Why does every artist have to drop their album on the same day? For us listeners, it's a challenge to catch up with every new release, especially when it's several different releases from all really exciting artists. So to cut through the noise and make sure you have all of your ducks in a row, we're briefly rounding up the most important albums to listen to this week.
1. Feist - Pleasure
Feist is back after 6 years with a new album since the Canadian singer-songwriter released 2011s Metals
. It's the 41-year-olds fifth studio album and it's, by far, her most stripped-back to date. It's a record full of playfulness and surprises and Feist opens up to expose all of her realest feelings for Pleasure
. Its definitely Feist's most rock 'n roll album yet and it seems she's facing middle-age in an optimistic, badass way.
2. Gorillaz - Humanz
Well, the highly-anticipated album we've all been waiting for is here. The Gorillaz are back with the first album in seven years and it's called Humanz
. Like most of Gorillaz' work, there's a doomsday tone and eeriness to the album and the deluxe version of Humanz
has a whopping 26 tracks to get lost in. Guests on the album include Vince Staples, De La Soul, Popcaan, Kali Uchis, D.R.A.M., Grace Jones, Mavis Staples, Pusha T, Anthony Hamilton, and so many more.
3. Sylvan Esso - What Now
Sylvan Esso made magic with 2014's self-titled album so the pressure was on with making What Now
, but so far, SO
good. The new album shows how much the duo have grown in the last few years - in both their chemistry and sound. What Now
explores the world of glitchy dance-pop songs but they also include some tender ballads like "Die Young" and "Slack Jaw." There are some serious potential songs-of-the-summer on this album.
4. Mary J. Blige - Strength Of A Woman
Mary J. Blige has turned the anger, sadness and grief of her divorce from Kendu Isaacs and channeled it into her 13th studio album, Strength Of A Woman
. But this isn't one of those sad, break-up albums. It's ruthless, blunt, and powerful and Blige shows the world she's stronger than ever now and won't let the trauma bring her down. The album features Kanye, Kaytranada, BadBadNotGood, Missy Elliot, DJ Khaled, Quavo, and Prince Charlez and if you need an empowering dose of R&B on your Friday, Mary J. Blige will give it to you with this new record.
5. The Cranberries - Something Else
It's been almost three decades of classic hits from the Irish rock band, The Cranberries and now we can reminisce on those years with the new album, Something Else
. It's sort of a greatest hits compilation that has acoustic versions of songs like, "Linger", "Dreams", "Ode To My Family", "Zombie" and many others. And it's worth getting excited over, not only are these acoustic versions more delicate and graceful, but The Cranberries also threw in three brand new tracks to swoon over.
6. Willie Nelson - Something Else
To be an almost 84-year-old and still put out quality records is a gift and country legend, Willie Nelson, returns to familiar territory with God's Problem Child
. Willie Nelson proves he lives to play as he adds humor about growing old. On songs like "Your Memory Has a Mind Of Its Own" and "Old Timer", Nelson goes into second-person narrative as he talks about physical health deteriorating and pays homage to Merle Haggard in "He Won't Ever Be Gone."
7. BNQT - Volume 1
Four years ago, Midlake's Eric Pulido wanted to create a collaborative project with some of the unique musicians he's met in his career to put out an album. So, Pulido gathered up Band of Horse's Ben Bridwell, Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Travis Fran Healy, and Jason Lytle of Grandaddy and they contributed two songs each to make-up Volume 1
. It's more of a playlist than an album, but it's ten tracks of sweeping, mid-tempo shimmery anthems, where every song flows effortlessly to the next.