Amanda Shires, King Princess, J-Hope, Kokoroko: Soundcheck the Pop Albums of the Week

Amanda Shires: Take It Like A Man (ATO)
In terms of content, Amanda Shires is in the tradition of country rebels like The Chicks. For her, feminism and anti-racism belong together, and anyone who campaigns for abortion rights in the USA with this type of music, among other things, definitely reaches the right people: modern songwriter heartland country pop, as it is used in the so-called flyover States is heard on every radio and we know him similarly from Brandi Carlile, with whom the Shires runs the country supergroup Highwomen. The album title already indicates how cleverly this woman knows how to play with traditional country clichés. Shires knows the price – and doesn’t care. Torsten Groß, moderator

King Princess: Hold On Baby (Sony)
Humor is her way of defending herself, she says. And that humor is one of the reasons you take King Princess straight to your heart. The 23-year-old multi-instrumentalist is cool, charming and could become one of the great rebels. But in the end you have to break it down to the music, and that’s where it’s lacking something of your own. Where are the great moments that you will never forget? And why didn’t anyone tell her that the opener “I Hate Myself, I Want To Party” has the same tune as Radiohead’s “High And Dry”? Raffaela Jungbauer, Radio One

J-Hope: Jack In The Box (Big Hit)
Jung Ho-seok aka j-hope is a rapper, singer, dancer, producer and part of what is probably the biggest boy band on the planet right now – BTS. These seven Koreans are largely to blame for K-pop’s international triumph. Anyone who associates BTS with last year’s candy-sweet English-language singles “Butter” and “Dynamite” might be shocked by “Jack In The Box.” There’s dark trap elements here, old-school hip-hop beats meeting crossover guitars, and a j-hope showing its sinister side. The rapping is in Korean and English, like they do in K-Pop. With this, j-hope returns a bit to the beginnings of BTS – which also started as a Korean rap combo and really shouldn’t be called a “boy band”. Daniel Koch, music journalist

Kokoroko: Could We Be More (Brownswood Recordings)
The eight-piece London band around trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey has already garnered an enthusiastic following over the past four years with their mix of jazz, funk, soul and West African influences. It will surely grow now, because on their debut album Kokoroko celebrate their groove with sparkling irresistibility. Nadine Lange, daily mirror

By Editor

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