Be Here Now: New Albums Reviewed 2-16-18 – 2-22-18

Written by | February 20, 2018 4:34 | No Comments


Aaron Carter – LØVË – The former teen idol looks like a Macaulay Culkin but acts like a man whose tabloid splattered lifestyle has turned a corner on these modern day EDM love songs – B-

American Nightmare – American Nightmare – Old school hardcore with screamo singing, nothing much but it gets the job done.

Belle & Sebastian – How to Solve Our Human Problems (Part 3) – I assume they are perfectly pleasant children of Pet Shop Boys but somewhere over the past 30 years they forgot how to write great songs, none of this is good enough – C

B.o.B – The Upside Down – Initially released as a series of songs on Instagram back in November, at 21 minutes in length this is a series of short but complete neo-soul hip hop tracks by a past master who has been treading water for years but has managed the anti-Chris Brown, an EP tthat repays the repeat and repeat – B-

Brandi Carlile – By The Way, I Forgive You – Brandi has been around for years and broke through on her last album. This is assured, well crafted songs by a new pro who is at ease with folk and with country, but is still a bit of a bore – B

Brett Dennen – Let’s… EP – Twenty minutes of world class pop rock, “Already Gone” is the song of the week – B+

Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy – Two years after a huge breakthrough, the indie art rockers have released a makegood of an earlier record. Dunno why though I don’t mind, “Sober To Death” is a revelation – B

Dita Von Teese – Dita Von Teese – Burlesque dancer is all chanson pensee on this channeling of 1960s female singers – B-

Everything Is Recorded – Everything Is Recorded by Richard Russell – RR is the head of XL and Damon Albarn buddy, attacked by a neurological illness he has been in bed three years and has been playing a pocket synth to improve his synapses and this, RR’s first album ever, is the result. So play the backstory and skip on the album – C

Fischerspooner – Sir – Michael Stipe produced this fair to middling electronic zig zag, a little samey and after nine years, it should have moved along a little, but at its best it’s good enough – B-

Fredo – Tables Turn – Clever Grime guy, but his flow is a little weak – C+

G Herbo – Humble Beast – Twelve more songs on the deluxe reboot from this Drill Music (a Chicago form of trap ultra violence), which explains why Chance The Rapper is on the “Everything” remix – B-

Johanna Warren – Gemini II – Pretty and tedious singer songwriter pop – C+

Joshua Luke Smith – Dead Man – “I have always viewed the poet as a voice in the wilderness, the one who stands before society and speaks of something bigger than themselves.” Is he born again? Or just a headcase? – C-

Kodak Black – Heart Break Kodak (HBK) – vicious little Kodak on romance, no, really, make up, break up, beat up, move on… this is a strange pleasure vibe on really troubled romance as he sings as much as raps and doesn’t kill any one, and as late as the 16th song, the wittily called “When Vultures Cry” he is still invested in it – B+

Kronos Quartet, Laurie Anderson  – Landfall – Arty mix and match of violins and other strings and spoken word – C+

I’m With Her – See You Around – Art country, folk, etc, that drags when it should be shaking  and yet the three part harmonies are very impressive. Still, the Roches would eat em for breakfast – B-

MIST – Diamond In The Dirt – I’m so used to London grime, it’s a shocker to find a rapper from Birmingham, he is much less pop but he raps with a real skill and what’s that word, enunciates even as he flows, the darkness suggests trap has been absorbed – B

Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap – Guest rappers galore from Puff Daddy to Kendrick Lamar joining the Crips member for this disappointing excursion into gangsta – C+

Pianos Become The Teeth – Wait For Love – Were screamo, now emo, still sucko – C

Pop Evil – Pop Evil – Explosive hard rock that fails to explode hard enough, sort of a layman’s Rage Against The Machine – C+

Quinn XCII – The Story of Us – Singer songwriter crap – C

Ride – Tomorrow’s Shore EP – The My Bloody Valentine’s for wimps took off the 21st century but now they are back. Happy? – C+

Robert Earl Thomas – Another Age – Widowspeaker singer has crafted a gorgeous dreamscape album of lo fi but not that lo fi mood songs for dreamers… the title track is a doozy – B

Senses Fail – If There Is Light, It Will Find You – Emocore, but Buddy Nielsen has been doing it for so long he is a pretty good practitioner – C+

Shannon and The Clams – Onion – 60s girl group sounding pure pop, again. It’s all they do but they do it very very well – B

Superchunk – What a Time to Be Alive – Not as good as the standard bearer, Majestic Shedding, but better than the last couple. Apparently a reaction to the Trump Presidency (they don’t like it) and it rings like a punk pop bell (and Mac McCaughan still sounds like a whiny teenager) – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – B+

The Orielles – Silver Dollar Moment – Fascinating little pop band with melodies and hooks aplenty in a quiet, sweet, clever kinda way. Song title of the week? “Liminal Spaces”. Second best song title of the week? “The Sound Of Liminal Spaces,” one of which is an instrumental but for less than 90 seconds  – B+

The Wrecks – Panic Vertigo – EP – College kids growing up drunk and rocking – B

Tyga – Kyoto – The album cover notwithstanding, Tyga sounds like a grown up Chris Brown with a real voice and a way with a groove – B-

U.S. Girls – In a Poem Unlimited – Of all those gender fluid, lilith-y performers, all the Courtneys and Angel Olsem , U.S> Girls don’t much fit because their sound is so gorgeous, dynamic, and strong. This is their second killer album in a row amd if you hang out for ten songs you’ll get personal best “Poem” – B+

Wild Beasts – Last Night All My Dreams Came True – Glammy UK rockers have disbanded, so this mix and match of all tracks will have to do, and do it will… I missed one here – B+

Young Dolph – Niggas Get Shot Everyday – Yes, niggas do get shot everyday, and when it comes to Young Dolph every other day – C+


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