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!
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Drake and Future – What a Time to Be Alive
With his second mixtape this year and his Views from the 6 album coming soon, Drake is not only one of hip hop’s most successful stars but also its most prolific. This collaboration with Atlanta rapper Future, recorded in just six days, marries Drake’s smooth northern flow with Future’s gritty southern drawl. Highlighting this contrast are the banger “Jumpman” and the spacey “Diamonds Dancing.” On the last two tracks, Future delivers the skittering “Jersey” while Drake gets confessional on “30 for 30 Freestyle.” It may not be Drake’s best work, but will satiate fans until his new album drops.
Janet Jackson – Unbreakable
Her first album of new material since Discipline in 2008, Unbreakable is a jam-filled collection destined to restore the iconic singer’s pop supremacy. Along with the seductive “No Sleep,” a duet with J. Cole, the 17-track album includes several scorching numbers, like “Burnitup!” (which pairs Jackson with Missy Elliott) and the wild, beat-driven “Shoulda Known Better.” There’s mid-tempo funk on “The Great Forever” and romantic ballads like “After You Fall.” For her loyal fans, Jackson offers the slinky title track, singing, “Truth is that I wouldn’t be here without the love I stand on/Anytime I get lost in the world/You'll always be there.”
OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES:
Born Ruffians – RUFF
The taut, jittery guitar on “Stupid Dream” and the torrent of Luke LaLonde’s unhinged vocals on “Don’t Live Up” are the best things about the talented indie-rockers’ latest.
The Sheepdogs – Future Nostalgia
Recorded in the backwoods setting of Ontario’s Stony Lake, the Saskatoon band continues to mine ’70s-style rock nuggets like “Take a Trip” and “Same Old Feeling.”
Collective Soul – See What You Started By Continuing
After taking a six-year break to pursue solo projects, America’s post-grunge rockers return with a raw, revitalized sound that resembles their best work in the ’90s.