The best new music of the week: Mark Ronson, Meghan Trainor, Kat Dahlia and more

By: Nicholas Jennings

By Nicholas Jennings

As music columnist for, 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!


Mark RonsonUptown Special
The former New York DJ gained fame as a producer for Amy Winehouse and then artists like Lily Allen and Rufus Wainwright. His fourth album has already been pumped by the success of the deliriously kinetic “Uptown Funk,” featuring Bruno Mars. With lyrics by Pulitzer Prize novelist Michael Chabon and thrilling contributions from Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, rising singing star Keyone Starr and rapper Mystikal, the 11-track release rolls out like a sampling of choice dance cuts from one fabulous record collection.

Meghan TrainorTitle
The 21-year-old pop sensation is about a lot more than just that bass, with an album’s worth of sassy, empowerment songs like “Mr. Almost” and “Dear Future Husband.”

Kat DahliaMy Garden
Raspy vocals and streetwise lyrics on “Crazy,” “Gangsta” and the Latin-flavored “Tumbao” make the debut from this feisty Cuban-American artist one to watch.

The DecemberistsWhat a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
Portland’s indie-folk rockers, led by literate frontman Colin Meloy, return with their seventh full-length album, powered by thoughtful, soaring gems like “Make You Better.”


Various artistsBoardwalk Empire Vol. 3
One of the highlights of the Prohibition-era HBO drama, starring Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson, is its fine attention to period detail—especially its music choices. Previous soundtrack volumes have included artists like St. Vincent, Pokey LaFarge, Neko Case and Leon Redbone. The latest installment keeps up that high standard with inspired performances from Elvis Costello, Regina Spektor and Norah Jones, who sings a tender rendition of the 1928 nugget “If You Want the Rainbow (You Must Have the Rain).”

Various artistsAnother Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’
Elvis Costello, Joan Baez, Marcus Mumford and his actress-wife Carey Mulligan are among the artists singing classic ’60s songs to salute the Coen Brothers’ popular movie.

Various artists2015 Grammy Nominees
With 21 tracks from the likes of Taylor Swift, Pharrell Williams, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Ariana Grande, this comp is the perfect primer of pop’s biggest current hitmakers.


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