The last couple of months have been quite colorful for the music industry as chart toppers and indie favorites return with full-length records. The selection of new material from various artists is overwhelmingly pleasing, and we review some albums that are worth your attention.
From rap king Kanye West to instrumental prophets Sigur Ros, here are five fresh albums waiting to be included in your rainy season playlist:
1) Phoenix – Bankrupt!
And the neon-tinged 80s dance party continues
The French rockers are back with their fifth record, Bankrupt!, and it has “80’s dance party” written all over it. This collection of songs is synth-heavy and energetic without losing the indie disco feel that made Phoenix a soundtrip-favorite among the hip(sters). In most of the songs, slow tempos follow fast and curly beats accompanied by calm and fluid vocals.
The keys and synth in the first track, "Entertainment," feature high-pitched Chinese-style patterns that will almost take listeners to where kung-fu is transformed into dance. "The Real Thing" and "Trying To Be Cool" direct the melody vortex into the new wave era with organ pre-sets and thumps borrowed from the likes of Roxette and Bowie. "S.O.S in Bel Air" has the same feel, only with a faster, more danceable beat that urges even the stiffest of souls to dance.
“Buckle up, we'll chase each other/ It's not a lot it's just enough to matter,” sings vocalist Thomas Mars in the catchy tune, "Chloroform,"a track that flies listeners back to their highly successful 2009 release, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.
The record has a vibrant personality, with the kind of transition and pace that will get your loafers beating, heads bobbing, and neon-colored nails waving.
2) James Blake - Overgrown
A soothing voice to make your soul coo
James Blake, a man with a voice that drives both women and men to fetal positions , is back with a new 11-song record, Overgrown--a record that brilliantly presents his skills as a producer and a vocalist.
The title track, also the opening song, is a warm greeting made of a swirling mixture of depth, drizzling harmonics, textures, layers and fuzzy feelings. "I Am Sold" is a bob-heavy number with lyrics alluding to the hypothetical area where the heart and ear meet. “In the garden that is you/ The snow comes like a breath/ But it may be the constellation/ That shows us where we are” mums Blake. “Everything feels like touchdown on a rainy day” repeatedly sings Blake in "Life Round Here," a gem of a song that sees Blake mastering his trademark upbeat and atmospheric sound. These vaguely romantic lyrics are words that any modern-day lover might want to use to impress her hipster girlfriend.
Blake’s hypnotic voice, poetic lyrics and piano licks are intertwined with his signature deep-bass ascend. Romantic, gospel, and r&b elements are present in the album and surprisingly, the package doesn’t sound cheesy at all.
NEXT: Kanye West's Yeezus and Queens of the Stone Age's …Like Clockwork
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