so much fun I had high hopes for this reggae rocks band, but nothing else happens – C+

A Kind Revolution – Paul Weller – 40 years after the Jam started, loud fast doesn’t rule with this two hour bore, though “New York” is some form of EDM change up – C

Turn You Out – Pom Poms – garage rocking blues duo you’ve heard many times before – C

Psy 8th 4 x 2 = 8 – Psy – Just what we need, Psy singing a ballad – C

Pageant – PWR BTTM – Ben is embroiled in a sexual molestation controversy and is in worlds of trouble, and that is a real pity because this terrific sophomore album is as great as the early Girls. If they can weather the storm, Pageant’s just about relentlessly brilliant alt rock sissypower (or do I mean queercore?) should move em up a notch. “When you are queer you are always 19? Quite right –  – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – B+

Poison The Parish – Seether – Some grow wiser, they just grow older. By the numbers 1990s style grunge metal – C+

New Addictions EP – R5 – Familial pop band of faintly pleasant soulful sounds – C+

Riverdale (Original Television Soundtrack) (Season 1) – Riverdale Cast – I watched the first two episodes of the Archie Andrews reboot as YA drama, then gave up. This is Jughead as serious alt source – C-

Stelouse – Stelouse – Electronic pop that isn’t all and only about mood, a little band but some times it stands out – C+

Everything Good Happens After Midnight EP – Tanner Patrick – Shawn Mendes like singer songwriter nice haircut kid reinventing the wheel for teen girls – C+

You Should Be Happy EP – The Goo Goo Dolls – Did these guys do “Runaway Train”? Right? No? – C

Welcome Home – The Zac Brown Band – He is a pompous, self righteous arrogant asshole for no reason whatsoever and this is a terrible self-serving piece of crap about how Zac has moved people all over the world  – F

White Knight – Todd Rundgren – All over the modern pop map, Todd hits and misses with everything from funk to dance, though at least once, “Tin Foil Hat” featuring Donald Fagan, he reminds you why he is a legendary figure, and elsewhere he reminds you of an old school form of Gorillaz, using his skill at starring roles to change the vision of the album like a musical kaleidoscope – B

Blessings EP – Tom Walker – “Karma” leads credence to the new Ed Sheeran buzz surrounding this UK guy, but nothing else does – C+

American Epic: The Soundtrack – Various Artists –  recordings  from the Appalachians to the Mississippi Delta dating from the early 1920s and are the first blues, country and gospel recordings. The  – Nas-Jack White performance of Memphis Jug Band’s “On The Road Again” is not included – B+

Louder Harder Faster – Warrant – Business as usual guitar metal old school -grow your hair, smoke a joint stuff – C


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