Here we have rounded up five newest albums for you to either dance the night away or treat your ears with daring beats.
Love in the Future
More often than not, Legend’s singles don’t pimp out smart lyrics – just mundane words strung together and made out rather tacky in the name of romance. The latest album is not excluded; every song is practically speckled with the word “love,” for better or worse. But the touch of music iconoclast Kanye West on the record adds some classy polish that’s nowhere to be found in the lackluster “Wake Up!” (2010) album he did with The Roots. Check out the video “Who We Think We Are;” Legend is decked out in suit and tie, befitting the whole artsy, fashion-oriented clip concept. Modern sounds the song embraces are woven with soul-genre elements – female background chorus, accent brass notes – and Rick Ross’s rapping. On a second thought, who needs fussy lyrics these days, anyway?
Magna Carta… Holy Grail
It’s still refreshing to listen to Jay Z after all these years. “Magna Carta… Holy Grail” heaps a plethora of ponderings and pensive thoughts, and brutal honesty – like dissing Miley Cyrus twerking on the “Somewhereinamerica” song. But Jay Z’s substantial braggadocio is what makes the album ultimately shine. His rapping on God (listen to “Heaven”) and love/ marriage (“Part II [On the Run]” featuring Beyoncé), and wealth (“Tom Ford”) is probably the sound of truth you hear loud and clear throughout the many spins released this year.
“Innocents” on a first listen feels like bedtime stories made epic. Moby’s signature languorous musical language is interpreted pitch perfect by collaborators, such as Mark Lanegan from the former Screaming Trees, and Al Spx of Cold Specks. Soothing and calming, yet at the same time the noise details subtly arising as the tracks progress to chorus are unnerving. Even more so are the lyrics. This one is from “The Lonely Night”: It’s always dark inside, sometimes the pain is absurd, still it’s what fate decides, thought I saw Jesus come down, dressed like a soldier, I used to cry like a clown, and now I’m older.
Come on, who doesn’t jiggle a little when the “Blurred Lines” single is on? Thicke being Thicke, the recording is peppered with flirty come-ons and narcissistic brags, but, hey, where’s the fun if you ain’t crossing the line? His ballad crooning is still intact though, in tracks like “The Good Life” and “4 the Rest of My Life.” Overall, the album sees new material with guest appearances including Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar and even will.i.am. And so far the “Blurred Lines” has surpassed his bestselling “Lost without You” debut.
Tales of Us
English electronic duo Goldfrapp still linger on their idealistic moods with the launch of the sixth album. All titles are oddly of singular names, except “Stranger” – track numbered eight. Premiering single “Drew” is esoteric, to say the least, and pretty much schmaltzy – and the video nothing short of nudity. Granted, the album takes patience to enjoy, but maybe it’s an acquired taste after all. Alison Goldfrapp’s chanting is beautiful and crisp in the accompaniment of orchestral sounds. Yet even on minimalistic terms, with only piano or harp melodies present, her voice is joy to the ear.
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