You know those weeks where there’s just so much music released and you want to listen to it all but there’s so much music and you have so little time and you can’t listen to it all and it’s really really sad? Yeah well this is one of those weeks!
We’ve got a whole new album from Jessie Ware, remasters and B-sides from the late George Michael, plenty of content from two Directioners, MGMT‘s haunting spacescape of a single, and even a new track by Tay-Tay that we didn’t know about until 1:30 this morning, with plenty else released besides. It’s a lot to dive into, but god damn is it worth it.
Jessie Ware – Glasshouse
The delightful soul-inspired vocals from Jessie Ware never fail to coax you into a lulled state of mind, and now with a record which is full of loved-up inspiration, she certainly won’t fail to do so anytime soon. The third instalment from the singer-songwriter, Glasshouse is the follow-up to 2014’s Tough Love and features new collaborations with Ryan Tedder and Cashmere Cat. After the release of single ‘Midnight’ this summer, it was clear the space between R&B, soul and dance inflections which Ware so often occupies continues to be inhabited, solidified by ‘Alone’ but with more ballad-like tendencies. And then a few days ago she gave us ‘Sam’ – named after her husband Sam Burrows – a love song which sees collaboration with Ed Sheeran, a true match made in heaven.
Glasshouse gives us another dosage of the beautiful Ware, this time from a secure position rather than with the tempestuous ambivalence of early tracks like ‘Wildest Moments’, it’s a chartered progression which doesn’t lose the singer’s trademark.
Niall Horan – Flicker
A member of the One Direction rat-pack releases his own solo material, who would have thought? I’m sorry if my response to the Niall Horan‘s first solo album is a bit uninspired, but that’s exactly how I feel. After a year filled with ‘Sign of the Times’, ‘Strip That Down’, and ‘Just Hold On’ 2017 can officially be renamed, The Year When All Of One Direction Tried It On Their Own. And after Niall Horan took his turn with ‘Slow Hands’, ‘This Town’ and more recently ‘Too Much To Ask’, he’s finally ready to release an album of his own. Described by The Guardian as a “Radio 2 filler”, I cannot think of a better way of describing the singer’s attempt at solo material. Horan gives us nothing new in Flicker, forgettable amongst the diverse noise of the music industry today, the singer misses the mark in creating a stand out debut album – but I’m sure Directioners everywhere will rejoice.
Liam Payne – ‘Bedroom Floor’
From one ex One Direction member to another, the second solo single from Liam Payne gives us an unusual blast of tropical house as we approach Halloween and the cold winter months. It’s certainly a surprising departure from the throwback R&B vibe of his debut single ‘Strip That Down’, but that doesn’t stop it being a banger – and paired with Horan’s album, it certainly makes for an exciting day for the Directioners out there.
MGMT – ‘Little Dark Age’
It’s been four long years since we were last treated to new music from the seductively psychedelic synth-pop duo who brought us ‘Kids’, ‘Electric Feel’ and ‘Time To Pretend’, and who, according to Beats 1’s ever-acclamatory Zane Lowe, “changed the face of pop music forever.” So no pressure then. Fortunately, the first single off MGMT‘s upcoming album Little Dark Age is a delightfully paradoxical gothic-sci-fi treat, with Ben Goldwasser’s intergalactic synth rippling over Andrew VanWyngarden’s hauntingly robotic vocals to build to a real supernova of a chorus. The David MacNutt- and Nathaniel Axel-directed video is just as eerily bizarre and beautiful. Brb, adding it to the Halloween playlist…
George Michael – Listen Without Prejudice 25
Originally due to release in November 2016 as a 25th-anniversary reissue of George Michael‘s outstanding Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, Listen Without Prejudice 25 was hit by numerous setbacks and delays in the wake of the pop king’s tragic passing. It is now finally available – both as a 2 CD standard edition and a 3 CD/DVD deluxe set – and will come as a bittersweet prize for the fans who have been eagerly anticipating its release. Here’s hoping the album, which is filled to the brim with remasters, B-sides, Michael’s MTV Unplugged concert as well as numerous other rarities, is worth the hype as well as a fitting farewell and tribute to one of pop’s most influential artists.
Rita Ora – ‘Anywhere’
Rita Ora has certainly been one of the success stories of 2017. Although we’re still waiting for her elusive second album, pre-drinks banger ‘Your Song’ has been one of the UK’s 40 biggest songs of the year, whilst recent Avicii collaboration ‘Lonely Together’ is heading for a third consecutive week in the UK Top 5. Time will tell whether new release ‘Anywhere’ will see off Ora’s year in style by reaching those same lofty heights, but the ingredients are certainly there – dreamy production, a positively sunkissed chorus, and beautifully wistful lyrics that call back to long summer days gone by (“Over the hills and far away / A million miles from L.A / Just anywhere away with you”). Really, just stop reading what I’m saying about it, and give it a listen for yourself.
Taylor Swift – ‘Gorgeous’
Tay-Tay has released her third single from Reputation and I think it’s fair to say that it’s the best one yet. ‘Gorgeous’ follows previous singles ‘Look What You Made Me Do‘ and ‘…Ready For It?‘, and although it seems as though a new Taylor has been born, her latest shows us that there’s more of the old Taylor to come (she’s not dead after all everyone). Singing about hopeless obsession over a man who is “so gorgeous” that she “can’t say anything to [his]face” it’s familiar territory we find ourselves with here, with the track probably not sounding out of place on last album 1989; ‘Gorgeous’ is likely to please fans after the scary resurrection we’ve been painted with thus far. And with a comically sad bridge where she concludes “I’ll just stumble on home to my cats, alone”, you’ll just have to give it a listen yourself and make your mind up.
Post Malone – ‘Candy Paint’
This one’s pretty funky. And further proof that anything Post Malone touches is gold. Go on, give it a play.
Selected Other Releases
Europe – Walk The Earth
Krept & Konan – 7 Nights
Lewis Capaldi – Bloom EP
MiC LOWRY – MOOD EP
Pentatonix – A Pentatonix Christmas Deluxe
Tom Tripp – RED EP
Trivium – The Sin And The Sentence
Arctic Lake – ‘Too Close’
Artificial Pleasure – ‘Wound Up Tight’
Coucheron – ‘UFO’
Fifth Harmony – ‘Can You See’
Frank Turner – ‘There She Is’
Gengahr – ‘Mallory’
George FitzGerald – ‘Burns’
Giraffage ft. Angelica Bess – ‘Green Tea
Handsome – ‘Late Night Ball Game’
Hayley Kiyoko – ‘Feelings’
John Gibbons ft. Ai – ‘Sunglasses in the Rain’
Keir – ‘Squeeze Me’
Kelly Clarkson – ‘Meaning of Life’
Kygo ft. The Night Game – ‘Kids In Love’
Marshmello – ‘You & Me’
Melanie C – ‘Room For Love’
Mikky Ekko – ‘Light The Way’
Mount Kimbie ft. Andrea Balency – ‘You Look Certain (I’m Not So Sure)’
Naughty Boy ft. Joe Jonas – ‘One Chance To Dance’
Nick Jonas – ‘Home’
Off Bloom – ‘Lover Like Me’
Sälen – ‘I Am Champagne/I’m In Love With My Best Friend’
Sigma ft. Quavo & Sebastian Kole – ‘Forever’
Stereophonics – ‘Before Anyone Knew Our Name’
Tonight Alive – ‘Temple’
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
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