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!
Scroll down for playlist…
Adele – 25
It opens with “Hello,” already a ubiquitous single around the planet, and closes with “Sweet Devotion,” a soaring, triumphant number about her three-year-old son. In between, Adele gives the world her closing chapter on the book about the heartbreak that dominated 25’s predecessor 21, which sold 30-million copies. On “All I Ask,” she teams up with Bruno Mars and his crew to express a profound loneliness, while on “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” she sings “gotta let go of all of our ghosts, we both know we ain’t kids no more.” It’s a stunning album, packed with honesty and emotion that’s rare in most pop records but is exactly what we’ve come to expect from Adele.
Justin Bieber – Purpose
This is all about making amends. After several years in a tabloid frenzy, Justin is at his repentant best on his fourth album, apologizing to ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez on “Sorry” and admitting “I’ve made a few mistakes" on “No Pressure,” adding “I’m the only one to blame.” Working with producers like Skrillex, Diplo and Poo Bear, the Stratford, Ont., native puts the emphasis on his soft and supple voice with sensuous ballads like “I’ll Show You” and “Love Yourself,” his co-write with Ed Sheeran that includes enough skittering beats and quirky effects to keep it interesting.
Enya – Dark Sky Island
Ireland’s new-age superstar continues to transport listeners to the ethereal singer’s dreamy universe, especially on tracks like “Solace” and “The Humming,” which envelop with comforting warmth.
Squeeze – Cradle to the Grave
The first album of new material in 17 years from England’s Squeeze reaffirms the masterful pop skills of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook on songs like the Motown-inspired title track.
Carly Simon – Songs from the Trees
From “Anticipation" and "Mockingbird,” her duet with former husband James Taylor, to “You’re So Vain,” which she’s now revealed is about Warren Beatty, Carly’s new collection spans her entire pop oeuvre.
Kurt Cobain – Montage of Heck
The box set is a fan’s bonanza, with early versions of Nirvana songs like “Been a Son,” Kurt’s distinctive cover of the Beatles’ “And I Love Her,” a book, postcards, jigsaw puzzle and Brett Morgen’s insightful documentary.