The Early Bird: Top Releases Reviewed 6-1-18 – 6-7-18

Written by | June 1, 2018 11:22 am | No Comments

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A new Kanye West album is always a major event, and Ye, which works as a corollary to all the controversy surrounding him, is no exception… with caveats. At seven tracks in length, and dealing with the gospel according to Yeezus, is a little on the slight side if you’re not buying into his politics as gossip. I love it anyway, but I love West always. But the songs as song are not what we want from him: an exploration of West without the production hey ho of Pedro or, God knows, Dark Fantasy. Still, Ye is an important work that at least musically will pay off heavy listening, “All Mine” already has. Grade: B+

Still on a quiet week for albums, Natalie Prass’s sophomore effort, The Future And The Pass, is an r&b hybrid retro sound that reaches for the past and finds it, then there’s best of all, “Far From You” -a tribute to Karen Carpenter that is quite simply stunning (Grade: B+), Father John Misty’s God’s Favorite Customer is another piece of laceration that might work if you actually liked the guy (Grade: C+). Roger Daltrey is deaf but can still sing, and As Long As I Have You is a Who alike with Pete Townshend in over half the songs… but it isn’t his 2014 collaboration with Wilko Johnson, kudos to the Gospel track (Grade: B). Lump is Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay of  Tuung and Throws, who on their eponymous debut, “Don’t wear your smiley face T-shirt tonight, dress like a cow,” Laura suggests and man is this an iffy piece of experimental art folk saved by her vocals though not enough (Grade: C+).

On to the new singles. Was it me who dissed A$AP Ferg? Well, the album still hasn’t clicked, but “Harlem Anthem” sounds like prime 90s rap plus (Grade: B). Buddy Guy’s second goodie off his upcoming album features James Bay and to great effect on “Blue No More”  (Grade: B+). As always, Drake, still recovering from Pusha T’s winning of the rap wars, “I’m Upset” is a scaled down self portrait, and should be a hit though I can’t hear it yet (Grade: B). The best single of the week comes from glam rockers The 1975 with every reason to want to kill it all, slaughter us with the excellent “Give Yourself A Try”: all the drugs on the world can’t by use this glammy, fuzzed pre-punk 1970s inspired masterwork, a masterclass in how to keep rock relevant (Grade: A). Finally (though there are many songs left to review this week), the always admirable The Internet gives us a beat grateful lo fi soul song with “Come Over” (Grade: B+)

A$AP Ferg – Harlem Anthem – B

Buddy Guy – Blue No More – B+

I’m Upset – Drake  – B

God’s Favorite Customer – Father John Misty – C+

Lump – Lump – C+

Come Over – The Internet – B+

The Future And Pass – Natalie Prass – B+

As Long As I Have You – Roger Daltrey – B

Ye – Kanye West – B+

 

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