Be Here Now: New ALbums Reviewed 7-13-18 – 7-19-18

Written by | July 19, 2018 11:30 am | No Comments


Love Monster – Amy Shark –  From Australia, Singer Songwriter confessional, Amy keeps it clean with simple arrangements that highlight her vulnerable lyrics about romantic misadventures – B-

Ares – Arcangel- If the last couple of modern reggaeton and Latin Trap albums have made the entire scene feel overextended, this one won’t  as Arcangel goes from reggaeton  to salsa and back. You may remember him as half of Arcángel & De la Ghetto, but that was ten years ago and Ares, his sixth release (he was a dozen mixtapes as well) though too long at over an hour,  is state of the art pop Latin style  – B+

Birds in Row – We Already Lost The World – Frenchcore if you want, this is high octane melodic hardcore, they sing in English to reach a larger audience and with songs as rip your head off as “Remember Us Better Than We Are,” they and you should do – B+

The Switch – Body/Head – Metal machine stupid – C-

While We’re Young – EP – BONNIE X CLYDE – DJ plus singer tap into prime Avicii mode with believable results – B-

Road To Happiness – Cam – Thoughtful songs about, for our sins, the road of life… no, really. The country singer was pretty good opening for Imagine Dragons earlier this summer, but this is all snooze – C+

All That Reckoning – Cowboy Junkies – It’s not true that their 1988 cover of “Sweet Jane” is all Cowboy Junkies have, there is also “Blue Moon Revisited (Song For Elvis)” . But the rest, this latest included, is too quiet and ephemeral, translucent even – C+

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Cast Of “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” – I have $100 on Meryl Streep being dead before the movie starts, as dead as these ABBA covers even – MUST TO AVOID – C-

Mansion Musick – Chief Keef – His 6th project and 65th song of the year who has the time?  “Belieber” ain’t bad, a little too autotuned – B-

Laps Around The Sun – Chris Lane – New art school country, with beats and an r&b flavor – C+

HAWAII – Collections Of Colonies Of Bees – Art rockers add lyrics for clarity but still sound like the Underture to Tommy – C+

mau5ville: Level 1 – deadmau5 – Includes tracks  with Pendulum’s Rob Swire and  mau5trap family members Rizen, ATTLAS and Latroit.” Also, heralds in the death of EDM – C

Ordinary Corrupt Human Love – Deafheaven – Metal goes shoegaze, which means that since they aren’t My Bloody Valentine they are essentially too quiet, or useless, except get past the metal question and they are a powerful little band with  songs about worth and worthlessness – B

Sports – Viagra boys – Visceral garage rock via Sweden, “Beijing Taxi” ain’t bad – C+

Lamp Lit Prose – Dirty Projectors – Sure they had a golden age, very early when they were doing songs like “Stillness Is The Move”. This is a well tempered herky jerky off center art rocker and not bad but in the end it sounds just like everything else they do. On the plus side, Dave  is apparently over his break-up with Amber Coffman  – B-

LAUNCH – DREAMERS – Not unpleasant indie rockers with plenty of guitar – B-

SYRE: THE ELECTRIC ALBUM – Jaden Smith – The great thing about being Will Smith’s kid is you don’t have to worry about selling the product and can follow your art muse on RPss like this ambient and dramatic folk stuff – C+

Single Rider – Jenn Champion – “Sometimes you are sad and you just wanna dance about it” claims Jenn. So she is like a Robyn without the power of her convictions – B-

Living With A Fire (Live) EP – Jesus Culture – Christian outreach ministry goes classic rockish songs of faith and boredom – C

portra – joan – As mainstream as indie pop gets, this has a soulful edginess along with mainstream production – B-

Wide Awake – Rayland Baxter – Upbeat singer songwriter songs with an eye on the times and an ear for the melody – B-

Composure – Real Friends – Punk poppers with a handful of first rate hooks and a powerful swing at the fences – B

Everyday Life, Everyday People – Slightly Stoopid –  Nominally reggae, Slightly Stoopid are capable of moody instrumentals as well. It is awful boring even at its.. Featured guests include Ali Campbell and  Yellowman and (oooh, what a giveaway) G Love And Special Sauce – C

C-Sides – The Lumineers – A collection of songs that have yet to make an album but were previously released through alternative channel, but they aren’t particularly good – C

Night & Day (Day Edition) – The Vamps – UK boys are One Direction with a dash of 5 Seconds Of Summer – C+

Lighting Matches  – Tom Grennan – UK singer songwriter performs high octane pseudo-folk with a voice so irritating I can’t listen to him without wincing – C

Still Run – Wet – The title track is the best song of the week and the alt popsters are soulful and sweet with Kelly Zutrau’s lovely and plain but feelingful vocals and a mood that is soft without being weak and a core of drums that keep you awake. Romance gone wrong is always the main currency of pop music and here is a consistent woe that underplays its hand and draws you in – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – B+


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