The Pulse is the Uproxx Music guide to the best new albums, mixtapes, and other music releases that matter this week. Find our complete list of the records coming out in November here.
It’s a big week for posthumous releases. Charles Bradley was a soulman who burst onto the scene decades too late, but served as a slice of what James Brown-style soul could sound like in the 2000s. Meanwhile, hip-hop and emo innovator Lil Peep has a sequel to his groundbreaking and hugely popular debut album, which launched a legacy that barely had time to get started.
It’s also been a significant past few days for artists who are still with us. Smino just put out one of the year’s most soulful hip-hop records, Imagine Dragons are looking to continue their dominance over mainstream rock, Fleet Foxes are opening up the vault and re-sharing some seldom-heard material, and yes, Jeff Goldblum has a new album which serves as proof that in music, life, uh, finds a way.
Smino — Noir
Smino jumped the gun and dropped his new album on Thursday, and it’s one fans wanted as soon as possible. The follow-up to his breakout debut Blkswn has electro-funk, soul, and other forms of proof that Smino is one of the most interesting rappers around today.
Charles Bradley — Black Velvet
It took Charles Bradley a long time to make it in music, and just when he was gaining traction, he tragically passed away. This new posthumous collection shows that Bradley was one of the best throwback soul and funk singers of the past decade, like on the emotive “Can’t Fight The Feeling.”
Lil Peep — Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2
This posthumous release has a much different context, but there’s one element of the story that’s similar: A musical talent was taken too soon. Lil Peep was an innovator for his combination of emo and hip-hop, and his latest effort proves he still had something left in the tank.
Imagine Dragons — Origins
Commercially, Imagine Dragons are probably the most successful rock band of the past six years, with their first three albums peaking at at least the No. 2 spot on the US charts. On their fourth record, the band returns with more of the epic rock that made them famous, such as the anthemic “Bad Liar.”
Grapetooth — Grapetooth
Fans of the band Twin Peaks, listen up: That group’s Clay Frankel has joined forces with Chris Bailoni to form Grapetooth, who are making some of the most fascinating synth pop of the year. Songs like “Blood” show their mastery over both the aesthetic and the songwriting that allows it to have a real impact.
Read our interview with Grapetooth here.
Jeff Goldblum And The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra — The Capitol Studio Sessions
Is there anybody who doesn’t like Jeff Goldblum? He’s one of the most charming guys Hollywood has ever seen, and as you’d imagine, his idiosyncrasies shine through on this delightful vocal jazz record.
Fleet Foxes — First Collection 2006 – 2009
This new collection from the Pacific Northwest’s finest indie product of the 2000s collects the band’s early material, which includes their debut self-titled EP, which is now available on streaming services for the first time.
Trippie Redd — A Love Letter To You 3
Trippie already dropped his Life’s A Trip album back in August, but he’s already back with new material. The third installment of his A Love Letter To You mixtape series is led by “Topanga,” a smooth, soul-sampling track.
J Mascis — Elastic Days
Mascis has become an indie darling since his days with Dinosaur Jr. (although that band is still going strong), and now he’s back with his first record since 2014. Elastic Days features songs more docile in nature than his Dinosaur Jr. work, like “Web So Dense” and “Everything She Said.”