Ugh. Total faceplant. This sounds like a various artists compilation of generic modern indie and hip-hop artists except they all feature Damon Albarn coming in for a couple lines here and there. Exceptionally mediocre. I absolutely loved Plastic Beach so this is a particularly huge disappointment.
Barenaked Ladies - Ladies and Gentlemen: Barenaked Ladies and The Persuasions
I was initially shitting on this when I first heard of it. A past-their-prime BNL singing their hits unplugged live-in-the-studio backed by a bunch of really old black guys, how could that be good? But when I listened to it I was actually pleasantly surprised. They largely avoid the hits and include songs by the member's solo careers showing that they actually gave this project some thought. The songs from their recent albums are rearranged to fit the more acoustic arrangements and they're way more enjoyable here than they were on the albums.
Prince - Deliverance
Shitty cash-in EP that Prince worked on many years ago and abandoned and the producer stitched it together to capitalise on the 1st anniversary of Prince's death. The fact that it's half-finished material stuck together actually kind of gives it a bit of a prog-vibe which is kinda neat. But that wasn't Prince's intention I don't think. The actual music is typical mid-00s Prince. Forgettable.
Procol Harum - Novum
Also forgettable. Maybe bigger PH fans would get more out of this than me.
Guided By Voices - August By Cake
People on Prindle's facebook seem to be blown away by this and are calling it the best GBV since Alien Lanes. I only listened to it once and it just sounded like another GBV album to me at first glance. So jury is still out I guess.
Phil Collins - Both Sides, No Jacket Required
I really wanted to give Phil the benefit of the doubt here since he talked so glowingly about Both Sides in his book. But man it's got to be one of the worst albums by an artist I generally like I've ever heard. Just absolute pabulum from top to bottom. Take it away and get it out of my sight. No Jacket Required is better cus it's shorter and has upbeat catchier songs. Still a pretty meh album.
Mike + The Mechanics - The Living Years
After spinning those Collins albums I figured I owed it to the only Genesis member whose solo output I've basically completely ignored. And hey this is actually pretty decent. Put Phil on lead vocals and add a few different synth tones and this whole album could fit in nicely as an Invisible Touch bonus disc. And I mostly mean that as a compliment. I don't know what the general consensus on the title track is but I'll say that I'm a fan of it.
Kieth Emerson - Changing States
A mid 90s solo album. I haven't heard the 90s era ELP albums so don't know how this compares. The main reason I checked this out was because I found out it was produced by Kevin Gilbert. Thanks to him the production on this is pretty tasteful, so this is far more listenable than you might have expected. Still, I wouldn't say this is a hidden gem or anything.
Future Islands - The Far Field
Meh. Singles was better.
Deep Purple - Infinity
I don't really know the other recent Deep Purple stuff, but this is pretty solid. Only spun it once, but I liked some of the songs in the 2nd half a fair bit.
Colin Stetson - All this I do for Glory
Nice distillation of Stetson's crazy solo-sax style. If you've liked any of his solo work in the past this is every bit as good. He also has a new band called Ex Eye which put out an epic 10 minute single this week which is RAD AS FCUK hardcore prog metal but with saxophone instead of guitar shredding. I'm definitely looking forward to that album.
Animal Collective - Meeting Of The Waters
Good stuff. Kinda sounds like Campfire Songs but audible. There's not much material here (just 4 songs), but it's better than Painting With.
Phish - St. Louis '93
The latest in live archival Phish releases. If you know what live Phish sounds like you know what this sounds like. There are two shows here with the second one in particular being straight fire from back to front. One of their best shows from this era I've heard.