Be Here Now: New Albums Reviewed 4-6-18 – 4-12-18

Written by | April 10, 2018 16:04 pm | No Comments

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Alice Merton – No Roots EP – she’s got a great voice and has a blues rootsy feel with better than genre songs, the genre being Americana – B-

Alina Baraz – The Color Of You – 90s style r&b sex mood burns and sizzles for the most part, “Mind On Fire” is great – B

Alison Wonderland – Awake – Electronic singer songwriter, some of it doesn’t click but the Chief Keef song ain’t bad and “Okay” is a real keeper – C+

Blackberry Smoke –  Find A Light – Southern boogie that sounds like a variant on old school .38 Special, but not as good – C+

Cardi B – Invasion Of Privacy – The kick is that she doesn’t have flow and sounds as though she is reading, which leads to suspicions she doesn’t write her own rhymes. Perhaps, but then tell me why song for song this is the best hip hop album of the year? You know the singles and there is even better here, “Best Life” with Chance The Rapper and the Peter Rodriguez inspired, Bad Bunny and J Balvin  featured  “I Like It” are standouts in an album of standouts. If you take off the singles, the album is a brisk 35 minutes and is better for its leaness. And the dreaded “Finesse” is MIA. The album is less a singular vision and more pictures in an exhibition of her life, and that should be enough  – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

CNCO – CNCO – Popular boy band almost literally a Spanish language 1D -formed after winning a Simon Cowell produced music contest for Univision, Grupo Mania they aren’t but the little girls understand this bubblegum – C+

Dr. Octagon – Moosebumps: an exploration into modern day horripilation – Kool Keith, Dan The Automator, and DJ Qbert’s first new album with the original line up since 1996 is pretty ace, I mean when was the last time you heared serious scratching on a rap album? – B

E-40 – Connected and Respected – The samples are RZA like and the two Bay area legends, E-40 and B-Legit, real life cousins, are pretty good on this playful album – B-

Famous Dex – Dex Meets Dexter – The drip guy crafts a trap album via Chicago, nothing special – C+

Fenne Lily – Oh Hold –  this is a little too quiet and whiny for me… – C+

Flatbush Zombies – Vacation In Hell – They are a good squad with a tightness of attack, and what, Portugal, The Man featured on one.. but a little bland – B-

Goat Girl – Goat Girl – Goat Girl are part of the Fat White Family scene? Coulda fooled me, this is hard rock psychedelia mood music – B-

Kooley High – Never Come Down – They sound like a livelier Majid Jordan – B-

Kylie Minogue – Golden – Kylie has a country vibe… not interested – C

Hillsong Worship – THERE IS MORE (Live) – Indeed, there is more. 92  minutes more – MUST TO AVOID – D

Hinds – I Don’t Run – A little laid back for pop rock, pretty but disinteresting… still they can certainly sell a song – B-

Hop Along – Bark Your Head Off, Dog – A not untypical Saddle Creek post- Big Thief world, Frances Quinlan has a lovely voice and the songs are well arranged and serious stuff -but it could be catchier – B-

Kali Uchis – Isolation – Great voice, she is all over rap songs as a featured singer, and she is like a sort of quiet storm Sade without the jazz – B+

Lil Xan – TOTAL XANARCHY – Mumble rap and good stuff as well, this is the way drug music should sound, so fucked up it can barely stand, it woozes into other planets – B+

Mipso – Edges Run – Indie Americana with mandolin, mostly exactly as exciting as you think it is though “Take Your Records Home” is pretty good – C+

OSHUN – bittersweet vol. 1 – Excellent acoustic plus electronic quiet r&b, you’ll be impressed – B+

Rainbow Kitten Surprise – How to: Friend, Love, Freefall – A modern day Limp Bizkit, just beyond terrible. These guys are being hyped? – C

Rusko – Has Made 5 More Songs – Glitchy glootchy sound stuff from UK DJ, try “Mind The Gap”

Rick Ross – Albert Anastasia – A prelog to Teflon Don, not bad and always good to hear that distinctive voice, though a little tedious – B-

Saba – CARE FOR ME – Frank Ocean for xanax addicts, and yeah Saba can rap but it doesn’t help, “Life” isn’t terrible – C+

Sarah Shook & the Disarmers – Years – Old school country rockers, gets a bit much but it is still very good “New Ways To Fail” is worthy of Old 97s – B+

Tchami – No Redemption EP – A DJ Snakes pal, techy EDM cum house – C+

The Aces – When My Heart Felt Volcanic – All girl Indie pop rockers from Utah -they look the part but nothing much is going on ten years into their career – C+

The Wonder Years – Sister Cities – I am too old to take these clowns seriously,  Soupy “All In” Campbell is not a contender for anything but emo pretender and he has sucked on everything post-The Greatest Generation including this incredibly bad, hookless, tuneless piece of wank by an an egotistical monster – C-

Thirty Seconds To Mars – AMERICA – Of course, at least The Wonder Years aren’t these clowns – D+

Tom Misch – Geography – soulful blue eyed disco, Hall & Oates aren’t losing sleep – C+

Underoath – Erase Me – Their first album in eight years can’t sustain it for long -same ol hard rock problems as all the other, naff vocals and riffs where songs should be  – C+

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Sex & Food – Do you really need an album called Sex And Food? Really? Well, what if its first song is called “A God Named Hubris”? I am happy you came to your sense – D+

Various Artists – Johnny Cash: Forever Words – The worst album Johnny has ever had his name associated with, atrocious Americana… – D+

Various Artists – Restoration: The Songs Of Elton John And Bernie Taupin – “Sacrifice” sounds so much like “Best Of Your Love” on this country stars get roped in album – C+

Various Artists – Revamp: The Songs Of Elton John & Bernie Taupin – Oh no, that P!nk, and Logic join Elton on “Bennie ANd The Jets” is worse than the Q-Tip and Demi “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” -thank god he’s retiring – C

Various Artists – Universal Love – Wedding Songs Reimagined – I am not sure changing the gender on  classic pop songs works as well as the LGBTQ community want it to… However, Dylan singing “He’s Funny That Way” alone is worth the admission – A-

Vertical Worship – Bright Faith Bold Future – CCM, I thought it was more LGBTQ stuff concentrating on fellatio – D+

Wye Oak – The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs – The sort of band that names itself after a tree… interesting electronic sound though the title track is the only one that works for me – B-

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