Harry Styles, Paul Weller & Paramore Top The Albums Of The Week - May 12
Thu, 11 May 2017 14:28:22
This week the world of music is seeing a true shake up of talents, and new definitions across the genres. Iconic songwriters cement the quality of their life's work with incredible work ethic, boy band members branch out and offer new definitions and haircuts, former pop-punks get all mature, rappers get real and ready to dance whilst a supergroup drives itself into pole position with some good old fashioned rock 'n' roll.
Harry Styles has done some new stuff with his hair and has brought some more soulfully aware material to the unwavering fans who have followed him into solo territory. Machine Gun Kelly seems to be flowering with new pop hits, whilst Paul Weller simply works hard and refining a craft that he mastered many years ago. Paramore are back after what feels like a too-long break with a new level of adult awareness, and Dreamcar are the kind of supergroup that live audiences love — a collective experience of showmanship and rock that beginners only dream of.
So, without further ado — here are ARTISTdirect's albums of the week...
Harry Styles — "Harry Styles" — Columbia Records
What can be said about Harry Styles that could possibly educate the fans of a man whose following most likely knew what he had for breakfast before he did? Does anything really need to be said? The former One Direction boy-bander is striking out with a self-titled album on the label which his band also called home. A strategic assembly of ballads, upbeat pop and self-reflective lyrics will echo through the adolescent chambers of the world, as Styles steps up his game. Columbia can only be happy that the lad is now making a solo name for himself with a self-titled debut that articulates the wants of a young man who also happens to be one of the most successful pop artists of the past decade.
Machine Gun Kelly — "Bloom" — Interscope
With a top-five hit already notched up in the Billboard Hot 100 chart, ("Bad Things" with Camila Cabello) Machine Gun Kelly has also shared "At My Best" with pop singer Hailee Steinfeld — showing a poppier side to the heart of this album that details things like heartbreak and longing. Perhaps more commercial than previous excursions, Bloom is a statement of something becoming more of it's full potential — perhaps this is the direction that Machine Gun Kelly has always been facing, but he arrives with confidence and a set of songs that are set to light up the dancefloors.
Paramore — "After Laughter" — Fueled By Ramen
Fans have been waiting a long time for Paramore's new album. So much time has passed between After Laughter and the previous self-titled album, that the band appear to have matured at an accelerated pace. Moving away from their poppier, punky roots, the tone here is one of a matured approach. Sense is made of previous confusions, lyrics are better spaced and less hurried, and the approach to production shows a band that is assured listeners will follow where they dare to tread. At five albums into a career Paramore are once again interested in gaining altitude and getting down to serious business.
Paul Weller — "A Kind Revolution" — Polydor Records
Paul Weller's 13th studio album, A Kind Revolution, shows nothing but an eagerness of an artist with a momentum that has not let up since his debut with The Jam, whose first appearance in a recording studio happened forty years ago. Taking its title from a line in "The Cranes Are Back", the collection was started as soon as the artist's last album was released. It's industrious and has the work ethic of everything Weller touches. Recorded with Weller's regular touring band while soul singers PP Arnold and Madeleine Bell provide backing vocals on some of the tracks the songs here lend evidence to the presence of mind of the man, and the significance of his continued releases.
Dreamcar — "Dreamcar" — Columbia Records
It's safe to call Dreamcar a supergroup. The band who have been recording music together for three years now is made up of No Doubt's Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont and Adrian Young along with AFI and Blaqk Audio frontman Davey Havok. Their album is an amped-up expression of eagerness. The passion for music, married with a sense of camaraderie has produced a collection that feels like the focus of some serious work, intent on becoming more than a simple side project for a group of friends who were already doing pretty well, thank you. Will the album redefine rock music? Most likely not. Will the album redefine the members of the band are perceived? Perhaps — and that feels like a pretty good establishing shot from this self-titled vehicle.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff