Bruno Mars, Justice, DNCE & Metallica Lead Albums Of The Week - November 18th
Thu, 17 Nov 2016 15:31:15
It's a week for the big hitters in album releases. From big sellers and hard rockers to dance floor fillers to confrontational bangers there appears to be a little something for everyone. Metallica return to the scene with an explosion of audio and video treats from their first album in 8 years. Bruno Mars continues to dance through the charts, and Joe Jonas leads his new outfit, DNCE through some funky-pop action. French EDM musicians Justice return with a solid set of tunes and D∆WN goes toe to toe with the issues of the day.
Without further ado then, here are the ARTISTdirect choices for the most compelling albums of the week:
Bruno Mars - "24K Magic" - Atlantic Records
Since the start of 2010, it's been hard to name an artist that has provided as many commercial hits as Bruno Mars. His latest release, 24K Magic, offers little in way of surprise, instead it brings fans of the man behind unrelenting "Uptown Funk" pretty much exactly what they wish for. Solid pop, funk flavors and crisper-than-crisp production values that continue to spin and spin. And Spin. With a title track that covers the classic concerns of Mars; girls, looking good, good looking girls, dancing, and girls, 24K Magic will continue to pave the streets that Mars struts with gold and platinum.
Metallica - "Hardwired…. To Self-Destruct" - Blackened
Fans have been waiting a long time for a new Metallica album. (aside from Lulu, their 2011 collaboration with Lou Reed) And with what appears to be an element of irony, or humor, or both - the hard-rockers released their new album, Hardwired… To Self Destruct, a day ahead of schedule. To coincide with the album release, they've made music videos for all 12 album tracks. They've unveiled each video, one at a time, every two hours, over the last 24 hours. All 12 videos are now online. "Murder One" shared here - is their tribute to Lemmy. It rocks hard. Clearly.
Justice - "Woman" - Ed Banger Records
Justice, the French electronic musicians Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay have been pretty quiet since their 2011 sophomore album, Audio, Video, Disco. Returning now with Woman, the duo seem intent on addressing the balance of things - both in subject matter and in sonic wares. There is suspense and reward across each of the tracks, and a maturity of an already unique vision, reminding fans why they're fans and inviting newcomers to dance.
D∆WN - "Redemption" - Local Action
It's not long into Dawn Richard's new album Redemption before she gets the guns out. In the second track "Love Under Lights" she describes the pleasure that White America experiences in murdering its black population. The music across the album carries a breathtaking urgency, there's aggression and an eagerness to be heard. At times angular, at times disorienting, D∆WN has a lyrical know-how that disquiets an audience - calling to confront whilst also demanding they dance. It's not a flawless album, but it is timely. With the current cultural climate of the USA standing as it does, this kind of album acts as a barometer. If you need to know what the kids are thinking, here, in part, is a solid answer.
DNCE - DNCE - Republic Records
Joe Jonas and friends have assembled all the fun of their smash singles "Cake by the Ocean" and "Toothbrush" and built up a bunch of ever-increasing funk pop wonders. There's a lack of complexity here, and it's actually quite rewarding. In terms of breezy, hook-laden, pop there are few albums that press all the right buttons in sequence. This is a paradox of a debut album led by a man who has been round the block a few times as a child - it has no pretensions beyond it's own strengths; a mindset that displays a kind of awareness that it's okay to be light, it's okay to have fun… Stevie Wonder-type jams cross pollinate with Jackson-like vocal trips and the result shows that Jonas knows what he's doing.
Download Bruno Mars "24K Magic" from iTunes
Download Metallica "Hardwired… To Self Destruct" from iTunes
Download Justice "Woman" from iTunes
Download D∆WN - "Redemption" from iTunes
Download DNCE "DNCE" from iTunes
—The ARTISTdirect Staff