The best new music of the week: Kelly Clarkson, Drake, Big Sean 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:


Kelly Clarkson - Piece by Piece
The “Miss Independent” singer has never shied away from belting out strong empowerment songs. Clarkson’s sixth studio release is no different, with reassuring lines like “I’ll be the wings that make you fly” and “I ain’t a scared little girl no more.” Getting more soulful, she teams up with John Legend on the piano ballad “Run Run Run.”

Drake - If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Drake takes aim at frenemies like Diddy, Tyga and Kendrick Lamar on tracks like “6PM in New York,” putting rivals in their place for their past challenges and criticisms of him. But he also shows his more sensitive side, especially on “You and the 6,” a late-night love letter of sorts to his mother and hometown of Toronto.

Whitehorse - Leave No Bridge Unburned
The husband-and-wife partnership of Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland has scored a bona-fide hit this time around with the twangy single “Downtown.” While the duo’s sound is still steeped in haunting folk songs, there’s an appealing shift toward down-and-dirty rock ’n’ roll, especially on “The Walls Have Drunken Ears.”

OTHER NOTABLE ALBUMS:

Big Sean - Dark Sky Paradise
The rapper’s latest features appearances by Drake, Kanye West and Sean’s girlfriend, Ariana Grande, who joins him on “Research” to diss his ex-fiancé, Naya Rivera.

Björk - Vulnicura
Some have called this Björk’s Blood on the Tracks, which is true until heartbreak gives way to hopefulness on “Atom Dance,” the Icelandic star’s duet with Antony Hergarty.

Ricky Martin - A Quien Quiera Escuchar
The Grammy-winning Puerto Rican superstar’s latest features Latin beats, a hint of 1930s burlesque and several steamy numbers, including one with English songbird Joss Stone.

Purity Ring - Another Eternity
Edmonton’s Megan James and Corin Roddick return with their hooky combination of James’ aching vocals and Roddick’s ethereal synths and club-worthy beats.

PLAYLIST OF THE WEEK:


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