DJ Khaled’s Grateful and 6 Other Albums to Listen to Now

DJ Khaled. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Every week, Vulture gathers new albums you can listen to right now. We don’t have a problem admitting it: Keeping track of everything that’s released can be overwhelming, but finding out about interesting music doesn’t have to be work. Read our picks below, and share your thoughts in the comments.

DJ Khaled, Grateful (Epic Records)
By now, you know what you’re going to get from any DJ Khaled’s album: a track list peppered with of-the-moment names, big-name stars, and a few cult favorites that Khaled remains loyal to. His dedication to giving Mavado solo tracks is admirable. So what’s up with Grateful? I’m not going to implore you to care about this album — the track list alone guarantees at least a cursory listen — but it is an interesting entry in the DJ Khaled catalog. Where last year’s Major Key was pretty dark and angry, Grateful is pure celebration. This is DJ Khaled as the latest Marvel Universe movie: good-natured, expensive, and really loud. It’s DJ Khaled as the guy with the pool who is always cool with you showing up to swim in it whenever. It’s DJ Khaled’s summer album — but it’s a summer album that isn’t afraid to rope in hard-nosed New York rappers like Jadakiss or to pair polar opposites like Nas and Travis Scott together. Predictably, the people that fare the best are the ones who have a lot of experience working within Khaled’s “everything but the kitchen sink” mode of making albums: Rick Ross shines on multiple occasions, and Future acts as a backbone for the entire record, appearing on so many tracks he may as well be co-hosting. —Sam Hockley-Smith (@Shockleysmith)

Jeff Tweedy, Together at Last (ANTI-)
This solo album from Wilco front man Jeff Tweedy mines the acoustic honesty of the singer-songwriters of yore — notably Neil Young and early Bob Dylan — and applies it to an intimate handful of Tweedy-penned Wilco, Loose Fur, and Golden Smog songs. While 2014’s Sukierae saw Tweedy stripped down to a certain degree, he’s completely on his own here; it’s the sparest experience of Tweedy’s songwriting yet. This is a traditional method of delivery — and possibly an antiquated one — a fact that Tweedy embraces anew on the acoustic rendition of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’s “Ashes of American Flags,” where he sings: “I wonder why we listen to poets when nobody gives a fuck.” Then he ends the next line with a rhyme. —Gabe Cohn (@gabescohn)

Prince, Purple Rain Deluxe (NPG/Warner Bros.)
In the weeks after Prince’s death, his famed Paisley Park vault was unlocked and all its mysterious contents carefully excavated. Given the Purple One’s prolific career, the process of sorting through the thousands of unreleased songs from within — much of which Prince made clear wasn’t for public consumption — took over a year. (The battle over Prince’s estate also intervened.) But the crème de la crème of the vault, and the collection which Prince authorized before he died, now exists in a massive reissue of Purple Rain. The entire original album had been remastered in 2015, and that fact is particularly noticeable if you can get your hand on the FLAC audio and have a fancy enough sound system to play it on. The real meat is the unreleased tracks — which range from songs he gave to other artists (“The Dance Electric”) to songs only ever heard live (“Electric Intercourse”) to demos (“Computer Blue”). And that’s not even mentioning the Purple Rain B-sides, which contain various edits and mixes of the classics (I highly recommend the extended “Let’s Go Crazy.”). It’s a completest’s dream. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Vince Staples, Big Fish Theory (Def Jam)
Vince Staples has always had a corrosive sound, pairing rough, industrial beats with scathing, relentless rhymes to make music that could both soundtrack a horror film and be played in clubs. On his second album, Big Fish Theory, he ups the ante, teaming up with destructive electronic experimentalists like Sophie and Flume — among others — to create an unremitting stream of house rap that often touches upon politics and nihilism (par for the course for Staples). Fans of the rapper’s previous efforts may be surprised by just how into EDM the album gets — especially on “Yeah Right,” which features a surprise verse from Kendrick Lamar. Big Fish Theory is not only a worthy follow-up to Summertime ’06 and Prima Donna, but a logical and remarkable next step. —Ethan Sapienza (@ClickTheMovie)

Radiohead, OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017 (XL Recordings)
You’ve heard this album before, so this is mostly to point your attention to our piece about the copious number of rare Radiohead tracks that you can finally enjoy in your own home without clicking through poorly recorded live versions on YouTube. —SH-S

Algiers, The Underside of Power (Matador)
The fierce, angry, and timely new record from Atlanta-bred four piece Algiers is not only one of the most culturally resonant albums I’ve heard this year; it’s also one of the most difficult to pin down. Take the middle track, “Cleveland”: The song goes from zero to sixty in the time it takes to press play, with a beat that kicks and punches over ghostly gospel samples. Then there’s the incendiary vocals of Franklin James Fisher, which slice through every track on the album, stretching his syllables to match every instrumentally complex song. The band’s Wikipedia page describes them as “dystopian soul,” but look around. —GC

Laurel Halo, Dust (Hyperdub)
Laurel Halo, a producer who has moved from experimental techno to formless musical territories with ease, has released her most ambitious work yet. It’s largely synthetic-sounding: Songs glisten and cascade and sound like they were made nowhere at all. In other words, this is an internal, reflective album that initially sounds distant, but the more you listen, the more you’re drawn into a world where nothing is what you think it is. —SH-S

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