Be Here Now: New Albums Reviewed 3-9-18 – 3-15-18

Written by | March 13, 2018 6:08 am | No Comments


03 Greedo – The Wolf Of Grape Street – Fresh out of jail, the prolific rapper has street cred to burn and is an LA legend with the tat on his forehead to prove it. Too much autotune for my tastes but this is as deeply musical as any rapper in the business this side of Ty even as he imagines the bars on the jail guitar doors spitting rhymes  – B+

Albert Hammond Jr – Francis Trouble – Can classic rock get any more tedious? The quirky angularity of the Strokes without a trace of the melodies – MUST TO AVOID – C-

The Old Guys – Amy Rigby – An old school rock sound, less so country but country is still there,  as good at slow songs as up-tempo, with one immensely skillful tune after another, this is Amy’s best since Diary Of A Mod Housewife,… but then so are the rest. This woman can simply write great songs, it’s a gift and she has it. Here Amy deals with aging head on, and also a question that must plague her: “Is persistence just the opposite of luck?”    – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – Grade: A

Only Human – Calum Scott – Britain’s Got Talent winner has a soulful voice but crappy material – C

American Utopia – David Byrne – Over a period of two weeks I’ve gone from somewhat impressed to somewhat depressed. I don’t expect Byrne to be able to write “Life During Wartime” anymore, but I expect more than art posturing in search of a melody – C

Drowse – Cold Air – the darks of landscape sounds where everything is one level of inky blue pacific ocean depression crashing into banks of moogs and samples of violins, like a nightmare with a headache  – B

Editors – Violence – Sounds like Scott Walker backed by  bunch of miserable UK rockers – C

Embrace – Love Is A Basic Need – “I’m wide awake,” these overcooked English guys claim. Everything is so over the top it gets a little boring and unbelievable – C

Jeremih – The Chocolate Box EP – I have never been a big fan of Jeremih… until now. Over an entire album who bores me to tears and a chorus on a rap song? He doesn’t make his presence felt strongly enough. But this is excellent stuff, three of the four songs are among his best – B+

Jimi Hendrix – Both Sides Of The Sky – Tupac lived, died, had a second life with a mountain of unreleased material, and ran out of new material, and still Jimi is releasing albums. This collection of studio outtakes is a good, especially the two Steve Stills ones – A-

Judas Priest – FIREPOWER – “Evil never dies,” Rob claims and he is right of course. Neither, apparently, do these guys firepower as they near the grand finale of an impressive career seeped in UK heavy metal. Only Iron Maiden come close but they don’t have Halford’s strength of character – B

Lil Yachty – Lil Boat 2 – From mumble rap to gnats and shit, this is less more of the same than you’d think, but if it could be better it’d be better,”BOOM!” needs no excuse – B-

Logic – Bobby Tarantino II – This is nothing much, no “Hallelujah” and no “1-800-273-8255” either, so consider it a holding action for a guy who needed to deliver – C-

Moose Blood – I Don’t Think I Can Do This Anymore – UK emo, maybe the two most old fashioned two words ever written in tandem, are OK for a song or two, and the guitar sound is very McGuinn-y, but it some bores – C+

Morgan Wallen – Morgan Wallen – Former “The Voice” competitor has a pretty good voice and “Up Down” is the first song featuring Florida Georgia Line I haven’t hated, the others ain’t bad either – B

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – Tearing at the Seams – The problem with these white soul rebels is the exact same as the problem with taking a swig of O’Doul’s near beer… it tastes alright but it feels wrong – C

of Montreal – White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood – Kevin Barnes discover the twelve inch disco remix from the 80s, and so makes an album that sounds like all his wooly headed other albums, with a stronger bass presence – B

Smerz – Have Fun – Two Danish women collaborate on strangely obtuse EP that shoulds like electronica locked in a room with no light – B

Suicidal Tendencies – Get Your Fight On! – “Get United” is simple but it says it, and the thrash rap sound is steller… I guess they wanna fight the powers – B

Superorganism – Superorganism – UK collective indie electronic weirdos with a terrific lead song – B

The Neighbourhood – The Neighbourhood – R&B goes indie rock via Cali, one hit wonders and this ain’t it – C

Various Artists – A Wrinkle in Time (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – The Sade song is pretty good, so is Sia and Demi -the incidental music less so – C+

YFN Lucci – Ray Ray from Summerhill – Atlanta rapper knows how to write a song before a rap, listen to “Time For It” and it sounds like nothing out there despite sounding like everything out there with a strong melody and, well, too much autotune – B

Young Fathers – Cocoa Sugar – This is a week where I wish I had two best albums of the week. Young Fathers sophomore effort is a strange neo-r&b soul, electronic pan-everything beauty of an album quasi rap but rap and more, “See How” is so great it’s ridiculous – ALSO THE ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A


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