No filler here — just 33 minutes of twerk-core, hip-hop self-love anthems, torchy soul ballads, plus the occasional moment where she busts out her inner Tull to play flute hero. Frankly, its sheen is off-putting at first. And the bill comes due with a vengeance. It sounds like cold comfort. Sweetener was an ambitious artist crafting a self-consciously wide-scale pop statement and, coming just six months later, Thank U, Next turns out to be her best album yet. Thank U, Next is just a woman and a mood, taking that mood out for a drive until she pedal-to-the-metals it right off a cliff.
Dave – Psychodrama
The end is nigh, at least for If you weren't quite so adventurous — and were too embarrassed to share your Spotify Wrapped playlist this year — there's still enough time to catch up on the glut of great music released this year. Whether you're looking for something to soundtrack your New Year's Eve party or long slog down the motorway back home, here's our favourite releases of the year so far. After electrifying Glastonbury during his Friday headliner slot, the British rapper has become a voice on issues such as knife crime and Brexit.
Check out this week's new single, album, DVD and Blu-ray releases.
The album won't go down without a fight. As the algorithmic thinking of the streaming music era tightens its grip on the record industry and consumer listening habits, artists are still writing and recording collections of new material, releasing them as cohesive units on specific dates, and suggesting that you listen to them in a pre-established order. As a format for enjoying multiple songs and a way of thinking about creative development, it remains essential. Even with all its tumult, didn't change that. There's always good new music out there, providing the soundtrack to the highs and lows of daily life. Sometimes it comes from a new artist you've never heard of before; sometimes it comes from a reliable veteran you perhaps stopped listening to consistently. Either way, great albums make an impression. These are the best records of
Will the format be as alien to us now in as it would be to listeners in seeing what it's become today? The answer to both is probably yes -- and we'll probably still be doing a top albums of the year list then, too. In her latest effort, Celine both digs deep, and lets us see her lighter side -- and that's the power of Dion. Instead, guitars and drums are replaced by mournful, disorienting synths and delicate, otherworldly choral voices; the result is a psyche-straining work of tenderness and loss more beautiful than anything the post-punk legend has made before in his four-decade career. Spoilers much? Nibiru follows suit but it highlights an artist on a very clear evolution. This is an artist with the depth and breadth to last for a long time. And when all else fails, just a schedule a date night with your old friend tequila. Never mind the broken storefront light that adorns its cover -- love and luminosity permeate every corner of Oso Oso's breakthrough album.