This Week In Records (15/12/17): Lily Allen, Charli XCX & Ed Sheeran

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You’ve made it. It’s the end of term, deadlines are done (hopefully) and you can begin to enjoy the festivities – what better to commemorate than with some fresh new tunes to enjoy this Friday morning? We’ve got a plethora of new albums to get stuck into, alongside a couple of new singles from Ed Sheeran (yes again) and Lily Allen. More than enough to get acquainted with, without further ado, let’s get into it. Also, whilst I’m still here, make sure to come back next week for a special Christmas Number 1 themed This Week In Records to enjoy during the holidays!

Charli XCX – Pop 2

The follow-up to Number 1 Angel is here and is serving up a side order of something completely new from Charli XCX. Where her previous album stayed safe in creating classic formula pop songs, Pop 2 sees the singer rewrite the rules to create what can only be described as ‘futuristic pop’. Casting a brilliant ensemble which features the likes of Tove Lo, Carly Rae Jepsen and , XCX takes control of the record throughout and certainly isn’t lost in any of the tracks. Although often saturated in autotune, this seems to be the product the singer intends to create and even if you may not like it, there’s no denying that her focus is fulfilled.

BROCKHAMPTON – SATURATION III

Can BROCKHAMPTON make it three flawless mixtapes in a row with their final instalment of the SATURATION trilogy? The short answer is yes. SATURATION III is a perfect conclusion, which carries on the same dark and playful lyrics in fifteen brand new tracks to grace our ears. After they touted that this may be the last studio album we would see from the collective, fans were sent into a frenzy and it wasn’t until an interview with Zane Lowe’s Beats 1, that all the confusion managed to be cleared. “Everybody knows it’s not really our last album” spelled out Kevin Abstract, and it’s true. There’s so much more to see from BROCKHAMPTON and even though SATURATION III is the great end to the year, it would be a tragedy if it was the final record we heard from the collective.

Ed Sheeran with Andrea Bocelli – ‘Perfect (Symphony)’

Well this is an interesting one. It seems like Ed Sheeran is determined to top off a massive 2017 in which he broke the chart system and headlined Glastonbury by nicking Christmas Number 1, and what better way to do it than with the most beautiful song from his utterly fantastic album? Following on from his duet with Beyonce a couple weeks ago, Sheeran turns his hand to opera, enlisting the great Andrea Bocelli to turn his tender love story into something truly sweeping. It’s amazing how well this collaboration works – and how well Sheeran can sing opera – but it really is something special and deserves all the love it can get as we head towards the holidays.

N.E.R.D – NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES

Seven years after their last release, the Pharrell Williams-led three-piece are back to tackle the social and political turbulence they see around them in the rousing call-to-arms that is NO_ONE EVER DIES. Opened by the stinging, direct ‘Lemon‘ (featuring some surprisingly powerful bars courtesy of Rihanna), we are flung straight into the politics and protest as Pharrell yells in defiance of Trump and how he “tried to tell y’all about this dude”. From there the pace never slows as we are treated to the winding seven-minute psych-pop, hip-hop, lounge jazz epic that is ‘Lightning Fire Magic Prayer’, and the goosebump-inducing ‘Don’t Do It’, which features an appropriately provocative verse from Kendrick Lamar taking on police brutality. It’s an album packed with talent, from Andre 3000 to Future and even (for the third time in this article) a bit of Ed Sheeran, and one well worth your attention.

Lily Allen ft. Giggs – ‘Trigger Bang’

Returning with her first single in three years, and featuring the efforts of London rapper Giggs, ‘Trigger Bang’ sees Allen get all nostalgic with a Fryars produced urban-tinged track. Getting off to a bad start – the single was pre-emptively leaked – the singer responded in true Allen style by sharing the leaked track herself, but now that it’s officially out there in the world, we can finally all be properly excited. Such a great comeback track, with a safe catchy (albeit repetitive) chorus, it’s a product of Lily Allen yet also fares well in the adapt to fit music scene. I wonder how her other material will fare over the course of 2018 but it’s great to see new things from one of my childhood favourites.

Big Shaq – ‘Mans Not Hot – Christmas Edition’

Why does this exist.

Selected Other Releases

Albums

Eminem – Revival
G-Eazy – The Beautiful & The Damned
John Williams – Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Singles

Anne-Marie – ‘Then’
Arcade Fire – ‘Everything Now (Todo Ya) [Remix por Bomba Estereo]’
AWOLNATION – ‘Miracle Man’
Car Seat Headrest – ‘Beach Life-In Death’
joan – ‘tokyo’
Kim Petras ft. lil aaron – ‘Faded’
Marmozets – ‘Major System Error’
MGMT – ‘When You Die’
Michael Brun ft. Janelle Kroll – ‘Easy On My Love’
Moby – ‘Like A Motherless Child’
Pale Waves – ‘My Obsession’
Post-Malone ft. Nicky Jam & Ozuna – ‘Rockstar (Latin Remix)’
Ren with the Mane – ‘Up and Over’
Sigma ft. Quavo, Tinie Tempah, Yxng Bane & Sebastian Kole – ‘Forever’
Stormzy ft. Wretch 32 & Aion Clarke – ‘Blinded By Your Grace, Pt. 2 (Acoustic)’
Superorganism – ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D (Joe Goddard Remix)’
Sylvan Esso – ‘There Are Many Ways To Say I Love You’

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Records Editor at The Edge. Also a third year English and History student who has an unhealthy obsession with Foals.

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