Carly Rae Jepsen released “Dedicated Side B,” the follow-up album to her popular 2019 release, “Dedicated,” on May 21, rather unexpectedly. Jepsen had not released any promotional singles in conjunction with the record.
On April 16, hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar won the esteemed Pulitzer Prize for music, making him the first artist not belonging to either the jazz or classical genre to do so. Lamar’s album “DAMN.” received the prize almost exactly one year after the album’s widespread commercial success and two Grammy nominations.
His latest release, “Lil Boat 2,” released on March 9, shows the now 20-year-old rapper largely abandoning his original sound, embracing trap music both with his choices of beats and featured artists, which include Offset, 2 Chainz and Quavo. Several of these songs get quite monotonous, but there is enough good in the tracklist to keep the album afloat.
Justin Timberlake has dominated the billboard charts several times since the genesis of his career with unforgettable songs like “Sexyback” and “Can’t Stop The Feeling.” Back in the spotlight, Timberlake has returned with his fifth studio album “Man of the Woods,” released on Feb. 2.
People are often encouraged to try new things, no matter how frightened they may be at the prospect. Many times, it brings lovely results. This is definitely the case for The Script’s latest album, “Freedom Child.
More often than not, a piece of music is powerful, but it only becomes brilliant when it is stitched back into the context of a movie, a musical or album. This is the case with Halsey’s new album “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom.” Each song alone makes you feel a myriad of emotions, however when listened to in order, it weaves a story of love, betrayal and acceptance.
Usually, the only time I listen to Iron and Wine’s smooth whispery vocals is if a song pops up on my Pandora playlist. I’m an old fan of his song, “Flightless Bird American Mouth,” and his cover of The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights.” And while I can’t say I’m a devoted fan, nor was I waiting at the edge of my seat for his new album to come out when it did on Aug. 25, I can wholeheartedly agree that “Beast Epic” is nothing less than a pleasure to experience.
I had given up hope years ago that Brand New would ever release a new album again. The indie/emo rock band enjoyed moderate success and developed a strong cult fan base throughout the 2000s when it released four albums that each took the group’s music in a different direction. After the mixed reception of its last album in 2009, “Daisy,” the band stuck to touring and avoided answering questions about future material.
“Harry Styles,” the long-awaited debut album from ex-One Direction member Harry Styles was finally released in May, and longtime fans and casual listeners alike are still buzzing about the latest hits.
Kesha released her third studio album, “Rainbow,” on Aug. 11. The album is inspired by Kesha’s “true” musical inspirations, like Iggy Pop, T. Rex, Dolly Parton, The Beach Boys and The Beatles, to name only a few. Kesha, similar to the themes of her previous albums, uses a multitude of distinct artistic outlets to express her deepest feelings about love, loss and life.
John Mayer’s seventh studio album “The Search for Everything,” was released on April 14. With each and every song written by Mayer himself, the album is a return to the soulful songwriter’s pop and rock ‘n’ roll roots.
Kendrick Lamar is without a doubt the most unpredictable figure in mainstream music. His 2012 album “Good Kid M.A.A.D. City” solidified his reputation as a master lyricist and storyteller, while his 2015 follow-up “To Pimp a Butterfly” showed a more philosophical and introspective side to his music.
Noname’s use of this genre as a staple of her music marks a key difference in her style of rap in comparison to other popular female hip-hop artists. In short, it allows her to do what so many others in the genre fail to do in their attempts to mimic their more mainstream predecessors. She does not try to rap in the harsh, aggressive ways that are characteristic of some prominent female rappers like Iggy Azalea and Nicki Minaj, and the result is something raw and genuine, a refreshing and honest work of art.