The Early Bird: Top New Releases 5-4-18 – 5-10-18
Rae Sremmurd were too goofy at the beginning, and after “Black Beatles” a bit uneven, but the 27 track third album, SR3MM, is effortless in its consistency,. So much so that except for the early in the sets exemplary The Weeknd featured “Bedtime Stories,” is a dealers choice. It is less that the album is too long because the cousins can’t maintain their concentration, no, no, no, the knocking on two hours triple is too long because it is too long. Between Rae Sremmurd and Post Malone, down beat low tide rap is coming of age (Grade: B). The other big album of the week is The Temptations first new album in years, All The Time: “Capitalizing on their stature as Billboard magazine’s “No. 1 R&B Artist of All Time” in 2017, the Temptations are back with their strongest group lineup in 20 years, led by founding member Otis Williams. All The Time is their first new album in 12 years, which consists of 10 tracks, seven of which are organic, high-caliber covers of tracks by Sam Smith, Bruno Mars, John Mayer, Maxwell, Ed Sheeran, Michael Jackson & The Weeknd.” The best is the lead off, Smith’s “Stay With Me”(Grade: B+).
You want a shock? “Shadow Of Your Love” is GNRs first new single with Slash on Board in decades, and while I found them a bore last time I saw em, they never have been bad on record, even the Axl Rose lead version were great on record. Axl sounds as good as ever and this hard rocker is complete triumph (Grade: A-). Jessie Reyez has another part acoustic, soul insta-classic with “Body Count,” it’s like a modern solo girl soul outing, and it sounds excellent (Grade: A). Sia gets a starring role on “Genius” but this feels like Diplo’s work, though really Labrinth and Diplo are co-equals which is why this new dance supergroup is such a collective, all synth strings, harmonies and sweet beats (Grade: B+). Christina Aguilera’s return from the edge of The Voice is more or less a nondescript effort, maybe Kanye West wasn’t a great idea for a producer, his ears are too out their and the only real hook hear is the claptrak, also, cmon Christina’s gift is her voice, couldn’t it have been put to better use? (Grade: B-). We’ve had Anne-Marie last week, here is Jessie Glynne, also a Rudimental singer, with even a slightly better voice, but “I’ll Be There” is a weaker song, the country EDM track, though it may break pop (it will definitely break in the UK) works as a sort of tribute to Avicii because it is the sort of sound he all but invented (Grade: C+). Kanye is a busy guy, his rap on Travis Scott’s “Watch” is better than on either of his two singles, Lil Uzi kinda disappears (Grade: B+).
Albums: Frank Turner and Gaz Coombes are representing Brit rock/pop none too well. Frank remains a poor man’s Billy Bragg and with a folk-pop splash of paint on Be More Kind (Grade> C+) and Gaz Coombes rocks pretty hard with an electronic dance feel with World’s Strongest Man, and songs like “Walk The Walk” seem to veer very close to modern day Noel Gallagher wall of sound stuff, but the songs don’t stick. At its worse (“Slow Motion Life”) it is a complete bore (Grade: C+). Finally, Leon Bridges third album, Good Thing, is first rate neo-soul with better than average songs and one true masterpiece in “Forgive You” (Grade: B)
Accelerate – Christina Aguilera – B-
World’s Strongest Man – Gaz Coombes – C+
Shadow Of Love – Guns N Roses – A-
I’ll Be There – Jessie Glynne – C+
Body Count – Jessie Reyez – A
Good Thing – Leon Bridges – B+
Genius – LSD – B+
SR3MM – Rae Sremmurd – B+
All The Time – The Temptations – B+
Watch – Travis Scott, Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert -B+