The Early Bird: Top New Release 4-20-18 – 4-26-18

Written by | April 20, 2018 9:15 am | No Comments


This week all the real action is on the singles so let’s just take a quick look at two big albums and move on. First,  KOD (Kids on Drugs or King Of Addiction) is the least poppy work J Cole has ever done, this is a hard rap album about the wages of sin and the wages of addiction. I prefer Cole poppier, his second and third albums for instance, but # 5 is very. Grade: B. The other new album is A Perfect Circle’s Eat The Elephant. Sure, APC are as intensely annoying as a metal supergroup has any right to be, and sure throwing people out of their concerts for using their cell phones is preperous egocentrism, however this is a little bit better than I expected, it is 90s metal-rock classic song doom and gloom which is maybe why “The Doomed” is the best song here (Grade: C+).

J Balvin is still knocking on the crossover door, this time on Liam Payne’s excellent crossover dance song, “Familiar” (Grade: B+) and with Bieber’s buddy Poo Bear on the more reggaeton influenced “Perdido” (Grade: B). More Latin American pop, Fetty Wap joins De La Ghetto on the pop trap “F.L.Y” (Grade: B-). One more Latin Pop: the best singer in modern Latin Trap, Becky G,  releases her second banger in a row “Sin Pijama (Grade: B+)

Classic rockers had  a busy week. Hall and Oates return to their Philly roots with the excellent “”Philly Forget Me Not,” featuring Train who are opening for them on their tour (Grade: B+), “There’s A Fortune In Those Hills,” an outtake from Pete Townshend’s Who Came First is as good as nearly anything on the album (except for “Sheraton Gibson” of course) (Grade: A). Prince has his original, never released 1984 version of “Nothing Compares To You (Grade: A), Brian Eno goes ambient on “Kazazkhan” (Grade: C+), and every song I’ve heard off the upcoming album, including “Ready To Road,” an easy going, swinging to the rafters, country dance track (Grade: B+).

Finally, country also had a busy day. A new Lake Street Dive is at the very least a matter of interest and “I Can Change” is a beautiful and sad ballad (Grade: B).  Sugarland is joined by Taylor Swift, getting the country jones she doesn’t on her own material, on the very good break up song “Babe” (written by Swift and Train’s Patrick Monahan as far away from Hall & Oates as you can imagine) (Grade: B+). Neko Case might call “Bad Luck” Americana gone pop but it sounds like girl group ear candy country to my ear (Grade: B). we haven’t heard from Parker Millsap in a long while but how about a better return than the boring “Other Arrangements” saved a little by an ace guitar (Grade: C+)


Eat The Elephant – A Perfect Circle – C+

Kazazkhan – Brian Eno – C+

Sin Pijama – Becky G, Natti Natasha – B-

“F.L.Y” – De La Ghetto, Fetty Wap – B-

Perdido – J Balvin

KOD – J Cole – B

I Can Change – Lake Street Dive – B

Familiar – Liam Payne, J. Balvin – B

Bad Luck – Neko Case – B

Other Arrangements – Parker Millap – C+

Perdido –  Poo Bear, J Balvin – B

There’s A Fortune In Those Hills – Pete Townshend – A

Nothing Compares To You  – Prince –  A

Ready To Roar – Willie Nelson – B+



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