๐’ฒ๐‘’๐“๐’ธ๐‘œ๐“‚๐‘’ ๐“‰๐‘œ ๐“‚๐“Ž ๐“Œ๐‘’๐’ท๐“ˆ๐’พ๐“‰๐‘’! ๐’ฒ๐‘œ๐“Œ ๐“๐‘œ๐‘œ๐“€ ๐’ถ๐“‰ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐’พ๐“ˆ ๐“‰๐‘’๐“๐“‰ ๐’ถ๐“๐“ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐“Œ๐’ถ๐“Ž ๐‘œ๐“ƒ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐“‰๐‘œ๐“… ๐‘œ๐’ป ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐“…๐’ถ๐‘”๐‘’, ๐“Œ๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“‰'๐“ˆ ๐’พ๐“‰ ๐’น๐‘œ๐’พ๐“ƒ๐‘” ๐’ฝ๐‘’๐“‡๐‘’? ๐ผ ๐’ท๐‘’๐“‰ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“‰'๐“ˆ ๐“Œ๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“‰ ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š'๐“‡๐‘’ ๐“Œ๐‘œ๐“ƒ๐’น๐‘’๐“‡๐’พ๐“ƒ๐‘”. ๐ผ๐’ป ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š'๐“‡๐‘’ ๐“ƒ๐‘œ๐“‰ ๐“Œ๐‘œ๐“ƒ๐’น๐‘’๐“‡๐’พ๐“ƒ๐‘” ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“‰ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’๐“ƒ ๐“‚๐’ถ๐“Ž๐’ท๐‘’ ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š'๐“‡๐‘’ ๐“Œ๐‘œ๐“ƒ๐’น๐‘’๐“‡๐’พ๐“ƒ๐‘” ๐“Œ๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“‰ ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š ๐’ถ๐“‡๐‘’ ๐‘”๐‘œ๐’พ๐“ƒ๐‘” ๐“‰๐‘œ ๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“‹๐‘’ ๐’ป๐‘œ๐“‡ ๐“๐“Š๐“ƒ๐’ธ๐’ฝ; ๐ผ ๐‘œ๐’ป๐“‰๐‘’๐“ƒ ๐“Œ๐‘œ๐“ƒ๐’น๐‘’๐“‡ ๐’ถ๐’ท๐‘œ๐“Š๐“‰ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“‰. ๐’œ๐“ƒ๐“Ž๐’ฝ๐‘œ๐“Œ, ๐’พ๐’ป ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š'๐“‡๐‘’ ๐“ˆ๐“‰๐’พ๐“๐“ ๐“‡๐‘’๐’ถ๐’น๐’พ๐“ƒ๐‘” ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐’พ๐“ˆ ๐“‰๐‘’๐“๐“‰ ๐“ˆ๐’ธ๐“‡๐‘œ๐“๐“, ๐“๐‘’๐“‰ ๐“‚๐‘’ ๐’ฟ๐“Š๐“ˆ๐“‰ ๐“ˆ๐’ถ๐“Ž ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“‰ ๐’พ๐“‰'๐“ˆ ๐’ถ ๐“…๐“๐‘’๐’ถ๐“ˆ๐“Š๐“‡๐‘’ ๐“‰๐‘œ ๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“‹๐‘’ ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š ๐’ธ๐‘œ๐“‚๐‘’ ๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’น ๐“‹๐’พ๐“ˆ๐’พ๐“‰ ๐“‚๐“Ž ๐“Œ๐‘’๐’ท๐“…๐’ถ๐‘”๐‘’ ๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’น ๐ผ ๐“‡๐‘’๐’ถ๐“๐“๐“Ž ๐’ฝ๐‘œ๐“…๐‘’ ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š ๐’ป๐‘œ๐“๐“๐‘œ๐“Œ ๐’ถ๐“๐‘œ๐“ƒ๐‘” ๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’น ๐“‚๐’ถ๐“Ž๐’ท๐‘’ ๐‘’๐“‹๐‘’๐“ƒ ๐’ท๐‘œ๐‘œ๐“€๐“‚๐’ถ๐“‡๐“€ ๐’พ๐“‰ ๐“ˆ๐‘œ ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š ๐’ธ๐’ถ๐“ƒ ๐“‹๐’พ๐“ˆ๐’พ๐“‰ ๐’พ๐“‰ ๐“Œ๐’พ๐“‰๐’ฝ ๐‘’๐’ถ๐“ˆ๐‘’ ๐’พ๐“ƒ๐“ˆ๐’พ๐’น๐‘’ ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š๐“‡ ๐“Œ๐‘’๐’ท ๐’ท๐“‡๐‘œ๐“Œ๐“ˆ๐‘’๐“‡ ๐‘œ๐’ป ๐’ธ๐’ฝ๐‘œ๐’พ๐’ธ๐‘’. ๐ผ ๐’ถ๐“‚ ๐’ถ๐“๐“ˆ๐‘œ ๐’ป๐’ถ๐’พ๐“‡๐“๐“Ž ๐’ถ๐’ธ๐“‰๐’พ๐“‹๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐“ƒ ๐’ถ ๐’ฝ๐‘œ๐“ˆ๐“‰ ๐‘œ๐’ป ๐“ˆ๐‘œ๐’ธ๐’พ๐’ถ๐“ ๐“‚๐‘’๐’น๐’พ๐’ถ ๐“…๐“๐’ถ๐“‰๐’ป๐‘œ๐“‡๐“‚๐“ˆ ๐“ˆ๐‘œ ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š ๐’ธ๐’ถ๐“ƒ ๐’ป๐’พ๐“ƒ๐’น ๐“‚๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐“ƒ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘œ๐“ˆ๐‘’, ๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’น ๐“๐’พ๐“€๐‘’, ๐’ป๐‘œ๐“๐“๐‘œ๐“Œ, ๐“ˆ๐“Š๐’ท๐“ˆ๐’ธ๐“‡๐’พ๐’ท๐‘’ ๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’น ๐‘”๐‘’๐“ƒ๐‘’๐“‡๐’ถ๐“๐“๐“Ž ๐’ฟ๐“Š๐“ˆ๐“‰ ๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“‹๐‘’ ๐’ถ ๐“๐‘œ๐“‰ ๐‘œ๐’ป ๐’ป๐“Š๐“ƒ ๐“‡๐‘’๐’ถ๐’น๐’พ๐“ƒ๐‘” ๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’น, ๐’พ๐’ป ๐’พ๐“‰ ๐“ˆ๐“‰๐“‡๐’พ๐“€๐‘’๐“ˆ ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š๐“‡ ๐’ป๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’ธ๐“Ž, *๐“ˆ๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“‡๐’พ๐“ƒ๐‘”* (๐“Œ๐’พ๐“ƒ๐“€-๐“Œ๐’พ๐“ƒ๐“€) ๐“‚๐“Ž ๐“…๐‘œ๐“ˆ๐“‰๐“ˆ. ๐’ช๐’ฝ, ๐’ถ๐“๐“ˆ๐‘œ, ๐ผ ๐’ป๐‘œ๐“‡๐‘”๐‘œ๐“‰ ๐“‰๐‘œ ๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰๐’พ๐‘œ๐“ƒ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“‰ ๐“‚๐“Ž ๐“ƒ๐’ถ๐“‚๐‘’'๐“ˆ ๐’ฅ๐‘’๐’ป๐’ป ๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’น ๐ผ ๐“๐’พ๐“‹๐‘’ ๐’พ๐“ƒ ๐’ซ๐’ฝ๐’พ๐“๐’ถ๐’น๐‘’๐“๐“…๐’ฝ๐’พ๐’ถ ๐“ƒ๐‘œ๐“Œ. ๐‘€๐’ถ๐“Ž๐’ท๐‘’ ๐ผ'๐“๐“ ๐“๐’พ๐“‹๐‘’ ๐’พ๐“ƒ ๐’ถ ๐’น๐’พ๐’ป๐’ป๐‘’๐“‡๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“‰ ๐“…๐’ถ๐“‡๐“‰ ๐‘œ๐’ป ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐“Œ๐‘œ๐“‡๐“๐’น ๐’พ๐“ƒ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐’ป๐“Š๐“‰๐“Š๐“‡๐‘’, ๐’ท๐“Š๐“‰ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“‰'๐“ˆ ๐“Œ๐’ฝ๐‘’๐“‡๐‘’ ๐ผ ๐“๐’พ๐“‹๐‘’ ๐’ป๐‘œ๐“‡ ๐“ƒ๐‘œ๐“Œ. ๐’ช๐’ฆ, ๐ผ ๐’ป๐‘’๐‘’๐“ ๐“๐’พ๐“€๐‘’ ๐ผ'๐“‹๐‘’ ๐“‰๐’ถ๐“€๐‘’๐“ƒ ๐“Š๐“… ๐‘’๐“ƒ๐‘œ๐“Š๐‘”๐’ฝ ๐‘œ๐’ป ๐“Ž๐‘œ๐“Š ๐“‰๐’พ๐“‚๐‘’ ๐’ฝ๐‘’๐“‡๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐“ƒ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐“‚๐’ถ๐“‡๐“†๐“Š๐‘’๐‘’๐‘’... ๐’ฎ๐‘œ ๐‘”๐‘’๐“‰ ๐“‰๐‘œ ๐’ธ๐“๐’พ๐’ธ๐“€๐’พ๐“ƒ' ๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’น ๐“ˆ๐’ธ๐“‡๐‘œ๐“๐“๐’พ๐“ƒ'! ๐’ž๐“๐’พ๐’ธ๐“€๐’พ๐“ƒ'... ๐’ฎ๐’ธ๐“‡๐‘œ๐“๐“๐’พ๐“ƒ'...๐’ถ๐’ฝ, ๐’ฟ๐“Š๐“ˆ๐“‰ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐’ท๐‘’๐“ˆ๐“‰ ๐“ˆ๐“‰๐“Š๐’ป๐’ป ๐‘œ๐“ƒ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐‘’๐’ถ๐“‡๐“‰๐’ฝ ๐’พ๐“‚๐‘œ. ๐’œ ๐‘”๐‘œ๐‘œ๐’น ๐“…๐“๐’ถ๐’ธ๐‘’ ๐“‰๐‘œ ๐“ˆ๐“‰๐’ถ๐“‡๐“‰ ๐“‚๐’พ๐‘”๐’ฝ๐“‰ ๐’ท๐‘’ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐’น๐“‡๐‘œ๐“…-๐’น๐‘œ๐“Œ๐“ƒ ๐“‚๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“Š ๐’น๐’พ๐“‡๐‘’๐’ธ๐“‰๐“๐“Ž ๐’ท๐‘’๐“๐‘œ๐“Œ, ๐“Œ๐’ฝ๐’พ๐’ธ๐’ฝ ๐’พ๐“ˆ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐“‚๐‘œ๐“ˆ๐“‰ ๐’ธ๐‘œ๐“‚๐“…๐“‡๐‘’๐’ฝ๐‘’๐“ƒ๐“ˆ๐’พ๐“‹๐‘’ ๐“๐’พ๐“ˆ๐“‰ ๐‘œ๐’ป ๐’ถ๐“๐“ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐’น๐“Š๐“‚๐’ท ๐“…๐“‡๐‘œ๐’ฟ๐‘’๐’ธ๐“‰๐“ˆ ๐ผ'๐“‹๐‘’ ๐“‚๐’ถ๐’น๐‘’ ๐’พ๐“ƒ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐’ถ๐“‡๐“‰๐“ˆ. ๐ป๐’ถ๐“‹๐‘’ ๐’ถ ๐‘”๐‘œ๐‘œ๐’น ๐’น๐’ถ๐“Ž. ๐’ข๐‘œ๐’ท ๐’ท๐“๐‘’๐“ˆ๐“ˆ. ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿคข
   K E Y:  ✄= art ✎= lit ♪= music ✪= video;  = highly recommended content

♬ MUSIC REVIEWS ♬





Here is my "consumer guide," if you will, for new music releases (est 2019)
๐Ÿ”‘ click here for the scoring key

2019

5g: Therapy 01.08.19 “Fuck Friends” ✂️

angelic milk: DIVINE BIKER LOVE 01.11.19 ๐Ÿ˜‘

Better Oblivion Community Center: s/t 01.24.19 ๐Ÿ’ฃ

Black Midi: "speedway" ✂️

Bladee/Yung Lean: "Red Velvet" ✂️

Buke & Gase: Scholars 01.18.19 Surprisingly evocative hooks can and do burst from the echoing chug (“Stumbler,” “Scholars”) **

Cherry Glazerr: Stuffed & Ready 02.01.19 Third full-length from this L.A. rock band can't really overcome the parts that want this to be a 90s Rock Revival™ which rarely connect and hinder the songs (“Daddi”) *

DaBaby: "Walker Texas Ranger" ✂️

The Dave Harrington Group: Pure Imagination, No Country 02.01.19 A generally pleasant, if not cathartic listen of jazzy instrumental chaos, with an especially effective, inventive cover of the classic title track closing out the record (“Pure Imagination”) ***

Deerhunter: Why Hasn't Everything Disappeared Already? 01.18.19 Beginning with harpsichord and ending with harpsichord plus electronic piano, Bradford Cox has certainly lightened the mood tonally for his band's 8th record. It's been a subtle, natural move in this direction all along and, thankfully, the tunes haven't lost their teeth on the trip. ๐Ÿ˜Ž A-

Diva Sweetly: In the Living Room 01.18.19 A well thought out debut from these nรผ emo or post-pop-punk upstarts that's interestingly weird at times but otherwise tedious (“Cult”) *

Future: The WIZRD 01.18.19 ๐Ÿ˜‘

Guided by Voices: Zeppelin over China 02.01.19 32 more Guided by Voices songs on par with last year's lone release Space Gun, which is to say: none too shabby additions to what amounts to an endless/pleasing void (“The Rally Boys”) ***

J. McFarlane's Reality Guest: TA DA 01.25.19 Lead instrumental "Human Tissue Act" acts as a kind of warning shot: stay away if you ain't weird, the blast sounds. And those who gladly didn't close the tab know it was meant to be. Bolstered by beautiful melodies ("What Has He Bought") and bouncing dischord ("Your Torturer") alike, this debut full length from Julia McFarlane––previously known as Hot Topic, henceforth known as J. McFarlane's Reality Guest––is a lovely, divergent puzzle to unpack. ๐Ÿ˜Ž A-

James Blake: Assume Form 01.18.19 Enough bleeps & bloops and pitched vocals hovering in the background to make even Skrillex swoon! (“Barefoot in the Park”) *

Jane Church: Calimocho Molotov! 01.18.19 Come for the Bowie-biting tonal landscape, stay for the songs that actually carve out some of their own original territory on this debut (“Bleed,” “Demolition USA”) ***

jonathan leandoer127: Nectar 01.25.19 Delightfully weird (and surprisingly thoughtful) bedroom pop from Yung Lean's alter-ego. Some artists (most?) love to put out the "don't give a fuck" vibe, but few follow it up in practice with such leftfield projects that don't feel forced at all. ๐Ÿ˜Ž B+

Julian Lynch: Rat's Spit 01.18.19 Evoking the textures of classic era Eno, the lead guitarist for Real Estate has delivered a strong solo album, his first since joining the band and sixth overall; the songs aren’t bogged down by the experimentation and vice versa (“Meridian,” “Strawberry Cookies,” “Hexagonal Field”) ***

Juliana Hatfield: Weird 01.18.19 Stock stylings from proficient indie rock lifer (“Sugar”) *

Lost Under Heaven: Love Hates What You Become 01.24.19 ๐Ÿ’ฃ

LSD: "Genius" ✂️

Malibu Ken (Tobacco/Aesop Rock): s/t 01.18.19 Was going to write “Tobacco is the perfect foil for Aesop’s old school flow” but there probably isn’t a rapper who could override the former’s signature style (“Tuesday”) *

Mike Krol: Power Chords 01.25.19 A really good collection of rockers. They never quite break out of their fuzzy punk parameters but nonetheless hit home with strong melodies throughout. ๐Ÿ˜Ž B+

Nkisi: 7 Directions 01.18.19 ๐Ÿ˜‘

Nudie Mag: Demo 2019 EP 01.18.19 A “demo” getting popular in 2019 is very funny to me, like they could have just given this a name and called it an EP; sounds fine to me (“Please Be the One”) *

Panda Bear: Buoys 02.08.19 Proficient and pleasant, with a quaint updating of that signature P.B. World of Reverb, these nine tracks have more space than ever before but come off a bit samey as a result. This version of the AnCo Man is mostly loose and aloof ("Dolphin," "Cranked," "Master") and occasionally folkish ("Buoys"). Side 2 offers a thankful diversion in the murky "Inner Monologue," but on the whole it lacks the punch of a great single to keep these Buoys afloat (sorry). ๐Ÿ˜Ž B+

The Red Mirror: "BENT" ✂️

RetcH: Richer Than The Opps 01.11.19 ๐Ÿ˜‘

Rico Nasty: "Roof" ✂️

S. Araw Trio XIII: Activated 01.25.19 Chronic experimenters be experimentin', here with jagged photocopies of what one might describe as circus music *

Sharon Von Etten: Remind Me Tommorow 01.18.19 A timeless record in the most generous and least pretentious defintion; in so much as the songs feel aesthetically apart from this (complicated/shitty?) moment in time, but grounded in the constant battle between our memories and being/feeling 'present' (Remind me tomorrow? OK). Two impeccable pop singles ("Comeback Kid" and "Seventeen") lead the way but there's little filler and no lack of variety on this great album, from the brooding trenches ("Memorial Day") to the soulful and sweet ("You Shadow"). ๐Ÿ˜Ž A

Sneaks: Highway Hypnosis 01.25.19 Highway hypnosis, also known as white line fever, is a mental state in which a person can drive a truck or other automobile great distances, responding to external events in the expected, safe and correct manner with no recollection of having consciously done so, or––in this case––a solid genre-defying record that marks Eva Moolchan's loosest to date. ๐Ÿ˜Ž B+

Steve Gunn: The Unseen in Between 01.18.19 No-frills folk best served with, well, some frills, a flourish, however subtle, to cut away wouldbe stagnancy ("Luciano") *

Steven Mason: About the Light 01.18.19 Echoes of the Beta Band abound on this the 4th album from their frontman; stylized over-production can both weigh songs down ("About the Light") and give them life ("America is Your Boyfriend," "Stars Around My Heart"). The crimes of the former, however, are easy to forgive on the whole, as the quality of hooks and general pop sensibility are impossible to ignore. ๐Ÿ˜Ž B+

Tim Presley: I Have to Feed Larry's Hawk 01.25.19 Subtle and personal nuance within what would otherwise just be tremendous pastiche songwriting lifts this record from the White Fence painter far above the good to great. Wants and needs and the unseen in between can be a murky jumble of bits to unmuddle, let alone prioritize, in this life of immediate gratification, but thankfully we have artists like Tim to help guide us. ๐Ÿ˜Ž A

Toro y Moi: Outer Peace 01.18.19 One-time genre manipulator hones in on funky smooth beats to respectable if not largely forgettable results ("Ordinary Pleasure," "Freelance") *

The Twilight Sad: It Won/T Be Like This All The Time 01.18.19 ๐Ÿ˜‘

Vatican Shadow: Opium Crop Airstrikes EP 01.09.18 What is repetition if not unchanging? Music that makes you question the why and what-for is always inherently good. Most days are like the days passed, and the ever prolific Dominick Fernow wants us to ask why that is, with this his 30-somethingth release as Vatican Shadow alone. ๐Ÿ˜Ž B+

Vertical Scratchers: "Song of Earth" ✂️


ZYJK2 / SDFSD: ZZZZZZZ / YYYYYYY 01.02.19 Kind of really enjoyed this horrifying weirdo album. What else can I say? I'll say this: the product of a strange 'music label' (7FORM) that has 'released' over 60 'music releases' in the first 18 days of 2019 alone, you could probably just click one of these things and they'd also get highlighted as a B+ release on this consumer guide as well. And what's wrong with that… everyNot a thing, perhaps. ๐Ÿ˜Ž B+

RELEASES REVIEWED THUS FAR: 39


๐Ÿ”‘ SCORING KEY

There are three essential tiers (all graded records––tier 1––designated via ๐Ÿ˜Ž):

An A+ is a record of sustained beauty, power, insight, groove, and/or yahoofizz that has invited and repaid repeated listenings in the daily life of someone with 5,000 other [insert content here] to get to.

An A is a record that rarely flags for more than 2-3 tracks. Not every listener will feel what it's trying to do, but anyone with a Zune will agree that it's doing it.

An A- is the kind of boilerplate good record that is the great luxury of our horrifyingly misguided times. Anyone open to its aesthetic will enjoy more than half its tracks.

A B+ is remarkable one way or another, yet also flirts with the humdrum or the half-assed.


A *** Honorable Mention3 is an enjoyable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well treasure.

A ** Honorable Mention2 is a likable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well enjoy.

A * Honorable Mention1 is a worthy effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well like.


A ๐Ÿ˜‘ may impress once or twice with consistent craft or an arresting track or two. Then it won't. Then it… won't.

A ✂️ is a good song on an album (and/or initial single, or: forever a standalone; the latter is designated via "♪" notation until further notice) wherein that album is either a ๐Ÿ˜‘ or a ๐Ÿ’ฃand never higher.

A ๐Ÿ’ฃ is a bad record whose details rarely merit further thought. At the upper level it may merely be overrated, disappointing, or dull. Down below it may be contemptible.

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