Damn. You complain once about a slow music week and then Spotify gives you no rest for the whole summer. Thanks? Anyway, there are some fantastic releases to take a look at this week, including Chance the Rapper‘s album which just missed the cut out for last week’s rundown. Then we have a mix of pop and rock with the rest of the releases, with contributions from Foals, Ariana Grande, IDLES and HAIM. Let’s go!
Chance The Rapper – The Big Day
Although Chance The Rapper’s album was highly anticipated all summer, it seems that fans are disappointed now that the final product has arrived. Criticised in comparison with his earlier mixtapes, The Big Day hasn’t really lived up to expectations. It’s full of collaborations from all corners of the music industry, from Nicki Minaj to Shawn Mendes and Death Cab For Cutie.
Although it’s a musically experimental album, the lyrical themes such as summer nostalgia and relationship issues have all been done before in the same way. It was an ambitious project, over an hour of tracks and contributions from different artists, but it has failed to please fans of the rapper. Some of the opening tracks, like ‘All Day Long’ with John Legend and ‘Roo’ are interesting enough but as the album goes on it feels like the songs get more and more skippable.
One of these blander tracks is ‘Ballin Flossin’, with Shawn Mendes collaborating. Releasing this as a single created an unfortunate image of what to expect on the album, and it seems to have lived up to this first look. It’s one of the less emotional tracks, and didn’t take off.
Chance The Rapper’s The Big Day is out now via Chance The Rapper.
Mabel – High Expectations
Next up we have a pop album from Mabel. First off, High Expectations is interestingly arranged, beginning with the build up of ‘High Expectations – Intro’. The rest of the album continues with tracks interspersed with interludes, although ‘High Expectations – Outro’ doesn’t actually come at the end of the album; instead it is followed by 5 collaborations and a final track, ‘Not Sayin’ ‘. I’m guessing this marks two parts of the album – the more conceptual beginning of High Expectations which is so meticulously organised, and the other tracks.
‘Bad Behaviour’, one of Mabel’s previously released singles of the album, is a true example of good pop – catchy, pure vocals and an upbeat track. It stands out as a highlight of the album and it’s no wonder it was chosen as a single. I’m a big fan of ‘Lucky – Interlude’ and ‘Stckhlm Syndrome – Interlude’, two of the more emotionally raw tracks that do they’re job of breaking up the more stereotypical dance pop on the album.
One of the less enjoyable tracks on High Expectations was ‘OK (Anxiety Anthem)’. Although it’s a nice message that there is no shame in anxiety, the ‘it’s okay not to be okay’ has been overused for years, so the track comes across as more cheesy than inspiring. It’s a hard subject to portray in music, but more passion and emotion could have gone a long way.
The ‘High Expectations – Outro’ is fuelled by strings and really brings together the album so far in an artistic way. Mabel’s vocals really shine here too. But the real last song, ‘Not Sayin’ ‘, is definitely a different, dancier vibe, ending the album in a different way to the outro. If you prefer to keep things conceptual, set up your Spotify queue in a different way when you listen to this record.
Mabel’s High Expectations is out now via Polydor Records.
Foals – ‘Black Bull’
This is one we’ve been waiting for at The Edge. Since the release of ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1’, all anyone has been able to think about is the sequel, to be released in the autumn. ‘Black Bull’ lives up to everything that Foals said about this being a much heavier, guitar driven record than part one. The vocals are much harsher and the guitar distortion creates a fantastic sound for the band. This is the first track from the upcoming album, and I hope it sets the tone for what is to come because this is an amazing rock track. It’s messy and chaotic, and honestly perfect.
Foals’ ‘Black Bull’ is out now via Warner Records.
Ariana Grande feat Social House – ‘boyfriend’
Ariana Grande has been releasing music at an alarming rate of the past few years, and this latest single sees the singer pair up with Social House to create ‘boyfriend’. Starting with the line “I’m a motherfucking trainwreck” it sounds like Grande isn’t holding back on this one. However, it doesn’t have that same appeal as songs like ‘thank u, next’ that have the ability to be played on repeat. Not one of Ariana Grande’s greatest, but to be honest she’s been releasing so many bangers that she’s allowed to have an off day.
Ariana Grande’s ‘boyfriend’ featuring Social House is out now via Republic.
IDLES – ‘I Dream Guillotine’
It’s a great time for IDLES. After a load of festival performances that grabbed the world’s attention, and the announcement of a UK tour that then sold out incredibly quickly, there’s no doubt that this is one of the most successful alternative bands at the moment. This new track is ferocious, much like the rest of their back catalogue. The load vocals are stronger than ever and the harshness of the guitar is almost hypnotic. As usual, IDLES don’t shy away from the political, this time having a look at class in the UK. A wonderful listen.
IDLES’ ‘I Dream Guillotine’ is out now via Partisan Records.
HAIM – ‘Summer Girl’
Fans are overjoyed by the return of HAIM to our playlists, with their newest track ‘Summer Girl’. They’ve been dominating the alternative pop scene for a few years now, and although some people were disappointed by the new release, it’s a super unique track and a very different summer sound than what we’ve been hearing lately. The vocals are relaxed and the jazz-inspired sound is a change of direction for HAIM, but this track is something special.
HAIM’s ‘Summer Girl’ is out now via Columbia.
Other Selected Releases
BROCKHAPTON – ‘I BEEN BORN AGAIN’
Gryffin feat. Carly Rae Jepsen – ‘OMG’
Little Boots – ‘Jump’
Lauv feat Anne-Marie – ‘fuck, i’m lonely’
Noah Cyrus – ‘July’
RAYE – ‘Love Me Again’
Sleater-Kinney – ‘Can I Go On’
The Lumineers – Leader of the Landslide’
The S.L.P – ‘The Youngest Gary’
Tori Kelly – 2 Places
YUNGBLUD – ‘Hope For The Underrated Youth’
Clairo – Immunity
Drake – Care Package
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
Since there’s so much going on in the music industry this week, I bet you’ll be looking for a handy playlist to keep up to date. Well look no further! The Edge has put all the biggest releases into one handy Spotify playlist. Give us a follow for updates every Friday!