@@@ Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela: Rejoice (World Circuit, 2020) Songs reconstructed after a session between Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela in 2010. I read that shit somewhere, GooglePimp it if you like it. Here in the Guardian. It’s a sparse mix with Tony Allen’s drumming right up front which is great for me. The sound on these mixes is just stellar — clear, funky and it sounds like you’re in the room with Tony Allen. Audio awesomeness. I love great drummers and Tony Allen is one of the best ever in my opinion. If you don’t appreciate great drummers this record might not be as compelling for your ears but these two play well together (I’m not a big trumpet guy), they put some nice sounds around it, it’s a best of year record for me.
@@@ Morrissey: I’m Not a Dog on a Chain (BMG, 2020) I really respect Morrissey’s militant vegetarianism but his recent turn towards the fascist folks politically is a bit unnerving. This has a bit of classic of Morrissey’s vintage bitchy melodic lilt but the drum beat here is odd (not bad, but oddly pop thrashy). Over the course of the 4 minute tune he does build to quite a self-important crescendo as the lyrics are all about his real life turmoil with the press and the unfairness of it all. Musically, it holds together but just barely.
@@@ Adam Lambert: Velvet (Empire, 2020) Also off this week’s All Music notable release email. He’s channeling a Michael Jackson thing here — very sweet and melodic but not quite the chops of MJ. The same guitar Jackson guitar plink, there are a lot of sonic similarities. He wants to rock something in his own special way though he is biting Rock this Way pretty hard. I guess the kids won’t call him out as they don’t remember.
@@@ Kelsea Ballerini: homecoming queen? (Black River, 2020) All Music! Starts out reasonable with acoustic guitar but be careful the cheese bomb is gonna come, I can feel it. Wait for the chorus — even the homecoming queen cries. God that hits hard, I got go get a tissue. I’m busted up between the Kung Flu and that hook. The tune goes down in the chorus, you know that emotional uppercut to the nutsack so I give it points for doing that, but it’s plastic.
@@@ Lamb of God: Memento Mori (Epic/Sony, 2020) A pre-release track from an upcoming release. I’ve always thought of these guys as Metallica wannabes and this track doesn’t discourage that idea. Not a clone but in the same neighborhood. After an overwrought intro they move into a double kick head crusher and full guitar hammer pounding. I like the singer more than the redneck cowboy that fronts Metallica but otherwise it’s pretty standard fare. It goes out better than it came in, otherwise I feel like it didn’t move the needle on my perception of this band.
YTD recordings listened to: 212
Good music, not list worthy: 118
Not good music: 93
Honorable Mentions: 0
Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen