The Pulse is the Uproxx Music guide to the best new albums, mixtapes, and other music releases that matter this week.
When U2 released Songs Of Innocence in 2014, they said we wouldn’t have to wait much longer for its follow-up. U2 are no strangers to the delayed release date, though, and now, three years or so after they said it would be, Songs Of Experience has finally been unleashed. Meanwhile, there are also new albums from some other classic rockers, as well as a highly-anticipated country release, and one of the best R&B albums of the year.
U2 — Songs Of Experience
Don’t bother checking your phones for this one, since U2 went with a more traditional release strategy this time around. Although this album’s high placement on Rolling Stone‘s year-end list raised some eyebrows, “The Little Things That Give You Away” is one of the most epic anthems they’ve put out in years, and there are at least a few other things to enjoy on the fourteenth album from one of the most successful bands ever — even if they’re not quite there anymore.
Chris Stapleton — From A Room: Volume 2
There are some people who believe that country music needs saving, and if you’re among those, then Chris Stapleton might be your knight in shining armor (with a bushy beard poking out from below his face mask). The first volume of From A Room came out earlier this year and was an absolute triumph, but that said, it’s possible that this one’s even better. At the very least, Stapleton should have two records on all the year-end top albums lists.
Miguel — War & Leisure
Critics loved it, but all in all, Miguel was still upset with how the world didn’t accept 2015’s Wildheart as openly as he would have liked. He’s back with a vengeance now, and with tracks like the pop-funk joy of “Pineapple Skies” and the appropriately titled “Come Through And Chill,” the only way to ignore this one is going full ostrich and burying your head in the sand; this deserves to be heard.
Chief Keef — The Dedication
He just dropped his mixtape Thot Breaker a few months ago, but Chief Keef is already back at it, this time with a legit album, featuring a pair of tracks that fans already heard earlier this year: “Text” and “Kills.” There are guest appearances from Lil Yachty and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, but this is mostly a one-man show; He even produced a couple tracks himself, although D. Rich handled most of the other ones.
Neil Young & Promise Of The Real — The Visitor
Neil Young might be in a bit of a weird place right now, but it’s also a productive one: The 72-year-old has released three albums in the past two years, including this new one with Promise Of The Real who are led by Willie Nelson’s son Lukas. It has all the grungy Americana you’ve come to expect, including the Trump-targeting “Already Great.”
Van Morrison — Versatile
“Versatile” is one word, but “prolific” is another: This is the Irishman’s 38th album, and his second this year. This time around, Morrison sings on a mix of standards and new tunes, both of which prove that even at 72 years old, Morrison’s voice continues to be defining.