One of the longest running and yet still relevant acts in rock ‘n’ roll is back and hopes to stay that way, with Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ first record in four years. But the California ambassadors are not the only ones dropping new ones this week. YG, a Cali representative in his own right, is back with another batch of West Coast-cooked G-Funk, in addition to New York indie rocker Mitski’s latest. We’ve also got new stuff from The Game, Caveman, Mumford & Sons, Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool goes wide release, and much more. Here are the albums you need to hear this week.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway
When a band is around for three decades, there’s a sincere danger that their output will become a carbon copy of what they used to be which degrades with each duplicate. Well, fans of the Red Hot Chili Peppers can ease those fears: The Getaway is not an album trying to replicate any past successes. Yes, singer Anthony Kiedis hits some of his favorite beats (along with those signature non-sequitur lyrics), but he and his band of Cali compatriots sound as fresh as ever. Danger Mouse as executive producer likely helps that along as well.
There’s a level of engagement that some folks won’t allow themselves to open up to with being a fan of the Chili Peppers in 2016, despite being fans at some point in their lives. But with the sounds to be found on The Getaway, containing touches of flower power psych rock, disco, and their beloved touchstone of punk-funk, there’s a lot to love if you’ve ever picked up a RHCP record.
YG – Still Brazy
If you were to ask most rap fans who had the hottest album of 2014, they would likely say that honor belonged to YG’s My Krazy Life. In two short years, the self-proclaimed Bompton rhymer has ascended very quickly to the top of critical and fan shortlists of rappers who put out top projects. But then, in 2015, everything could have been taken away from the artist when he was shot three times near his studio. The experience, as you could imagine, was harrowing and he says it forever changed him.
On Still Brazy, you truly feel how that experience has shaped him but not shaken him. “Twist My Fingaz” details the events of that night over a thumping g-funk beat and it shows YG is still his normal self at his core, but he’s grown along the way. The whirling LP is another journey of an album that only a select number artists have been capable of delivering in the past few years. YG is one of those very few.
Mitski – Puberty 2
Puberty 2 is the sound of how towering emotion can feel over you. The new LP from the New York indie rocker presents a constant duality, whether that be of feelings or identities. On a track like “Happy,” Mitski relishes in the joy and chaos of the feeling while also grappling with the darkness that it is always fleeting and you get that right from the jumping point. “Your Best American Girl” cleverly skewers her place in an overwhelmingly white male world like indie rock over enormous Pixies and PJ Harvey-like guitars. Always ornate, but never soft, Mitski’s latest is a raw re-introduction to an incredibly gifted, DIY, does-it-all musician. If you didn’t know, now hopefully you do.
Here are the rest of the week’s releases:
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool [wide release]
The Game – Streets of Compton
Caveman – Otero War
Mumford & Sons – Johannesburg EP
Jake Bugg – On My One
Disclosure – Moog for Love EP
Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room
clipping. [Daveed Diggs] – Wriggle EP
Misfits – Friday the 13th EP
The Tragically Hip – Man Machine Poem
Unlocking The Truth – Chaos
Swans – The Glowing Man
Delorean – Muzik
case/lang/veirs – case/lang/veirs
Weaves – Weaves
Gojira – Magma
KT Tunstall – Golden State EP