1. Fiona Apple: Fetch the Bolt Cutters (9/10)
So, full disclosure: I love Fiona Apple. My least favourite of all her albums is her first record, which is still extremely impressive for someone of her age. (Compare it to records made by similarly aged artists through the history of pop music, I bet it stands out pretty strongly). So I don’t think I can be unbiased here, I was probably going to like this even without the hype (which I have been trying to ignore).
2. Guga Stroeter, Lucio Agra, Renato Soares – Computador do Amor (8/10)
Maybe you never imagined a world in which you needed Brazilian jazz versions of Kraftwerk songs. I know I didn’t.
3. tētēma: Necroscape (7/10)
I was super excited about Geocidal, mostly because it felt like the first time Mike Patton had made interesting music in some time. So I listened to the record a bunch and gave it a very good review. And then I didn’t listen to it again. I don’t know whether that says I overrated it or just that my listening habits have drastically changed over the last half decade – they really, really have – but, either way, I haven’t found my way back.
4. Scott the Hoople: NEIL (7/10)
Famed alternative rock sideman Scott McCaughey is perhaps best known for his contributions to R.E.M. and The Minus 5, his band with R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck. In November 2017, McCaughey had a serious stroke that, in his words, left him without “my ability to talk, sing, make music.” He used Beatles and Neil Young songs to help recover his music-making skills. Now he’s released some of the Neil Young recordings, under the nom de rock Scott the Hoople.
5. Pearl Jam: Gigaton (6?/10)
So this is now the third Pearl Jam album in a row that fails to excite me. Is it them? Is it me? Is the truth somewhere in between?