@@@ The Coral: Faceless Angel (Run On Records, 2021) The first two listens today are off last week’s All Music notable release email. I’ve been a longtime fan of the Coral for over a decade. This track released at the end of January sports typical Coral melancholy but is packaged with a firmer rock guitar with a steady beat and a rhythmic guitar part. Big ups to the organ solo and the vocalist who has a lot of experience getting his freak on. It’s a bit more straightforward than classic Coral stuff but still plenty of energy going on here. Out of loyalty to this band I will circle back and check out more of their latest album, the Coral Island. I did check a little and it doesn’t have the weirdness I remember of their earlier stuff.
@@@ Dawn Richard: Nostalgia (Merge, 2021) I’ve heard Richard’s music before and have felt she was on the verge of making something hot and unique. She’s been rocking the space age black diva for a bit and here she’s tossing off a pretty straightforward dancefloor banger with gospel style vocal flourishes, tasteful techno beats and high energy. I’ve found previous efforts a bit messy but this arrangement is spot on for me — dynamism but tightly focused. I’m not the biggest fan of Merge releases but they did a smart thing putting this record out as this might be the dancefloor bangin’ record that really puts Richard on the map. I don’t know how much she’s on the map to this point, I just care about the music and this is resonating with me.
@@@ Chris Ruben Band: Darling (Self-released, 2021) I got to this rock funk outfit via a music publicist email. I’m open to funky rock, but I’m not sure this is going to work for me. It’s more of a distorted guitar sound and a pretty frat boy sounding singer and this is much more rock with a wee bit of funk in it rather than a split between rock and funk. I will take this opportunity to refer young folks who haven’t heard Funkadelic to run and not walk over to the Funkadelic drawer on their streaming store or wherever you listen. Now if you’re a frat boy then hop in cuz the water’s warm and these guys are there for you.