New Music 3/29/19

(re-post from Facebook, edited)

Completed New Music Week 13 through Tidal.

Each Friday release day, I’m going to download five albums with the only criteria being name recognition or the best pieces of cover art and review them. These are the releases of 3/29.

Song of the Week: Billie Eilish “Bad Guy”
  • Album: Birdman & Juvenile – Just Another Gangsta
  • Previous knowledge: Hits from both artists
  • Chosen: Name recognition
  • Review: I’ll say it again – in 2019, when the majority of new rappers are trap artists that mumble through everything, it makes these old school(ish) rappers sound way better than they likely are.   And here we’re talking about Juvenile – I mean, go back and listen to “Ha” again and understand that he’s a mumble mouth as well but on this disc both him and Birdman are downright articulate in comparison to most of today’s artists.  This is very much a Cash Money record at heart but Birdman really does a great job at giving himself and Juvenile some fresh beats and the rhymes are on point.  This is a remarkably fresh rap album from two artists that you might not expect it from in 2019.
  • Rating: 9/10
Birdman & Juvenile, “From Tha Block”
  • Album: Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
  • Previous knowledge: Shout-outs at the Grammy awards this year
  • Chosen: Name recognition
  • Review: The only reason I knew this 17-year-old’s name is because she was near the front row at the Grammys and artists kept giving her shout-outs, so I needed to see why these established artists loved her so much.  And I get it now – she’s a bit different for 2019 – a mix of hip-hop and electropop, with a bit of a dark side.  This record is somewhere between say…Massive Attack and Bjork but even darker.   Very solid and different than pretty much anything on the radio right now, even though it also fits right in.
  • Rating: 9/10
Billie Eilish, “You Should See Me in a Crown”
  • Album: L.A. Guns – The Devil You Know
  • Previous knowledge – All their music
  • Chosen: Name recognition
  • Review: Again, if I see hair metal, I’m going to listen to hair metal and especially from a classic like L.A. Guns.  And especially the Tracii Guns version as that’s really the only one that matters in the end.   There’s now two versions – one led by Guns and classic vocalist Phil Lewis and then one led by drummer Steve Riley.   Tracii is really the star here as L.A. Guns is still pretty damn good when he’s writing the riffs.   While L.A. Guns aren’t going to get played on the radio anytime soon, this album is really about as good as you’re going to get from a hair/glam metal band that’s been around for more than 30 years.  Most of the songs on here are actually very good and this doesn’t sound like a lot of this style does now, essentially a parody of the original.  This is truly one of the better albums in the L.A. Guns catalog.
  • Rating: 9/10
L.A. Guns, “Going High”
  • Album: Hands Off Gretel – I Want the World
  • Previous knowledge: None
  • Chosen: Bratty punk girl on the cover
  • Review: It seemed pretty obvious by the cover this was going to be some bratty pop-punk and while I wasn’t expecting much at all, the album intrigued me.   It even intrigued me more when I read their Wiki page which compared them to Nirvana and Marilyn Manson as that simply had to be bullshit.   But after listening, I get it.  There’s nothing terribly unique about this but they mix punk, alt-rock and grunge together with riffs that actually do sound a bit like Nevermind-era Nirvana and American Family-era Marilyn Manson.   So the comparison is pretty accurate.   I don’t really know that we need this type of record in 2019 but it’s still a decent enough record.
  • Rating: 7.5/10
Hands off Gretel, “Kiss Me Girl”
  • Album: Wet Dreams – Wet Dreams
  • Previous knowledge: None
  • Chosen: A chiseled man in a bikini!  Oh, wait – that’s really reason not to choose this, but so be it.
  • Review: Wet Dreams is a loud, in-your-face punk rock/garage rock band from Norway that now and then even mixes some stoner rock/metal into the mix and turns up the fuzz all over.  This is a well crafted, punky fuzzed out headbanger overall and only like 25 minutes, so you know you have 25 minutes free for this guy.
  • Rating: 8.5/10
Wet Dreams, “Bad Boy”

Albums ranked 10/10 in 2019 (ranking in order of release)

  1. Terror Jr. – Unfortunately, Terror Jr.
  2. Emily King – Scenery
  3. Good Fuck – Good Fuck
  4. The Claypool Lennon Delirium – South of Reality
  5. UB40, For the Many

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