shark sandwich 62 feature 1

New Album Reviews – BØRNS, BMRC, Camila Cabello, and more!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

January 12, 2018 – Vol. 62

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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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BØRNS – Blue Madonna

Danceable, dreamy, and a little bit sleazy, BØRNS comes out crooning with Lana Del Rey on the opener “God Save Our Young Blood.” The first six tracks are stellar, interesting dance pop. They rock and sway with purpose, but comparatively the back half of Blue Madonna is not as immediate. It’s not that the songs aren’t good, it’s just that they just don’t grab you by the collar like “Faded Heart” or “Man.” I might choose to re-order the tracks to spread the love, but it’s a minor quibble.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “We Don’t Care”

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Anderson East – Encore

Gruff, rollicking, and legit R&B from Anderson East will keep you warm this cold January. There is plenty of blue-eyed soul on Encore, and it while it sometimes strains for recognition, its heart is always in the right place, which is more than can be said for a lot of what is out there. Whether Anderson East is singing a long-after-midnight torch song, or putting the hammer down on some rough-and-tumble rumbler, the fire is there. Lots of people worship the same spark, but precious few are born with it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Surrender”

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Wrong Creatures

How much do we love BRMC? Probably more than is healthy, but no matter Wrong Creatures is here and it is going to make our dark winter days a little darker. Out and out rockers are almost completely absent, and in their place are plaintive tracks that build and just haunt your life at the edges. Wrong Creatures is an immersive experience. It feels like surfing on ashes long after dark, or shaking hands with a ghost.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Spook”

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Camila Cabello – Camila

Camila Cabello debuts Camila: a stew of Caribbean rhythms, slick production, and sexy yet vulnerable vocals. It’ll get you on the dance floor, sure, but it will also have you reaching for your headphones and comfy chair. Camila is not background music. It’s not wallpaper or a plug-in air freshener. She is demanding forty minutes of your time, and it is a good idea to give it to her.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “In the Dark”

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Dirty Sidewalks – Bring Down the House Lights

Dirty Sidewalks is mining a similar vein as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, but that is only a portion of the story. To be honest, though, we love a good 80s-inspired, Jesus And Mary Club-loving band here at NewsWhistle, so that would be enough. Not unlike another influence, Oasis (or for that matter, JAMC), there are two brothers at Dirty Sidewalks’ core, and they mix in classic harmony to the fuzz. They declare right out of the gate “Rock & Roll (Save My Soul),” but maybe more bands like Dirty Sidewalks could save rock & roll.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Heard You Wanna Kill Me”

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All artists are available on iTunesAmazonGooglePlay, 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 – Anderson East – Low Country Sound/Elektra; BRMC – Vagrant Records; Dirty Sidewalks – No-Count Records; BØRNS – Interscope; and Camila Cabello – Syco Music/Epic.