Be Here Now: New Albums Reviewed 3-29-18 – 4-5-18

Written by | April 5, 2018 7:57 am | No Comments

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Amen Dunes – Freedom – Smart singer songwriter mood music with a soupcon of electronica – B

Ashley McBryde – Girl Going Nowhere – Old school country with a handful of outstanding cuts – B

Ben Harper – No Mercy In This Land – Godawful blues album – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Bettye LaVette – Things Have Changed – – The great blues cover artist is at her best with Dylan, where you loves him enough to give his songs true interpretations. From the title track to “Going, Going, Gone,” Bettye ranges through his entire landscape of Dylan’s catalog with exceptional results – B+

Chris Carter – Chemistry Lessons Volume 1 – Throbbing Gristle guy uses synths for industrial noise complexes – B

Curren$y – Parking Lot Music – His second release of the year, with more round the corner, this is Curren$y 101, a stoned ooze of a flow over nine fair to middling tracks, featured artists  includes the always excellent E-40 and the where is he now Casey Veggies – B-

CZARFACE – Czarface Meets Metal Face – Hip hop as WWF as playstation -but better, these guys are old pros and this is Wu Tang redux with a better sense of humor, much better than U-God’s newbie – B-

Dodge & Fuski – The Greatest Album Of All Time – Hardcore electronica, beats, and general weirdness – B-

Escape the Fate – I Am Human – It starts off with some stellar guitar on “Beautiful Tragic” but the rest of it is emo rock 101 – C

Frankie Cosmos – Vessel – Lo fi indie pop, catchy but twee – B-

Hayley Kiyoko – Expectations – No wonder Taylor Swift stuck up for Hayley’s right to make same se love songs. This is a good  album  and  though it doesn’t peak as high as “Girls Like Girls” it doesn’t meander but consistently hits or near misses the pleasure zone – B+

Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour- Oh great, the world needs  an in love Kacey is about as much as it needs as a woke Jay Z – B-

Kate Nash – Yesterday Was Forever – Oh great, the world needs a serious Kate about as much as it needs an in love Kacey (or  straight Hayley Kiyoko -which, fortunately, we don’t have) –  B

Kidz Bop Kids – KIDZ BOP 37 – The pleasure here is the simplifying of arrangements so the kids can sing em, both “Thunder” and “Look What You Made me Do” are as good or better than the originals – B

Lil Durk – Just Cause Y’all Waited – Good rapper sure, but over uses autotune and is better at rappong than actually singing songs – C+

Lindi Ortega – Liberty – A concept album: “This album follows a character who traverses through the dark and into the light. It is meant to encourage and give hope to those who are struggling with their own demons and help them get through their own darkness. While these songs might speak to and reflect some of my own tumult in life, I hope it gives everyone something they can relate to and they can see themselves in the songs. My goal with Liberty is to leave fans with the positive message that life itself is a gift and we must cherish the one we have.”… but she has a very feathery ethereal voice and it gets really really boring – C+

Mary Chapin Carpenter – Sometimes Just The Sky – Her voice is mustier on this album of re-recordings from her catalog, a little slower and a little sparser, “I have A Need For Solitude” is the best song of the week – B+

Major Murphy – No. 1 – New Wave from Grand Rapids, try “Radi-Yun”.  Like so many  albums, and I know it is a bit of a cliche, much better on the faster songs – C+

Orquesta Akokán – Orquesta Akokán – “Assembled and led by Cuban vocalist José “Pepito” Gómez, Orquesta Akokán is a big band collective of the finest musicians on the island, both young and old. It features all-original music and was cut live to tape over a three-day session at Havana’s hallowed state-run Estudios Areito” – a little dry off their labels bio, this is world class Mambo – B+

Rich The Kid – The World Is Yours – The last of the Atlanta Trap stars features Future, Khalid, Trippee Redd, Quavo on more for this state of Trap album that would have been much better if he had released it two years ago – B-

Rick Parfitt – Over and Out – The Status Quo go to guy who isn’t Francis Rossi -maybe not dreck, maybe it’s the age we live in, but sure sounds like dreck – C-

SAINt JHN – Collection One – Slow jamz from a slow jamz specialty r&b songwriter – C+

The Cars – Candy-O (Expanded Edition) – Iffy sophomore effort (but then again, I’m not a huge fan at the best of times) and the expanded edition with different mixes is a waste – B-

The Vaccines – Combat Sports – Tuneful but it wears out on you before it’s halfway through from these need a minor hit at least UK indie rockers – B-

The Voidz – Virtue – It might not be great but it is better than anything Julian has done since his eponymous solo album, a real wide ride of brain expanding psychedelic and electronic and really good when he remembers to write a song… and that is often enough – B+

The Weeknd – My Dear Melancholy, – Abel’s old school break up EP goes back to his Trilogy start but with cannier skills. At 21 minutes in length you can put it on repeat and every song will kick in in time – ALBUM OF THE WEEK  – A-

Tiësto – I Like It Loud EP –  Old school vibes with House skills and mounting tension as the top DJ builds forward on track after track, “Dawnbreaker” is special – B

U-God – Venom – Wu Tang guy offers a business as usual circa 1996 rap bore – C+

Various Artists – God’s Not Dead: A Light In Darkness (Songs From And Inspired By The Motion Picture) – I don’t know the movie but the soundtrack is really moldy CCM – D+

 

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