Look, it would be foolish to suggest that this week is about anything but Beyonce and Drake. Bey has dominated the entire week with last week’s surprise album Lemonade, and this week will be similarly ruled by the highly anticipated Views from Drizzy. It’s almost futile to try to talk about other records, but there is new stuff from legendary producer Brian Eno, indie rockers Pity Sex, metal icon Rob Zombie, dance-pop firecrackers Matt and Kim, hip-hop heavy hitter Freeway and many more. Here are the albums you need to hear this week.
Drake – Views
Drake is an ever-present force in music. He did drop two mixtapes in 2015, but before that, the last album he released was 2013’s Nothing Was The Same. Since then, even throughout the mixtape cycles, he has constantly been mentioning Views as his singular focus. It’s understandable: While his mixtapes and one-off singles are the toast of typically what is happening in the present, his studio albums seem to set the the tone of the sounds to come.
And here on Views, Drake wants to showcase the sounds and soul of Toronto. What does that sound like? Well, a lot of the moodiness you’d come to expect from a Drake record, but also tinged with the international textures a city like Toronto offers. Tracks like “One Dance” and “Controlla” are drenched in dancehall, but it’s not just sonically that you feel this vibe. The entire feeling of Views aims to transport you to what living in the Great White North is like. Well, what it’s like when you’re the hottest thing going in music, anyway. Still, he manages to find those moments that seem totally unrelatable but you still happen to relate to them.
Brian Eno – The Ship
One of the most gifted musical minds of the 20th century, Brian Eno has touched so many with his production and songwriting. Whether it was his work with David Bowie or U2 or Coldplay, his ear for sound as a feeling rather than something tangible has lead to some of popular music’s greatest works. And it’s with that unique approach that we arrive at The Ship, Eno’s latest solo album. The ambient effort isn’t as much about verse-chorus-verse but about waves and soundscapes of music. Well, for the most part anyway — the album does feature a cover in the spirit of the Velvet Underground’s “I’m Set Free,” but they were mostly about feeling too, to be fair.
Pity Sex – White Hot Moon
The kinetic energy of Pity Sex is fairly unmatched among today’s indie rock scene. Their sound honestly feels at home right in the shoegaze heyday of the ’90s, and sophomore LP White Hot Moon is a fantastic addition to the fuzzed out canon. The traded lead vocals between Britty Drake and Brennan Greaves is pure uncut alt rock goodness. The album’s first single, “What Might Soothe You?” is a perfect slice of what rock can be at its most essential. Nothing on White Hot Moon feels like a wasted moment.
Here are the rest of the week’s releases:
Rob Zombie – The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser
Various artists – Empire: Original Soundtrack, Season 2 Volume 2
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
Holy Ghost! – Crime Cutz EP
Matt and Kim – We Were the Weirdos
Britta Phillips – Luck or Magic
De La Soul – For Your Pain & Suffering
Travis – Everything at Once
Freeway – Free Will
Rogue Wave – Delusions of Grand Fur
Chuck Inglish & Blended Babies – Ev Zepplin
Discharge – End of Days
The Jayhawks – Paging Mr. Proust
Sixx:A.M. – Prayers for the Damned
Martina McBride – Reckless
Haley Reinhart – Better
The Boxer Rebellion – Ocean by Ocean