Be Here Early: New Albums Reviewed 5-19-17 – 5-25-17

Written by | May 19, 2017 17:24 pm | No Comments


Gallery – Arizona – I was fond of the first single in a sorta mid mix slow down way, but over an album these electronica indie rockers are too boring and need some form of shading – C+

California (Deluxe Edition – Blink 182 – They add an entire album of B Sides, new songs and it isn’t unpleasant. Sure sounds a lot like Blink 182 and sometimes a bit like Green Day. “Parking Lot” ain’t bad but in the end it never ends – C+

Good Life – Collie Budzz – The Bermudan reggae star’s first album in ten year is as laid back as a mellow high -pleasant beyond reason – B

The God Box – David Banner – Mississippi son Banner is yet another legendary rapper except he handles the mantle well on this three years gestating agitprop black bad tempered rap, he gestated so long that he resurrects Elvis in “Elvis” but only the make him the poster boy for cultural approbation. .Nonsense, of course, and stop listening to Chuck D,  It’s still a great song – B+

Planet – EMI – A touch self-satisfied for great r&b, life on planet EMI is all digital mood music and dragged out beats as she paints a not entirely savory vision of life on the hustle – B-

World be Gone – Erasure – Vince Clark was in Depeche Mode back when they were a magical synth pop band and followed it with Yaz -one of the great duos in 80s pop with a singer so great, man, Alison Moyett? -need  I say more? And he stopped them both and gave us Erasure for thirty years. Why? You got me – C+

The King And I – Faith Evans And The Notorious B.I.G. – Faith Evans is a great singer who never figured out how to manage her career and Biggie is her husband and  very, very dead. So is this album – D+

Dreamseeker EP – Goapele – Moody r&b with flavorful vocals… could do with a hook here and there – B

One More Light – Linkin Park – Rap-rock is a poxy construction because rock is not the right animal for it and even if it was, Linkin Park couldn’t even take advantage of a collaboration with Hova and have been worse ever since. This is a lousy album performing magic tricks like getting Stormzy and Pusha T on the same track and still sucking. Now mature gentlemen, LK occasionally aren’t the worst thing you’ve ever heard. On the other hand, the title track is the worst song you’ve ever heard – C-

Undercurrent – Matisyahu – “This record is like, Abraham’s walk back down the mountain. After he’s made this kind of breakthrough experience, like how does he now come back to life.” If he just walked a little faster… , sometimes the music is kinda phenomenal, some of the best tracks I’ve heard this year but the voice? Not so much – B

Loner – Missio – “You’re an animal, I’m an animal…”? No, I’m an animal, you’re a crappy musician. Completely dreadful modern alt – C-

Connect The Dots – MisterWives – On the heels of their opening slot on the Panic! At The Disco arena tour, this is the one that should blow em up to the next level and it will. Here is the album Paramore failed to provide last week, gooey chewy dance pop with a rocky rhythm section and a first rate Hayley Williams wannabe in Mandy Lee –  B+

Green Twins – Nick Hakim – An acquired taste if ever there was, he has a strange, emotional voice and a jazz-soul buzz on epic tales of introspection and solipsism willing to let in some obsessed about person, here and there,  from song to song. The problem is, I haven’t really acquired a taste so I respect it from a distance – B-

Amelie – Original Cast Of Amelie – Composed by Daniel Messé of the roots-music group Hem and Nathan Tysen, I recently advised a friend that I’d rather have my eyes boiled in liquid nitrogen then see it, but that was before I heard the album,  this is the best new musical score since Hamilton. A simple, underplayed weirdness unlike modern musicals (because it wasn’t work shopped to death),Philippa Soo (of “Hamilton” of course) has a perfect joy for these songs. A real shocker, I might not get to see the musical (it closes tomorrow) but the soundtrack I will listen to more than once – B+

Crooked Teeth – Papa Roach – These guys are a litmus test, if you can listen to their heavy, tedious, hard rock you can listen to modern ock. I can’t stand it, listening to these dark and ugly songs is more than I can do. The rapping is terrible – D+

Used Man For Sale – Phil Gammage – The blues grea (in his own universe about as big as you can get), released this last year but it has only recently made its ways to streaming services. From blues to jazzy inflections, rockabilly back to country and back back to the blues,  the tenor nails everyone one of his ten songs. He has the brooding intensity of a Johnny Cash circa Rick Rubin added to post-punk circa 1980 smarts. Whenever I listen to him I am better for the experience. If Elvis was alive he’d sound like this  – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Manic Revelations – Pokey Lafarge – “Riot In The Streets’ is a revelation for the roots rocker, a sweet sounding kicker about Ferguson. Otherwise, this is a buncha classic sounding rockers plus horns – C+

Back To Us – Rascal Flatts – Abysmal MOR country blandness, “Hopin’ You were Lookin’ at Me” has a pulse but liked the drop gs in the title, it is playful in a dismal way – C-

Build Your Own Kingdom (A Rend Collective Mix Tape) – Rend Collective –  truly terrible Christian Contemporary via Ireland. Poor Jesus, first he was crucified and now this – D

Neva Left – Snoop Dogg – This guy ain’t sustained and album since, I dunno, The Last Supper maybe. This is same ol Snoop rapping over an assortment of hip hop styles – C

Goths – The Mountain Goats – John Darnielle is the most boring talented fellow in pop music, and this excavation into his years as a Goth fan is mostly non Goth alty mood music… how can a song called “Paid In Cocaine” be such a snooze?  – C+

Straw In The Woods – The Steel Woods – This is where country is Americana is country, the band is absolutely world class steely eyed country rock… the problem is, first the singer over sings and more importantly, the songs kinda suck. Even so, these guys sound absolutely terrific – B+

Renaissance – The Underachievers – Part of the Flatbush rap family that brought us a certain number of Zombies, MC duo Issa Gold & AKTHESAVIOR have 15 cuts here and the level of ordinariness is alarming, the rapping is average, here and there, try “How we Roll,” the backing tracks make a meh a goodie – B+

Dirty Dancing (Original Television Soundtrack) – Various Artists – Variety wrote this about the ABC network TV movie: “a sappy, passionless, schlocky remake,” and it is equally true of the soundtrack – D

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 – Various Artists – The Dave Molloy Broadway musical -it is to light opera what Linkin Park is to rap – D+

You’re Welcome – Wavves – blah, another bummer from a guy a tab of acid away from prog- C


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