The Early Bird: Top New Releases Reviewed 1-19-18 – 1-26-18
Fetty Wap has been on my naughty list since I caught him live, sitting on a crown because he broke his leg in a biking accident, and smirking while rapping along to backing tapes when the mood took him. That was then, his new mixtape For My Fans is autotuned trap rap but really gorgeous, really steadily and relatively unindulgent, if his next album is half as good assume Wap will regain the crown he fell asleep on. Grade A-.
On to singles and some major new releases. The Chainsmokers has been living off Memories… Do Not Open for a year, but haven’t hit since “Honest,” so the stakes are sky high for “Sick Boy” and it is a catchy and dramatic good one that should do the trick (Grade: B+), Keith Urban spins a catchy description of new love on “Parallel Lines,” (Grade: B), “Supplies,” the second single off Justin Timberlake upcoming album, adds an Americana vibe to his dance pop (Grade:B), whatever you wanna say about the pop folkie George “Budapest” Ezra, he can write a very appealing pop tune, and does so on “Paradise” (Grade: B). UK’s EDM soul popsters Rudimental are so good they even make Macklemore bearable on “These Days,” helped a great deal by the great Jess Glynne (Grade: B). Dierks Bentley, who gave Brad Paisley a serious run for his money when he opened at MSG like ten years ago, has another killer country rocker with “Woman, Amen” (Grade” A-). The synth powered “Severed” by the Decemberists has a first rate guitar lick and a not bad synth hook, but the jump to drama mid-way through the first verse ain’t working. Grade: C+)
Back to the albums, and a formal apology to Fall Out Boy who I had down as heading for disaster after not much liking the first two singles off Mania, but it is a widescreen playing to every aspect of the emo-EDM, pop bad boys base here. Grade: B+. On the other hand, “Heart Attack” was so great I assumed Tune-Yards’s I can feel you creep into my private life was a masterpiece, and it is a good, soulful, continuance of her loop pedal and everything else electronic pop… coulda done with a coupla other first tier songs. Grade: B. Great to hear T.I. and Lloyd Bands on Dave East’s new mixtape P2, and the rhyming all over is first rate, I remain a little skeptical. Where are the songs? I mean, besides “Grateful” with Marsha AMbrosius (Grade: B-).
P2 – Dave East – B-
Woman, Amen – Dierk Bentley – A-
Fall Out Boy – Mania – B+
For My Fans – Fetty Wap – A-
Paradise – George Ezra – B
Supplies – Justin Timberlake – B
Parallel Lines – Keith Urban – B
These Days – Rudimental – B
Severed – The Decemberists – C+
Sick Boy – The Chainsmokers – B+
I can feel you creep into my private life – Tune Yards – B