COLOR ME RAD
Despite having no album of his own a few years back, Jamie XX (from The XX band) was already making music with top English musicians, including the likes of Drake and Alicia Keys. First of June this year, though, saw the release of his much anticipated debut, “In Colour,” an album that solidifies the 26-year-old’s career as a DJ, much more than just a band member. While it does share some recognizable tunes with The XX’s works, the mixing is notably fresh, although rather dark and very moody a definite treat for curious ears hungry for novel sounds. The single “Stranger in a Room” featuring The XX’s Oliver Sim is as haunting as “Girl” and the rest of the songs. Words can hardly do justice to the magnitude of “In Colour.”
Years & Years
English dance music is, admittedly, not as big as its American counterpart. But if you’re a fan of Disclosure, chances are you’d fall in love with Years & Years and their debut album “Communion.” Take a listen to “Take Shelter” and “Desire” it’s pretty much impossible to sit still going through the refrains. But when the tempo goes slow, the electronica trio doesn’t disappoint, as “Memo” beautifully showcases.
This Russian-German DJ is only getting bigger and bigger following his breakthrough single “Clarity” back in 2012. His sophomore record, titled “True Colors,” secured a list of major collaborators. Selena Gomez, Ryan Tedder and Echosmith, among others, all jammed in, adding layers of colors into the album’s musicality. Yes, it’s still very much an EDM record, but is it any better than the first one? The answer is not yet a resounding “Yes,” unfortunately.
THE DESIRED EFFECT
Taking into account Brandon Flowers’ debut album “Flamingo,” one could only listen to his second recording, “The Desired Effect,” with a certain amount of apprehension. But much to one’s surprise, The Killers’ frontman did rise to the occasion; he delved into a range of genres and made less personal lyrics perhaps that’s why “Flamingo” felt rather somber? “Still Want You” is equally hot and popping as Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” and “Lonely Town” gets as groovy as Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance.” Also surprising is the sampling of Supermode’s “Tell Me Why” in the upbeat single “I Can Change.”
Carly Rae Jepsen
A few months prior to the album’s release, young artists from One Direction to Justin Bieber to Kendall Jenner uploaded parody videos of them lip-syncing to Jepsen’s “I Really Like You,” the lead single of her third album “Emotion.” The song definitely leaves a lasting mark this year, but would the full album be as memorable? We’re not exactly convinced, but Jepsen’s talent still shows up.