A week ago, we were bombarded with new releases from the likes of Drake and Beyonce, which already seemed like big enough “event” albums. Then, days later, Radiohead drop their first LP in five years and Chance the Rapper announced his triumphant return would come by the end of the week. Sometimes when you think things are going to be smooth sailing, that’s when business really picks up.
In addition to the more surprise records, we’ve also got new stuff from Modern Baseball, Meghan Trainor, Post Malone, Drake finally goes wide release, and many more. here are the albums you need to hear this week.
Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Somewhere in between 2013’s Acid Rap and today, Chance the Rapper became the most beloved hip-hop artist on the planet. There’s just something about Lil Chano from 79th that effervesces soul and joy, he seems to connect with fans like very few others. Coloring Book is a victory lap of sorts for Chance; his profile has never been higher and he’s capitalizing on it with an triumphant collection of songs.
From “Blessings” to “No Problems,” the album was always poised to impress, but perhaps what’s most impressive is how expansive it manages to be while maintaining Chance’s irreplaceable identity. Sonically, Coloring Book goes so many different places, but Chano’s performance always feels centered right in his comfort zone.
Preview Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book above and stream it now on Apple Music
Meghan Trainor – Thank You
What a difference a year makes. When Meghan Trainor’s debut dropped a little more than a year ago, she was thought to be a one-hit wonder riding a kitschy, novelty hit and many were quick to write her off. But she has endured, and millions in sales and a Grammy later, she’s back with her new album, Thank You. For those who maybe had their eyes off the prize for a moment, Trainor is no longer the one waiting to be courted; she seeks to be the one with the power.
Lead single “NO” is a perfect facsimile of turn-of-the-century Destiny’s Child kiss-off R&B, and “Watch Me Do” carries on with the Y2K pop trend. It’s true that Trainor’s future was up in the air following “All About That Bass”; would she grow or try to reproduce that same sound? (There was a danger of that with her duet “Marvin Gaye.”) But Thank You is a clear and deliberate step in a new direction.
Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost
Holy Ghost feels like exactly what a great emo album should be. The latest record from Modern Baseball may sound effortless and warm like a broken-in jacket, but the LP came to be under incredibly difficult circumstances. Brendan Lukens, vocalist and guitarist for the group, was in a deep battle with depression before recording, which lead to him almost committing suicide. Eventually he checked into a facility who gave him the help he needed. That was less than a year ago.
Now we’re here with Holy Ghost, a record that feels like it’s constantly looking in the rear view mirror. It’s true that nostalgia can be a comfortable fit, but rose-colored glasses are not being worn here. Rather, the album seems to be more concerned with who you were before leading to where you are today. It’s an intensely brave and honest effort that it’s near impossible to not connect with.
Here are the rest of the week’s new releases:
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Drake – Views [wide release]
Corinne Bailey Rae – The Heart Speaks in Whispers
Post Malone – August 26
Kygo – Cloud Nine
Eagulls – Ullages
Pierce the Veil – Misadventures
Islands – Taste and Should I Remain Here at Sea
Jessy Lanza – Oh No
Jennifer Nettles – Playing With Fire
Dawn Richard – Infared EP
3OH!3 – Night Sports
Oddisee – The Odd Tape
Head Wound City [members of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Blood Brothers] – A New Wave of Violence
Hatebreed – The Concrete Confessional
Dave Bazan – Blanco
Digitalism – Mirage
Nothing – Tired of Tomorrow
Dance Gavin Dance – Tree City Sessions
Hooded Fang – Venus on Edge
Masta Ace – The Falling Season
Twin Peaks – Down in Heaven
Fruit Bats – Absolute Loser