The Ophelias, “Almost”
“Almost” is the sound of women comparing notes in the spotlight to create something unusual, beautiful, and wholly relatable.
Body/Head, “The Switch”
This is not music that wants to play on your emotions—rather, it wants you to leave the nuisance of them behind altogether.
Cowboy Junkies, “All That Reckoning”
Cowboy Junkies have never reckoned with the times as vividly or as pointedly as they do here.
Deafheaven, “Ordinary Corrupt Human Love”
“Ordinary Corrupt Human Love” is a plunderphonic expression of a convoluted, black-metal-sized subject: human love.
Cornelia Murr, “Lake Tear of the Clouds”
“Lake Tear of the Clouds” skims lazily over fields of grass, Murr’s voice aloft on the breeze.
Dirty Projectors, “Lamp Lit Prose”
“Lamp Lit Prose” finds David Longstreth elated, though his positivity doesn’t always result in musical vitality.
A two-man mixtape of psych, guitar pop, soul power, and good times.
Drake has brilliantly portrayed fatherhood from the perspective of an abandoned child—but now that he is the estranged father, his music feels cold, distant, and distracted.
Florence + the Machine, “High as Hope”
More than ever, Welch trusts her magnetic personality and her unerring gift for skyscraping pop hooks to do the emotional lifting.
Gang Gang Dance, “Kazuashita”
Once personifying the adventurous, fresh feel of Brooklyn’s 21st century rise, GGD’s latest takes into account the jadedness of the moment.
The Carters, “Everything Is Love”
A charming denouement dedicated to entrepreneurial spirit and nuptial love.
Kamasi Washington, “Heaven and Earth”
Everything’s writ large; it is music that contains multitudes, and it’s teeming with joy and power.
Andy Jenkins, “Sweet Bunch”
While the album feels appropriate for relaxed, sun-kissed porch listening, it is by no means lazy.
Christina Aguilera, “Liberation”
“Liberation” resurrects Xtina’s considerable presence as a vocalist, though her attempts at navigating the modern pop landscape still verge on aimless.
Melody’s Echo Chamber, “Bon Voyage”
A mind-bending, immersive work, providing a glimpse inside Melody Prochet’s labyrinthine imagination.
Gruff Rhys, “Babelsberg”
Rhys has an ideal voice for these space-age ballads and cosmic troubadour rambles.
Lykke Li, “so sad so sexy”
Even if you don’t 100 percent buy into all of Lykke’s dark/light kooky mysticism, “so sad so sexy” is what it promises.
Kids See Ghosts, “Kids See Ghosts”
While Kanye’s lyrical performances are a marked improvement over his slapdash “ye” verses, “Kids See Ghosts” works best when he allows room for Cudi to shine.