@@@ Elvis Costello: Look Now (Concord, 2018). I got to the new Elvis Costello record via this week’s All Music notable release email. I’m on the fourth tune and my favorite moments thus far have been Costello’s singing. The band plays well, they’re a great band — the songs are more mainstream and less funky than vintage era Costello/Attractions albums. There are some parts of the instrumental arrangements that evoke late Beatles tunes, which is interesting. I’m swinging back to this record overnight and I feel the same — while Costello brings the vocal energy of his youth the arrangements are a bit staid which makes sense as his fans are much older now. At certain points the more orchestrated arrangements elevate the tunes and sometimes they hold it back a bit.
@@@ Kurt Vile: Bottle it In (Matador, 2018) To say that Kurt Vile is an indie darling is an understatement. Indie world is balls deep and nuts over Vile. This first tune sounds like an indie, updated Tom Petty type of rocker. Very straightforward, a little slippy slide-y in his vocal delivery but very American rock. You can close your eyes and hear this on classic FM radio. The second tune brings on a version of crisp Strokes type rock with, oops I had the third track going and skipped the second one. I’m a bit sorry I went back. The formula is pretty clear here — mainstream rock arrangements for the masses and then Vile’s voice which is a piquant blend of slack and classic. The tune clipped below is track 4 and I like it the least of what I heard.
@@@ Georgia Ann Muldrow: Overload (Brainfeeder, 2018). There are only two pre-release tracks up on the Apple Music but it’s a welcome relief to the Kurt Vile vanilla ice cream sundae. This is not retro soul, it’s modern drum machine and synth sounds. The tunes are midtempo and while I’m enjoying the sophisticated sonics of the mix there’s a certain coolness and detachment to the tune. I’m most definitely enjoying the funkier second pre-release track, Aerosol, to the tune clipped below. Hike your asses over to the GoogleTube yourself.
YTD recordings listened to: 584
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 311
Not good music: 238
Honorable Mentions: 6
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, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet