The new albums dropping this week all share the common theme of artists being forced to venture out and try new things. Following Gary Clark, Jr.’s is spanning multiple genres on the follow-up to his fantastic major label debut; Duran Duran are a legacy act, but have to force themselves to adapt in an ever-changing landscape; and Slayer are pushing through not only the death of a founding member, but the recent departure of another.
And that isn’t even including the new records from Beirut, Prince, Jay Rock, T.I., and more. Here are the new albums you need to hear this week.
Gary Clark, Jr. – The Story of Sonny Boy Slim
2012’s Blak and Blu was a fuzzy, bluesy masterpiece of guitar work and soul from the Austin-based troubadour Gary Clark, Jr. For his follow-up, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, Clark has grown even more ambitious in his sounds, not only tapping the blues, soul, and rock n’ roll he’s known for, but dipping his toe into hip-hop and electronic influences. But don’t be mistaken: This is not a scattershot effort from the rocker. Everything is filtered through his unmistakable grit in a way that jives perfectly for him. Tracks like “Grinder” and “The Healing” show these sensibilities and boundaries being tested, but not wildly overstepped.