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What new album is totally dreamy? And which one is bleepin’ bonkers?

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

October 21, 2016 – Vol. 28

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Music reviews come in all sizes, but you’re busy and do not have time for flowery language… or sentences, really.

Spinal Tap gave the world the greatest album review of all time:

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Welcome to our “Shark Sandwich” — razor-sharp reviews that sum up an album in five sentences or less.

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Pretenders – Alone

Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders has enough rock and roll in her for nine lifetimes. Her voice is unmistakable, but this time around the music is swampier than fans have come to accept. Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys twiddled the knobs on the production of Alone, and that starts to explain the overall sound. Missing is a lot of the pop smarts that made classics like “Brass in Pocket” stand out. In its place is grimy, foggy-bottomed sludge. It serves the sound cycle well, but it won’t make you forget about how much you love “Middle of the Road.”

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Holy Commotion”

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Crocodiles – Dreamless

Is it ironic that an album called “Dreamless” is totally dreamy? I don’t know. Ask the Crocodiles, as they manage to merge shoegaze, garage rock, goth, and new wavey aspects into what sounds like the Cure as played by the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, which isn’t that hard to imagine now that I mention it. Dreamless is the perfect soundtrack to staring at the asshole at the gym who snuck in and took “your” treadmill (just me?).

Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “I’m Sick”

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Lady Gaga – Joanne

Opening with “Diamond Heart,” Gaga sounds like she is channeling Stevie Nicks at her feistiest. I’m not a Little Monster, so my knowledge is somewhat limited, but I would daresay Joanne is her most rock and roll album to date. There are definitely some dancefloor moments like “Perfect Illusion,” but overall, the album feels most at home with a couple of guitars, some keys, a bass, drummer, and Gaga just wailing the shit out of a song (lady has pipes).

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Diamond Heart”

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Tanya Tagaq – Retribution

Uh, I don’t know how to properly review this album. Tagaq is a Canadian Inuit throat singer/song writer/poet, and Retribution is a suffocating, bewildering, insistent, haunting, and utterly enthralling vision of art. Think Tom Waits meets Bjork meets Yoko Ono meets an ice sheet breaking off into the Arctic Ocean…Then drop some questionable acid and try to go to sleep. It is fucking bonkers, and you owe it to yourself to take this trip.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Aorta”

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NxWorries – Yes Lawd!

Anderson.Paak and Knxlwledge comprise NxWorries, and they have put together a slippery, immersive album in Yes Lawd! There is a live instrument cohesion throughout the proceedings, and the tempo and overall vibe rarely stray from laid back. This is the perfect drinking album. Whether it is with a group of friends, or that one special friend, Yes Lawd! is the perfect accompaniment.

Rating: 3 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Best One”

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All artists are available on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, and wherever else better music is sold, streamed, downloaded, or performed on tour.

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NewsWhistle music contributor Chad Werner is “ahead of the curve, behind the times.” You can contact this rock n’ roll sphinx at chad@newswhistle.com (e-mail) or @scooternotmoped (Twitter).

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Lead-In Image – Composite

  • Album and sleeve – Courtesy of  imagefactory / Shutterstock.com
  • Main album cover – Courtesy of Blablo101 / Shutterstock.com
  • Album collage – Lady Gaga – Streamline/Interscope; Crocodiles – Zoo Music; NxWorries – Stones Throw Records; Tanya Tagaq – Six Shooter Records; and The Pretenders – BMG Rights Management.