Be Here Now: New Album Releases Reviewed 8-3-18 – 8-9-18

Written by | August 9, 2018 16:39 pm | No Comments

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To the Sunset – Amanda Shires – The country fiddler ignores Americana for a classic rock album  specialized with a gorgeous guitar sound and if only the songs were better you might not mind it at all, try “Eve’s Daughter” – B-

What She Wants – A R I Z O N A – Mx and match EDM beats to lousy rock songs – C

4Milli – Baka Not Nice – Drake’s former bodyguard performs trap redux with a singy songy rap and nother special anything – C+

Rabbit Hearted. – chloe moriondo – The teenage wunderkind, youtube challenge Chloe performs lo fi singer songwriter confessionals on a ukulele, and with lyrics like “Smile at him in your math class, strive for him to do the same, pen your eyes and realize he does not know your name and he does not care to…”  sure sounds to me like experience rhyming – B+

RITUALS – Deaf Havana – The anthem rockers from the UK go quiet and bore you to death – C-

What We Did on Our Saturday (Live) – Fairport Convention – “double CD recorded live at a landmark concert by the founders of the British Folk-Rock genre, legendary folk-rock band Fairport Convention. The band celebrated its 50th anniversary in front of 20,000 fans at its own Cropredy festival on 12 August 2017. The 25 tracks span the band’s entire history and the album features the current line-up plus a galaxy of former members and guests including Richard Thompson, Ashley Hutchings, Iain Matthews, Dave Mattacks, Judy Dyble, Maartin Allcock and Ralph McTell.” – It’s OK when it is clearly FC, stuff like “Our Bus Rolls On,” much less so on proggy “Reno Nevada” and a terrible take on Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” – B-

Helena Hauff – Qualm – Electronic walls of sound that distort electro drums till it is just something else completely, with synths zooming here and there – B-

I Used To Know Her: The Prelude – H.E.R. – This has been a great year for the world Solange jump started, chill r&b, mood jams if you will. H.E.R.’s eponymous debut left me cold but seeing her live earlier this year was a turnaround, my ears must have let me down. This prelude is dynamic and awesome, “Lost Souls” is one of those songs that seem to appear from time to time this year, a statement and a coming together, “confusing self conscious with self-confidence” means something, it is a statement of the way we think. “Could’ve Been,” with label mate Bryson Tiller, is a hip hop beat manipulated stuttered attraction, “As I Am” is the best vocal, a blues by other means, dramatic and yet a thin sound, it is the antithesis of Kanye’s cut and paste style,  with an 80s palette to shade you in you get . 6 songs, 20 minutes, all excellent – A

Survive The Summer – Iggy Azalea _ Iggy has a bad rep, mostly because black women hate her for fucking black men, and also because she has never been as good as she can be. This EP lives in a vacuum, it doesn’t really fit into SZA’s world, and mostly it doesn’t need to or really deserve to, except for “Kawasaki” -a terrific song – C+

Living in Extraordinary Times – James – Laid was good and Whiplash was alright, and that gets you to 1997. This is a big album from the eight piece band, and it is not as cliched as its title,  though these paradise poison pilled songs would need to be a whole lotter better to grab the attention of any one here -C+

Time Flies – Jim Lauderdale – Spotty Americana that is great once in awhile, pretty good half the time and the rest of the album not so much, try “Slow As Molasses” – B-

finding it hard to smile – lovelytheband – Another bunch of indie boys with perpetual nervousness, thee guys are more laid back, less twitchy, but the songs build into walls of pop melodies and the mood is one of a certain glorious dissatisfaction – B+

Among the Ghosts – Lucero – The sound isn’t unpleasant, and as far as rock goes it keeps the whining to a minimal but man does it plod – C

Swimming – Mac Miller – I enjoyed the good spin time of “Best day Ever” and I agree that Mac out of love (on this one) is better than Mac in love (the one before it), but put all three together and he is still the embodiment of a duffer – C+

Bet On Me – Moneybagg Yo -Tay Keith, who just worked on the new Travis Scott album, produced 5 of the Memphis rappers nine songs on this EP. The guy can rap, and the sound is less cluttered than we are used to in 2018 – B

Living Hope – Phil Wickham – 19 songwriters and six producers for the popular Christian worship leader at Harvest Christian Fellowship. Apparently it takes a village to insult Jesus’s ears – MUST TO AVOID – c-

America’s Child – Shemekia Copeland – The cover is beautiful, an adolescent girl wrapped in the flag, the album is middling blues. Shemekia has a great voice but this is missing a spark – C+

Someday Everything Will Be Fine – Spider Bags – Maybe eight years ago,Patrick Stickles told me about Dan McGee, who always had a couch in his house for visiting indie bands, and whose band itself, was the greatest rock band in the world. true. It wasn’t true in 2010 (Titus Andronicus were the greatest rock band in the world then) but it is in 2018 where nobody moves between country rock to fuzzed out punkist classic rock with the ease and also the work ethic that Spider Bags personify. If you, like me, are sick to your back teeth of rock albums getting pasted by trap and mumble rap, well, for once it ain’t happening; from that shout of “Yahoo” on “Reckless” you know this is rock and roll as the sound that it is worth selling your soul for,  and it doesn’t let you down – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

ASTROWORLD – Travis Scott – Travis on his hometown of Houston, pays tribute to those who came before him, remembers an amusement park that closed in 2005, cuts and pastes sounds from all over, emulating and distracting from mentor Kanye West, and releases a great rap album hurt by its unrapness, as a sound collage it is greatness defined but shouldn’t great rap albums have great rapping? – B+

STAY DANGEROUS – YG – Outta Compton, politics a bit sideways, pussy and cars still spreading – B

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