It seems like things have finally calmed down after the avalanche of new releases we’ve had these last few weeks. Unfortunately for us, we’re left this week without much to write home about, but all the same let’s have a look at some of the more hyped up releases. The Black Keys released their ninth album following a long hiatus, and we’ve had some tracks from big names like Ed Sheeran and Ellie Goulding. Friday saw other new tracks covering a range of genres, with MUNA and Neck Deep also making an appearance. Let’s have a look.
The Black Keys – “Lets Rock”
After a four-year hiatus from being The Black Keys, the indie rock duo are back again with their ninth album, Let’s Rock. Their latest album has been very well received by critics and fans alike, with stand-out single ‘Lo-Hi’ topping a range of alternative charts. However, some feel that it lacks the band’s former charm, that there’s something missing in this comeback.
The band make it clear from the very start of the album that here, the electric guitar takes centre-stage (something that I’m always happy to hear). A lot of work has been put into the actual music as well as the lyrics, with some iconic guitar solos throughout. This gives Let’s Rock an interesting vintage feel, reminiscent of rock from decades ago, yet with enough indie freshness to make a really intriguing record.
As expected, ‘Lo-Hi’ stands out as a key track on Let’s Rock, which comes as no surprise following it’s commercial success in the alternative charts and making The Black Key’s comeback all the more significant after four years of no new releases. The opening riff is super catchy, and this track is the perfect example of the duo mixing classic rock ‘n’ roll with indie to create a fresh piece of music. Dan Auerbach’s vocals shine in this song, and while he keeps it simple throughout, he still showcases his talent.
So was it worth the four year wait? Definitely! Some die-hard fans of The Black Keys might notice something missing, considered separate to the rest of their discography, Let’s Rock is a solid album, in both lyrics and backing music, with guitar solos that have been hard to come by lately.
The Black Keys’ Let’s Rock is available now via Nonesuch Records.
Ed Sheeran feat. Khalid – ‘Beautiful People’
My one musical wish is that Ed Sheeran goes back to his acoustic roots. In the latest release from his upcoming collaborations project, we see the real difference in Sheeran from the start of his career to now. He’s collaborating with some stars – Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper and here, Khalid. A perfect demonstration that the laid back pop star has made it big. The message that he’s trying to get across in ‘Beautiful People’ that he doesn’t fit in with the glamorous lifestyle of his peers is one that would have translated better had he gone back to his more humble roots. Without his previously trademark acoustic guitar, Ed Sheeran lacks his former charm, and just doesn’t grab my attention anymore. Maybe we’ll see some more of his old style on his upcoming record, No. 6 Collaborations Project.
Ed Sheeran’s latest release ‘Beautiful People’, featuring Khalid is available now via Warner Music. His upcoming album will be out July 12.
Ellie Goulding with Juice WRLD – ‘Hate Me’
Another somewhat unsatisfactory release from this week was Ellie Goulding’s latest, ‘Hate Me’, a more negative approach to a love song about the end of a relationship. It disappoints when the chorus quickly becomes repetitive, and seems to lack depth. The track feels a little lacklustre, especially in comparison with some of the other brilliant pop releases we’ve been graced with this month.
Ellie Goulding’s ‘Hate Me’ featuring Juice WRLD is available now via Polydor Records.
MUNA – ‘Who’
Electro-pop trio MUNA are following up with this lovely tune after the release of ‘Number One Fan’, all in preparation for their upcoming album due to reach us this September. The band has changed a lot since we last heard from them and ‘Who’ is them showing the world what lies ahead for MUNA. With this softer, deeply honest track we can see their bright future on the horizon.
MUNA’s ‘Who’ is available now via RCA Records. Their upcoming album will be released later this year.
Neck Deep – ‘She’s A God’
Welsh band Neck Deep are back with another dose of true pop-punk in their new single ‘She’s a God’. This upbeat track is about being so infatuated with someone that you basically worship everything that they do. It definitely puts the ‘pop’ in ‘pop-punk’, making it a nice, upbeat love song with just the right amount of electric guitar – just don’t go into it expecting something on the heavier end of the spectrum. All in all, an interesting track that will definitely get you moving.
Neck Deep’s ‘She’s a God’ is available now via Hopeless Records.
Selected Other Releases
Chris Brown feat Justin Bieber and Ink – ‘Don’t Check On Me’
Grace VanderWaal – ‘Ur So Beautiful’
Iggy Azalea – ‘Just Wanna’
Kygo & Whitney Houston – ‘Higher Love’
Liam Gallagher – ‘The River’
The Struts – ‘Dancing In The Street ‘
J Balvin, Bad Bunny – OASIS
Julia Michaels – Inner Monologue Part 2
Thom Yorke – ANIMA
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
Want to listen to all of this musical goodness? Follow our shiny Spotify playlist for The Edge‘s picks of what new music deserves to be on your radar each and every week.