The Early Bird: The Top New Releases Reviewed 10-13-17 – 10-19-17
Another day, another drama drama, or do I mean another sin? The world at large believe Beck to be pulling our tails with Colors, he is joined by human hit machine Greg Kurstin fresh from his work with Liam Gallagher, not to mention Adele, on this post-pop pop hijinx…. it is very good as far as I can hear. The tunes are tuney, the hooks are hooky, and I wasn’t much of a fan of Morning Phase myself, so I much prefer this wide eyed and less than innocent approach to modern pop; with all the new toys at Beck’s disposal, he uses them all used to make you smile (Grade: B+). Similar, post-art rock art rocker St. Vincent who may identify Talking Heads but owes a lot to Beck herself, is too sincere to be considered a hoax. If you loved “New York,” I sure did, you should have nothing but problems with “Pills”… the straighter she plays it, the better she sounds, but there is a lot of ace material as well for this great female Bowie. Grade: B+. Now for pure pop for now people, P! I will never work with Dr. Luke nk, remember when she was the Joan Jett for a new generation of pop picker? She dovetailed into a popstar with ease, and this will be a huge hit for her, she’s already got a coupla hits off it. Plus, “Barbies” proves just how quickly she can change speeds. It can get a little overblown but P!nk maintains one gift her peers don’t have, she has a rocker’s voice. Grade: B+
On to rap. I saw Gucci Mane and Wu Tang Clan on stage this summer. Wu Tang were brilliant, Gucci was so rotten I was furious for weeks. On record, Gucci is simply the best and this is his best work since he was released from prison last year. Even the best of Baby Trap is playing catch up. When an album is filled with guests you expect they are doing a favor appearing on the album, with Guc, he is doing them a favor, even Migos (on a terrorisingly great song) even The Weeknd, which you’ve already listened to and loved. How can he rap so great, such a strong, wordy chill slurve on record, and just scream on the top of his voice on stage? Grade: A- . Except for Enter, and Forever, I was never crazy about this squad. And except for Ol’ Dirty Bastard, of course (the Keith Moon of rap) I’m still not, Method Man was great on stage and has two fine tracks, Ghostface Killah not so much – Grade: C+.
Finally, Robert Plant, along with Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan, has enjoyed a great third act and a great 21st Century. Carry Fire‘s rock plus Americana plus, and that voice that voice that voice is filled with great songs. Plant takes his band, an aptly named the Sensational Shape Shifters, on a ride through world music and rocks em socks em but not violently. Check out the riff throb of “New World…” which both is and isn’t what you expect. Grade: A-.
The other sin comment at the top is a reference to a new P!nk song .
My complete roundup of new releases will be finished in a coupla days.