Album review overview 2023 week 45

Photo (c) Jorge Fakhouri Filho

Dozens of new albums arrive at Maxazine’s editorial staff every week. Way too many to listen to them all, let alone review them. It ensures that too many albums are left behind. And that’s a shame. That is why today we post an overview of albums that arrive at the editors in short reviews.

The Kid Laroi – The First Time

Australian rapper The Kid Laroi already has quite a career behind him. He started in 2010 but has only delivered a debut album now. No fewer than twenty tracks on this album, so there is no shortage of material. Strangely enough, it did not become a rap album, but rather a kind of mix between teenybopper pop music as many young stars try to get to the top. Those tracks such as “Bleed”, which can easily enter a commercially thin chart, are then alternated with weak beats and a delivery full of autotune as a figure of speech, such as on “I Thought that I Needed You”. Overall, an album that is stronger production-wise than in terms of the song material on it, but it doesn’t really cover either side of the story. (Jan Vranken) (5/10) (Columbia Records)

Helmet – Left

Helmet had its heyday in the 90s and can be considered one of the founders of Nu Metal, but this idiosyncratic New York band has never received the same credits as, for example, Rage Against The Machine. Helmet is actually Page Hamilton, although the lineup has been stable since 2010. Page Hamilton mainly makes music for himself and doesn’t care about other people’s opinions. You like it or you don’t like it, this individuality is to his credit. On Left” he again treats us to 11 short pointed songs with staccato riffs and unexpected tempo changes. There are also some surprises such as the closing jazzy instrumental “Revolution”, but Helmet gets away with it. A musically interesting album on which Helmet unfortunately imitated Helmet actually wants to go back to the past heyday of the 90s. (Ad Keepers) (7/10) (earMusic)

Oz Noy, Dennis Chambers & Jimmy Haslip – Triple Play

Oz Noy, Dennis Chambers and Jimmy Haslip have released a new and very innovative fusion album together under the title “Triple Play”. The super trio recorded ten tracks, all written by drummer Chambers, who we mainly know from his work with Parliament and Funkadelic, and bassist Jimmy Haslip, who became famous as the bassist of the Yellow Jackets, but who has since also made a name for himself as a solo artist. to build. Israeli fusion guitarist Oz Noy completes the trio. His motto is ‘It’s jazz, it just doesn’t sound like it’ when we talk about his music, and that statement certainly applies to this wonderful album. It grooves, it rocks and it loves. The entire spectrum of human feelings and emotions is presented in ten beautiful compositions that excel in originality and innovative arrangement. This can mainly be attributed to the play of Oz Noy on a solid basis of Haslio and Chambers. A wonderful album for all fusion lovers. (Jan Vranken) (8/10) (Abstract Logix)

Dave Kerzner – Heart Land Mines Vol. 1

Singer/multi-instrumentalist Dave Kerzner plays in various prog-rock bands. He also releases solo albums. His new album ‘Heart Land Mines Vol. 1’ is autobiographical. After a bad relationship, Dave drove away, without a plan; but with a case and guitar. He not only talks about her behaviour and its consequences but self-reflection is also discussed. Not everything is easy to understand. Even if you don’t recognize yourself in this situation, you can appreciate this album. There is no hatred to be heard in the song/music, rather melancholy, sometimes with a touch of rock. Dave provides a calm insight into this period of life. The album is mainly calm in design, but more complex than it initially seems. The guest musicians include singer Durga McBroom, guitarist Randy McStine and violinist Joe Deninzon. All this makes it definitely worth listening and/or buying. (Esther Kessel-Tamerus) (7/10) (Own production)

Brandy – Christmas with Brandy

Brandy, indeed the now somewhat forgotten American singer of her hit “The Boy Is Mine” and countless TV roles, that Brandy is now back with a Christmas album! We were all waiting for that. Brandy still hasn’t gotten rid of peppering her singing with ad-libs in all possible and impossible, logical and illogical places. That doesn’t make it very relaxing to listen to. That record simply had to be overproduced. Twelve tracks, most of which were put together, especially for this album with Protools, but also some classics, such as the unavoidable “Jingle Bells” in a very light and sweet-sounding version. Perfect for Christmas. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. This record has an undeniable Boyz to Men feel but without the boys. Oh well, if you’re going to spend money on a Christmas album, why not spend money on this one? Go ahead. (Jan Vranken) (6/10) (Brand Nu Inc)

The Satellite Station – Honeysuckle

The Satellite Station is a one-stop shop. It is a project by songsmith and multi-instrumentalist Travis Rue. And folks, Travis understands the art of making beautiful folk-pop songs with beautiful lyrics, and a real head and tail. If there is even one album in this overview that you should check out this week, let it be this one. Listen to a beautiful song like “I Want to Spend It with You”, including a beautiful brass arrangement, folk tending to soul. A voice that at times reminds me of Allen Stone. The album’s closer “For the Coming War” shows that there is also room for introspection. James Blunt-like vocals and a very ingenious song. A professional is at work here. (Jan Vranken) (8/10) (AntiFragile Music)

Goat – Medicine

The album cover of the latest Goat record looks a lot heavier than the music is. In terms of harshness then, it wouldn’t look out of place as a cover for a black metal album. Intense may not be the right word, because the album is indeed intense in another respect. The psychedelics are dripping from it. For those who don’t know the band yet, Goat is a Swedish band that performs in costumes and masks. Experimental rock that combines the aforementioned psych with afrobeat, world music and hard rock. The album would not be out of place as an obscure and rare acid folk record from the late 60s. One that would now be called a ‘holy grail’, but it is often a record for the true lover of the genre. This is a very nice one for fans of experimental music. (Rik Moors) (8/10) (Rocket Recordings)

Kabeaushé – Hold on to Deer life, there’s a Blcak Boy Behind You

Kabeaushé is a producer from Kenya. A bit of a confusing story when you dig into it. According to the bio, it has to do with ‘extreme softness’ and there is something about owls. I couldn’t figure it out, so if the album appeals to you, do some research on the internet yourself. I’ll hear it again then. This is a strange album, but that’s why it’s nice. Stylistically impossible to capture. Is it pop, is it funk, is it spoken word, is it hip-hop? All a bit. In any case, it’s not AOR. Just listen to a track like “Mitte” and ask yourself what you are actually listening to. It’s certainly not bad, it’s just indescribable. Is this so innovative that something new is invented? No, not that either, it’s just borrowing money everywhere. This album has a certain favour factor. Nice and stubborn, that’s what it is. A big compliment for the courage and sense of experimentation on this album. In a strange way, it takes you along and you have to keep listening to it. Is it a growth diamond perhaps? Time will tell. To be on the safe side and to illustrate my own amazement, I will give it a high rating. (Jan Vranken) (8/10) (Monkeytown Records)

John Francis Flynn – Look Over The Wall, See The Sky

This album contains the song “Within a Mile from Dublin”, a better clue about this album is hard to get. Irish folk music, at first glance, as you can hear it in Irish pubs, as you can find it listed in ‘Lonely Planet’. Yet this album is so much more than traditional Irish folk. Time does not stand still, and here there is rhythmic experimentation, guitars are turned on with drone sounds and there is also plenty of experimentation in the production. Listen to a gem like “Mole in The Ground”, the perfect synthesis between tradition and modern. Well done. “Kitty” contains a beautifully dark song, a love song where you see the dark clouds pass over and feel the cold wind lashing the highlands. Beautiful voice too. This is one of the best albums you’ll find this year (Jan Vranken) (7/10) (River Lea Recordings)

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