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CD Reviews:
New Music: Blake Shelton, Twenty One Pilots, Olivia Rodrigo, Pop Evil, more...

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Friday, May 21, 2021

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Checking out this week's new music releases...

Top Titles:

Gary LeVox, "One On One" (Big Machine): The Rascal Flatts singer stays on the spiritual trip on this solo EP, collaborating on its five tracks with MercyMe, Breland, Jonathan McReynolds and his daughter Brittany LeVox.

Pop Evil, "Versatile" (eOne): The Michigan rock powerhouse proves its, er, versatility on its sixth album, adding industrial and EDM touches to the hard-hitting mix.

Olivia Rodrigo, "Sour" (Geffen/Interscope): The "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" star's "Driver’s License" is the year's biggest single so far. Now we have another 10 tracks to get sweet with, including a writing collaboration with Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff on "1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back."

Blake Shelton, "Body Language" (Warner Nashville): The country star and "The Voice" constant's 12th studio album is his first in four years and finds him dueting again with fiancé Gwen Stefani on "Happy Anywhere."

Twenty One Pilots, "Scaled and Icy" (Fueled By Ramen/Elektra): The Columbus, Ohio duo made its sixth album in "scaled back and isolated" fashion, working on the 11 tracks remotely.

Long Time Comin': Micky Dolenz's "Dolenz Sings Nesmith" (7a) is his first studio album in nine years, paying tribute to his Monkees mate Mike Nesmith with covers of songs he released as a solo artist.

Blast From the Past: The Tragically Hip, dormant since frontman Gord Downie's death in 2017, dips into the vaults for "Welcome to Saskadelphia" (UMe), featuring five unreleased tracks recorded during sessions for 1991's "Road Apples" album.

Home Town Heroes: "TV62," the new compilation from rapper Danny Brown's Bruiser Brigade Records, spotlights Detroit underground MCs such as J.U.S., Bruiser Wolf, Fay Ray and others, along with four tracks from Brown himself...Marc Dorian, keyboardist with Your Generation, has released a new album, "Another Lucky Day."

New & Noteworthy:

August Burns Red, "Leveler: 10th Anniversary Edition" (ABR)

Sara Bareilles, "Amidst the Chaos: Live at the Hollywood Bowl" (Epic)

Paula Cole, "American Quilt" (Renew/BMG)

Counting Crows, "Butter Miracle Suite One" (BMG)

Robert Finley, "Sharecropper's Son" (Easy Eye Sound)

John Hiatt with the Jerry Douglas Band, "Leftover Feelings" (New West)

Lord Huron, "Long Lost" (Whispering Pines Studios/Republic)

Chrissie Hynde, "Standing in the Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan" (BMG)

Lambchop, "Showtunes" (Merge)

The Mavericks, "En Espanol Edicion Deluxe" (Mondo Mundo)

Monster Magnet, "A Better Dystopia" (Napalm)

Gary Numan, "Intruder" (BMG)

Pop Evil, "Versatile" (eOne);

Oliver Wood, "Always Smilin'" (Honey Jar/Thirty Tigers)

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