What a roller coaster of a week for music releases! Kanye finally dropped his album…after a fashion. It came several hours late, causing a bit of a breakdown on my part, but we got there in the end! Expect a review of the album that piqued everyone’s curiosity on the website very soon. Aside from the greatest human artist to ever exist, we have new albums from King Princess, the legendary James Blunt, as well as singles from the 1975, Frank Ocean and Coldplay.
King Princess – Cheap Queen
We’ve already heard a lot from King Princess’ debut full-length album, but the day has finally come with the release of Cheap Queen. Her songs are a balance of pop and ballads, although they can be a little hit or miss when it comes to energy and emotion. We’ve already heard the title track, ‘Prophet’, ‘Ain’t Together’ and ‘Hit The Back’, but how does the rest of the record hold up?
I still maintain that the title track is the most engaging on the album – it matches King Princess’ laid-back vocal style with a more energetic sound and works incredibly well. Other tracks like ‘Hit The Back’ and ‘Ain’t Together’ just aren’t as exciting, but for any fans of more chilled-out pop ballads, this album will be a nice listen.
Opener ‘Tough On Myself’ begins this debut on a high note of electronically-inclined slow balladry. So much of this record shows of King Princess’ more muted, understated side, so it really comes down to whether you prefer this sound over pop tracks like ‘1950’. In any case, there’s no denying that this is an emotionally vulnerable debut album, and that King Princess is living up to expectations that she was going to be a big name this year.
King Princess’ Cheap Queen is out now via Zelig Records.
James Blunt – Once Upon A Mind
Known mostly for his hilariously savage Twitter feed, James Blunt is back with his latest album Once Upon A Mind. He’s well loved for being one of the nicest guys in pop music, and although this latest release hasn’t blown everyone’s socks off, there are many tracks that get starkly emotional.
‘Monsters’ is definitely one of the true gems of this album. It’s a deeply emotional track about his sick father that will completely catch you off guard listening to Once Upon A Mind. ‘The Truth’ is a rather upbeat sounding opening track, and different take on the slow pop that James Blunt is known for, but with the same high vocals that we all know and love.
‘Champions’ is a little closer to Blunt’s earlier work. It’s definitely a strong track, building up over time with its soaring choruses. While there are many tracks here in which James Blunt has updated his pop to appeal to the modern audience, ‘The Greatest’ takes us back to the start when it closes Once Upon A Mind. This record isn’t likely to be one of the best of 2019, but it is a fiercely emotional album from a true pop legend.
James Blunt’s Once Upon A Mind is out now via Atlantic Records UK.
The 1975 – ‘Frail State Of Mind’
Well, here we are again. It was all going well with the release of ‘People’, which lead to the general belief here at The Edge that the 1975 were going punk and that it was going to be brilliant. So ‘Frail State of Mind’ is certainly a curveball. Or is it? ‘The 1975’ and ‘People’ were a world apart in their sound, so the strange lo-fi/dance number they put out this week shouldn’t really surprise anyone. So once again, I can offer no expectations about the upcoming Notes On A Conditional Form, because at this point, generally anything could happen.
The 1975’s ‘Frail State Of Mind’ is out now via Dirty Hit.
Frank Ocean – ‘DHL’
This is the first original song we’ve heard from Frank Ocean since 2017. Frank Ocean has rapidly become a big name in the music industry since the critically acclaimed Blonde, and the prospect of a new album with the release of ‘DHL’ is definitely good news for fans. Previews of two more upcoming tracks have also been revealed. Lyrically, ‘DHL’ isn’t much to write home about to begin with, but the songwriting really steps up its game as the track continues. Needless to say, fans are excited to hear new music from Ocean, and there’s no doubt that we have a big album on the horizon.
Frank Ocean’s ‘DHL’ is out now via Blonded.
Coldplay – ‘Orphans’ and ‘Arabesque’
Coldplay are back and the reactions have been…mixed. That is to say, no one I’ve spoken to has given these new tracks a good review, but someone out there is bound to like them, probably. This marks the beginning of Coldplay’s next record, which is set to be released before the end of the year. ‘Orphans’ sounds like, well, basically every other Coldplay song that has ever been released. It’s not especially impressive. While ‘Arabesque’ is a little bit more funky than ‘Orphans’, it’s still not really capturing my attention. Maybe I’m just not much of a Coldplay fan.
Coldplay’s ‘Orphans’ and ‘Arabesque’ are out now via Parlophone Records Limited.
Other Selected Releases
Anti-Flag – ‘Hate Conquers All’
Easy Life – ‘Nice Guys’
Liam Payne – ‘All I want (For Christmas)’
Lizzo, Ariana Grande – ‘Good As Hell’
Louis Tomlinson – ‘We Made It’
Matt Maltese – ‘Jupiter’
Mumford and Sons – ‘Blind Leading the Blind’
Mura Masa – ‘No Hope Generation’
Nina Nesbitt – ‘Toxic’
Selena Gomez – ‘Lose You To Love Me’
Westlife – ‘My Blood’
Cigarettes After Sex – Cry
Kanye We- oh wait never mind lol
PVRIS – Hallucinations EP
This Week In Records
Need a weekly music fix of all the songs you should care about? We’ve made a super handy playlist of all of this week’s biggest releases, so just sit back and listen to the good stuff. Updated every Friday.