Fleet Foxes, Lorde, 2 Chainz & Big Boi Enter The Boomiverse With Albums Of The Week - June 16
Thu, 15 Jun 2017 14:57:14
It's been a hell of a week in album releases, with some of the biggest names emerging from their genres with some of the most eagerly awaited albums of recent years.
2 Chainz drops an album that fans first thought was coming in April, Lorde brings Melodrama, and a new approach to building on reputation. Fleet Foxes end the longest wait for fans with the release of an album that has already spawned some epic tracks. The Drums return with the most personal album to date and Big Boi recruits an all-star cast of guest-listers to produce a glittering sonic trip through the scene.
So, without further ado — let's check out the albums which made the ARTISTdirect Albums of the Week playlist...
2 Chainz — "Pretty Girls Like Trap Music" — Def Jam Recordings
Fans have faced disappointment in their wait for the new album from Atlanta's 2 Chainz. One of those fans is writer Paul Thompson, who would have thought the initial April release of Pretty Girls… was too good to be true. So, the wait is over, and the collection finally lands, cementing 2 Chainz status as one of the best rappers releasing fresh material. The album is unsurprisingly ambitious, playfully infectious and delivers exactly what the huddle, hopping masses will have been waiting for.
Fleet Foxes — "Crack-Up" — Nonesuch Records
Lead singer Robin Pecknold recently discussed the cultural relevance of the straight white male, and how he feels about the significance of his particular perspective. He'd spent previous months explaining the reasons for the long wait between Fleet Foxes last album and this new release — saying that they simply couldn't drop another folk album, nor could they revise an ‘alt-folk' approach. However, from beneath the shadow of his music's incredible legacy Pecknold and the band emerge with a collection of tunes that are as compelling and fresh as could be hoped for. With rumors of a yet another new album, dropping close to the release date of Crack Up, it could just be that this is one series of tunes in a much larger sequence. The kind of ambition that would, in some sense, bring meaning to the plight of the perma-successful straight white male.
Lorde — "Melodrama" — Lava Records
Following up the incredible success of her last album, Lorde has spoken about her inability to know what makes a good single. In the run-up to dropping Melodrama the singer songwriter had already shared a range of colors and contrasts — "Sober", "Green Light" "Liability" and "Perfect Places" — and the eclectic view of Ella Yelich-O'Connor was made clear. In the wake of Royals it seems as if there's no place to go but everywhere. The whims, the ambitions, and the aspirations to have it all continue to shape and pull the artist — and the effects somehow present a well-articulated hole.
Big Boi — "Boomiverse" — Epic Records
During a listening party for Boomiverse, Big Boi shared no less than a staggering 24 tracks. But wait, there are only 12 tracks on the latest album from 50% of Outkast. Rumors swirl that another album will be dropped in close, close proximity to this one — and that the current trend for hip hop artists, and their growing lists of collaborators are producing some of the richest and far reaching albums in recent memory. Old friends and collaborators — WAY too many to mention here — join forces with Big Boi to produce one of the highlights of this summer's hip hop scene. Danceable tracks like "Chocolate" share the kind of pop sensibility that has underpinned much of the artist's work, while "Kill Jill", on which Killer Mike appears, is a clear indication of the quality you get on the album.
The Drums — "Abysmal Thoughts" — Anti- Records
The follow-up to 2014's Encyclopedia is perhaps one of the biggest steps Johnny Pierce has taken with the project he steers. Recorded in reaction to the sense of loss following the break-up of a long term relationship the album is confessional, confrontational and at times disarmingly vulnerable. All quite surprising on album that's as keen on the dance floor as it is on the poetry scene. At times you could describe the album as easy-listening, it's so familiar sounding and easily accessed — at others, the nuanced twists of experimentation will leave you breathless for a moment. It's good stuff.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff