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Noname’s New Album, Room 25, Is Evocative and Confessional Her songs are short and intimate, but they never seem slight.
Troye Sivan’s Bloom Is a Joy to Listen To On it, he models a carefree gay masculinity the world works hard to condition out of young boys.
Mitski’s Be the Cowboy Is Devastatingly Good It improves on the stunning Puberty 2 by switching up the method.
The Quirky Beauty of Ariana Grande’s Sweetener A few fans of her previous dance-pop hits might be seething this week.
The Banquet of Trash Talk That Is Nicki Minaj’s Queen She comes at pretty much everyone, but there’s more to the album than that.
The Feel Good Mutant Soul of Dirty Projectors’ Lamp Lit Prose It’s all upbeat ruminations on affection and excitement, where the last album fixated almost exhaustingly on rot.
Drake Fails to Grow on Scorpion Both sides of Scorpion needed to drop three or four songs and get a grip.
Florence and the Machine and Gorillaz Fight for the Future on Their New Albums Both seem intent upon inspiring listeners to fight through the crushing gravity of the times.
Teyana Taylor Finally Gets Her Moment to Shine on K.T.S.E. Teyana’s record is almost too good for the glut of disconcerting Kanye press that preceded it.
Bebe Rexha’s Expectations Explores Weird, Bad Feelings If you like your pop music a little forlorn and introspective, you’ll find plenty of candidates here for rainy-day-mood playlists.
On Everything Is Love, Beyoncé and Jay-Z are Performing a Marriage in Real Time Each song here is the rare team-up where both parties sound like they’re pushing each other to greater heights.
On Redemption, Jay Rock Searches for His Voice The more it focuses on Jay Rock’s knack for passionate storytelling, instead of flashy hooks and repetition, the better it fares.
Kids See Ghosts Is the Win Kanye and Kid Cudi Badly Needed Their debut collaborative album is the sound of old friends pooling their strengths to overcome tragedy.
The Pretty Emptiness of Kanye West’s Ye Kanye West was once the everyman’s rapper, a poet of the downtrodden. He hasn’t been that artist in years.
Arctic Monkeys Find New Life by Rewriting Their Formula Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino ditches the old Arctic Monkeys sound in favor of late-night, self-aware vampire soul music.
Dirty Computer Is an Introduction to the Real Janelle Monáe It’s as much a celebration of love as a threat to powerful merchants of hate.
J. Cole’s KOD Is a Thoughtful Meditation on Addiction The North Carolina rapper explores the perils of addiction from multiple angles, to emotionally powerful results.
Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy Cements Her Star Status It’s a collection of airtight strip-club bangers and heavier emotional numbers.
The Weeknd’s My Dear Melancholy Is a Jarring Breakup Album Abel Tesfaye has returned, slightly, to the guts and grit that built him.
Kacey Musgraves’s Golden Hour Is 2018’s Country Album to Beat Her third album makes any objections about her style and image now seem embarrassing.
Jack White and Julian Casablancas Show Their Age on New Albums Jack White sounds tired of being Jack White, while Julian Casablancas is still sorting out the many things he can be.
Snoop Dogg’s New Gospel Album, Bible of Love, Is Surprisingly Great It’s a warm, wise survey of gospel music’s past, present, and possible future that works better than it should.
Vince Staples Made a Hopeful Album, DJ Khaled Made a Hopeless One In Big Fish Theory, Vince Staples surprised with a hopeful album. In Grateful, DJ Khaled made a star-studded slog.
Lorde’s Melodrama Satirizes and Exemplifies a Great Breakup Record The album is split between heartbroken displeasure and moments of clarity.
Freddie Gibbs Faces Loss, Love, and Prison Head On The album is short but it feels rich and lived-in.
Sampha’s Haunting Album Process Is Grief Writ Large, and Beautifully The artist’s first solo record is haunted by realities of loss and mortality. There’s no neat
resolution to the personal unrest coursing through it.
Syd’s Fin Is More Than Just an Internet Side Project It would be a shame for Fin to be remembered as a layover between the Internet albums, since it’s a whip-smart meld of ’90s R&B and ’10s trap sonics.
Review: Jeremih and Chance’s Merry Christmas At its best, Lil’ Mama feels less like Christmas music and more like a fun, low-stakes love letter to both artists’ place of birth.
Review: Hamilton Mixtape Reinvigorates Hamilton The collection is both a no-brainer and a rarity in rap.
Album Review: Sleigh Bells’ Jessica Rabbit I wouldn’t skip any tracks, but it’s hard to remember some of them.
Mixtape Review: 21 Savage’s Savage Mode This music is built from the same casual hopelessness that shocks us cold whenever we awake to fresh news of mass murder or police brutality. But in it, there’s a sense that the power is ours.
Schoolboy Q’s Blank Face Is a Gangster Rap Classic In keeping with its artist’s contradictory nature, Blank Face is at once more relaxed and more powerful than its predecessor.
Will New Albums From the Avalanches and DJ Shadow Revive Turntablism? Neither has reinvented any wheels, but sometimes a couple of cool records will suffice.
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ The Getaway Is Their Best in Years The Getaway doesn’t take the Chili Peppers’ sound to the chop shop; they’re still crafting agile guitar rock with a funk underpinning.
Little Big Town and Pharrell Made a Country Album (Barely) Wanderlust veers sharply away from “Girl Crush” and the cool country-pop of 2014’s Pain Killer; it’s the most eclectic offering in the group’s catalogue.
Album Review: Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman She isn’t abandoning the tweenaged tattooed hearts of her first album; she’s just switched up their placement to somewhere more risqué. Load More