The best new music of the week: Tom Cockrane, Eddie Murphy, Shawn Mendes and more

By Nicholas Jennings

As music columnist for hellomagazine.ca, each week I’ll bring you my selections for the best and most notable new music, albums you’re going to want to add to your collection plus a five-song playlist to try out. Happy listening!

TOP ALBUMS:

Tom CochraneTake It Home
Life may be a highway for the Canadian rock icon, but his latest collection is more down-home roots music than rollicking road songs. From the bittersweet “The Ones I’ve Known” to the solemn “A Prayer for Hope,” inspired by his trip to Africa, these are mostly thoughtful observations. Exceptions are “Sunday Afternoon Hang,” about the virtues of cottage life, and the raucous roadhouse boogie of “Back in the Game.”

Fifth HarmonyReflection
Inspired by heroines as varied as Beyoncé and Michelle Obama, Fifth Harmony specializes in catchy, dance-flavored empowerment songs. The five women—Ally Brooke, Camila Cabello, Dinah Jane, Lauren Jauregui and Normani Kordei—show off their diverse vocals on can’t-miss numbers like “Bo$$” and “Them Girls Be Like.” Together with Meghan Trainor on the anthemic “Brave, Honest, Beautiful,” they call on girls everywhere to “shake like Shakira” and “pose like Madonna.”

NOTABLE SINGLES:

Eddie Murphy – “Oh Jah Jah”
The popular actor-comedian convincingly channels his inner Bob Marley on this rootsy reggae praise song, singing about leaving Babylon and going back to Zion.

Will Butler – “Anna”
Sounding a little like early Devo or the Cars, this infectious, ’80s-style single off the debut album from Arcade Fire’s Will Butler will have you pogo-ing through the day.

David Guetta – “What I Did for Love” feat. Emeli Sandi
After scoring hits with “Dangerous” and “Lovers on the Sun,” the superstar DJ teams up with the Scottish diva for a soulful confessional about the sacrifices made for romance.

Shawn Mendes – “A Little Too Much”
The 16-year-old Canadian singer proves he has musical chops with this emotional folk ballad from his forthcoming debut album, Handwritten, due out in April.

Marina & the Diamonds – “I’m a Ruin”
The Welsh songstress revels in a lush, melancholic sound while admitting to a lover that she’s only playing with his heart and she’ll ruin him if he lets her stay.”

PLAYLIST OF THE WEEK:

Our Music Columnist, Nicholas Jennings, shares his favourite music, reviews, features and more on Facebook, Twitter @nicojennings and through his website www.nicholasjennings.com

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