As music columnist for hellomagazine.ca, each week I’ll give 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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Cage the Elephant – Tell Me I’m Pretty
The Grammy-nominated band from Bowling Green, Ky., looking for a fresh start for its fourth album, has teamed up with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and, lately, the Arcs. The result is a sound that has echoes of Tame Impala, 1960s bands like the Zombies and the Black Keys themselves, especially on “Cry Baby,” “Portuguese Knife Fight” and the wonderfully buzzy “Mess Around.”
Psy – Chiljip PSY-Da
The Seoul pop star, whose “Gangnam Style” dance craze mega-hit introduced K-pop to global audiences, keeps the party going with his deliriously fun-loving seventh release. While the album includes numerous fellow K-pop artists, it’s the collaborations with will.i.am on the Black Eyed Peas-like "ROCKnROLLbaby" and with Ed Sheeran on a wacky, highly danceable remix of “Sing” that will broaden his audience.
Cam – Untamed
She’s already up for a Grammy, thanks to her poignant acoustic ballad “Burning House.” It’s the quietest song on the 31-year-old country singer’s debut album, but a powerful number to kick-start her career. Elsewhere, Cam unleashes a firestorm of banjos, big beats and a robust vocal style that sets her up as a modern-day Dolly Parton, especially on numbers like the honky-tonkin’ “Half Broke Heart,” the feisty title track and the plainspoken “Country Ain’t Never Been Pretty.” Blending old-school touches with radio-friendly production, Cam is ready and perfectly groomed for her closeup.
HOT BOX SETS:
Just in time for the holidays, these sets are perfect last-minute gifts.
Fleetwood Mac – Tusk
Fans will relish the deluxe edition of the band’s underrated, experimental followup to Rumours, which includes a wealth of unreleased studio takes and live recordings of album tracks and favorites like “Rhiannon” and “Go Your Own Way.”
Amy Winehouse – The Collection
The perfect, albeit rather lavish gift for anyone touched by Amy’s massive talent: an eight-disc limited-edition vinyl set comprising her three studio albums, live recordings from 2007 and an entire album’s worth of rarities.
Bob Dylan – The Cutting Edge
Those wanting to explore Dylan’s rich 1965-66 period (Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde) will be tempted by this collection of rare versions of songs, in two-, three-, six- and door-stopping 18-disc sets.