The Early Bird: Top New Releases Reviewed 2-23-18 – 3-1-18
A quiet week for new albums is more than made up for by the singles, and two huge surprises. I never much cared for Parquet Courts because, too be honest, who needs Prince meets Fred Durst (their comparison, not mine), but it sure works on on the single “Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience,” a garage rocker with a nice back beat produced by, ta-dah, Danger Mouse. Grade: A-. I have yet to enjoy a single thing any Hillsong or offshoot has done, including Hillsong Young & Free, all that CCM stuff is overblown and manipulative. However, “PEACE” is a gorgeous dreamscape of a throb single. I know. Grade: B+.
Staying with singles, both of Janelle Monáe’s new singles, “Django Jane” and the funky Prince like “Make Me Feel” are electronic soul and first rate. Grade: B and B+. In a week of weirdness, both the new Logic “44 More” and the new Post Malone “Psycho” are pretty good. Logic is rapid fire, Post Malone sounds like modern pop prettiness, both Grade: B+. Ty Dolla $ign is specifically great in pure melodic mode on the Post Malone.
On to the albums, two live ones from the vaults. The Doors’ Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 (Grade: B) and Jerry Garcia Band’s GarciaLive Volume Ten: May 20th, 1990 Hilo Civic Auditorium (Grade: C-) The former is late in Jimmy’s young live life, and it is hit filled without being particularly surprising. Put it this way, with a great album to push the Doors push it but not much more. Jerry Garcia can’t sing soul for love nor money and therefore the two soul covers are as shitty as everything else here.
The rest of the action is in indie land, Screaming Females’ All At Once is modern day mature punk and shredding band with all its powers intact but treading water. Grade: B. Psychedelic UK indie band The Lovely Eggs are like a good trip with the giggles on This Is Eggland, surely the album title of the year. Grade: B. Singer Songwriter Caroline Rose is new to me, but on Loner she does something that has stumped The Wombats, she has made funny songs about deadly things, “Bikini” is the single of the week. Grade: B+
Finally, an odd Alice Cooper EP featuring a bluesy new song, The Sound Of A , and three live tracks from a Columbus, Ohio gig. Grade: B. The Nina Simone collection The Colpix Single takes her from her first single in 1959 to 1963, ending just beforeher breakthrough cover of “I Love You, Porgy””. Remastered in Mono. Grade: A.
The Sound Of A – Alice Cooper – B
Loner – Caroline Rose – B+
PEACE – Hillsong Young & Free – B+
Django Jane – Janelle Monáe – B+
Make Me Feel – Janelle Monáe – A-
GarciaLive Volume Ten: May 20th, 1990 Hilo Civic Auditorium – Jerry Garcia Band – C-
44 More – Logic – B+
The Colpix Single – Nina Simone – A
Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience – Parquet Courts – A-
Psycho – Post Malone – B+
All At Once – Screaming Females – B
Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 – The Doors – B
This Is Eggland – The Lovely Eggs – B