Rae Sremmurd – SR3MM
The fleetest triple album listening experience I’ve ever noted – fleeter even than listening to All Things Must Pass without the Apple jams – because more than a third of it sounds like work tapes polished into Spotify gold, with absent bridges and incomplete verses and indifferent rapping and all. Swae Lee, accounted the star and Sensitive One because of his blankly pretty singing, must read his own reviews, for his own disc/side/streamable unit Swaecation is boring guitars and FX in search of songs to accompany the tales of secondhand and/or felt hedonism and secondhand and/or felt boredom with hedonism. Amid legal problems Young Thug drops some of the most addled verses of his recent career in “Offshore,” mixing Walter Payton metaphors, threatening violence on Donald Trump, and repulsive garbage about women he’s written as too passive to even pose a threat; yet where he’s from “hoes can’t talk when I talk,” go figure. Slim Jxmmi gets Jxmtro, a slightly better unit thanks to “Anti-Social Smokers Club” and “Brnx Job,” the latter good old-fashioned boasting without Weltschmerz. Although the brothers appear occasionally on each other’s work – “Guatemala” has a Wham!-worthy credit in “Swae Lee, Slim Jxmmi, Rae Sremmurd” – they’re “Rae Sremmurd” only on the first unit, the one with the leaked “Perplexing Pegasus” and fantastic “Powerglide.” Even so, the duo seem even more detached; no doubt their adventures in the VIP rooms of would make any sybarite pause, but they’re too numb or bored to do much besides recite shopping lists of indulgences like eating clams, rolling grams, and picking a helipad over first class. Metro Boomin productions like “T’d Up” could’ve been backdrops for Future in 2015 (Future also shows up – why miss this party?).
SR3MM: Up in My Cocina, Perplexing Pegasus, Powerglide, Rock N Roll Hall of Fame
Swaecation: Touchscreen Navigation, Offshore, Guatelmala, Hurts to Look
JXMTRO: Brnkx Truck, Anti-Socal Smokers Club, Keep God First
Belly – Dove
In 1993 and 1995, Belly released two albums of guitar pop described in the period shorthand as delicate and witchy but in the case of the latter and even the former were as tough as Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins and, to remind readers that she worked with them for an album, the Breeders. Then the second album flopped: Belly became among the first victims of the post-grunge slump that afflicted the Pumpkins, Soundgarden, and lesser bands. After a period of solo releases, Tanya Donelly became a post-partum doula, helping men and women cope with a trying period in their lives as much if not more so than her music did. Dove, Belly’s first album since 1995’s King, abounds in hooks. It’s the return I want from favorite acts and don’t often get: a reinforcement of what I already knew and an affirmation of what they’ve learned in the interim.
Speedy Ortiz – Twerp Verse
Reluctant to show their hooks, the Boston quartet lets listeners get comfortable with their third album until they’re humming three quarters of the songs. Fans of Luna and who enjoy wry with their cheese will dig Twerp Verse. My review.