The Early Bird: Top New Releases Reviewed 3-16-18-3-22-18

Written by | March 16, 2018 9:06 | No Comments

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If the kids are united? XXXtentacion’s ? sounds like slurping cough medicine till you OD and the songs are hugely depressing bummers like “Pain = BESTFRIEND” but if this is what emo-rap is becoming (more emo than rapping, zero guitars), than where does this Broward County bad boy who has spent half his life in stir fit into it? If you can take away the surrounding hype, it is a fairly steady piece of professional modern pop for the youngers (Grade: B)… just never see him live, he’s been known to attack the audience. On the other hand, Pearl Jam are great live but the only great album they’ve ever made is Vitalogy. the new single, “Can’t Deny Me,” about economic disparity, is dreadful: protest music needs to be much better than this (Grade: D+)

A lot of new singles. Chris Stapleton’s “I Want Love”  adds George Harrison style lead guitar licks on yet another boring piece of crap (Grade: C-). The Chainsmokers “Everybody Hates Me” is a winner, Alex Pal’s oblique apology for being an adulterous asshole (Grade: B). At 84 years old, Willie isn’t getting any better as a songwriter, but he has a lean consistency and his country is the real deal, “Me And You” is a fine slice of country (Grade: B). Q-Tip and Demi Lovato, together at last… covering Elton John and Kiki Dee’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” and not very well (Grade: C-). Two remixes: Portugal And The Man’s “Live In The Moment” gets polka’d by Weird Al (Grade: C+) and Troy Sivan (who is opening for Lorde so get there early) is remixed (full) Throttle on the lively in the chorus “My My My” (Grade: B).

Albums. Mount Erie is still in mourning though time is passing on Now Only: all art is drained out of this pale, sad, sing songy sorrowfulness with some Nikolai Astrup paintings thrown in. This is where belief in an afterlife would come in very handy (Grade: B+). Saweetie is a good rapper but also she’s a tough one on High Maintenance, and “Icy Girl” should be huge(should, but wasn’t as a single), this is old school rap and suck me (Grade: B+). Cardi B has some competition from Detroit’s former exotic dancer Kash Doll on her mixtape Brat Mail… hang around for the awesome “Dividends” (Grade: B+). The Decemberists s synth based I’ll Be Your Girl is better than predicted (Grade: B) and The Fratellis have released the best album of their career on the rock pop addiction In Your Own Sweet Time (Grade: B+). Finally, Yo La Tengo’s latest There’s A Riot Going On is over an hour of the sort of rock ballad they perfected on “Autumn Sweater” and while this isn’t that, it isn’t bad.

Chris Stapleton – I Want Love – C-

Kash Doll – Brat Mail  – B+

Mount Eerie – Now Only – B+

Pearl Jam – Can’t Deny Me – D+

Portugal The Man – Live In The Moment (Weird Al Yankovic remix)

Q Tip and Demi Lovato – Don’t Go Breaking My Heart –  C-

Saweetie – High Maintenance – B+

The Chainsmokers – Everybody Hates Me – B

The Decemberists – I’ll Be Your Girl – B

The Fratellis – In Your Own sweet time – B+

Troy Sivan – My My My (Throttle remix)

Willie Nelson – Me And You – Grade: B

XXXtentacion – ? – B

Yo La Tengo – There’s A Riot Going On

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