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10 New Albums to Stream Now: Meek Mill, Future, Years & Years and More Editors’ Picks

Meek Mill’s summertime return, Future’s Dirty South travels, Years & Years’ pop splendor and more albums to stream now

future meek mill surprise albums to stream

Future, Meek Mill

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EDITORS’ PICK: Meek Mill, Legends of the Summer
Meek Mill’s legal battles and advocacy for criminal justice reform have made him a folk hero. This four-track EP seems designed to sustain heightened public interest in him – at least until he can record a proper follow-up to last year’s Wins & Losses. While brief, Legends of the Summer capably distills the usual Meek Mill elements: There’s a fire-breathing, elbow-swinging banger (“Milladelphia”), a radio-baiting R&Bae jam (“Dangerous,” with the ubiquitous Ty Dolla $ign and PnB Rock), a thuggin’ in the club number (“1am”) and, most importantly, “Stay Woke,” a rumination on broken friendships, bad life decisions and possible redemption in line with the contemplative tracks that made him one of this decade’s most complicated yet beloved street rappers. “I’ve got the key to the streets!” he boasts on “Milladelphia.” Yes, he does. Mosi Reeves
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Future, Beastmode 2
The Atlanta MC’s first installment of Beast Mode, released in 2015, augured the most artistically profound phase of his career. Three years later, its sequel finds the iconoclast capable of wringing sparks from a familiar style, with pioneering trap producer Zaytoven’s ornamental keyboard flurries giving Beastmode 2 more musical consistency than last month’s Future-curated Superfly soundtrack. Beastmode 2, by contrast, sounds like a Dirty South mixtape; you can imagine the duo grinding in an Atlanta studio during those early-morning hours after the strip clubs have closed. Highlights include the bizarre “31 Days,” in which Future stretches out his verbs – made, saved, paid, laid, eat, feet, teeth, beef – with Auto-Tune, placing grade-school reading exercises in front of a funhouse mirror. Mosi Reeves
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Years & Years, Palo Santo
Cheeky yet serious, danceable yet introspective, the second album from this British synthpop trio is a wild ride that’s energized by existential and primal hunger. Alexander has said that Palo Santo is organized around a loose “post-human future” concept, and this album is a fine argument against that idea; while lyrics like “oh, me and you, boy I can move/your power pulls me under,” from the slickly hooky “Hallelujah,” can be understood by man and machine alike, what makes the TRL-throwback jam “Sanctify” and the skittering “Preacher” soar is the undeniably human nerve at their core. Alexander’s triumphant vocals lead the way; his urgent falsetto gives the kiss-off of “Lucky Escape” extra acid, and his triumphant big note slices through the regimented clamor of “Rendezvous.” He’s a star, and he’s got the high-octane material to match. Maura Johnston
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

Kinky Friedman, Circus of Life
The pioneering country satirist’s first album of original material in 35 years is more a rebirth than a return to form. At 73, the Texas oddball has landed on a newfound sincerity, offering up a tender paean to his comrade Willie Nelson on “Autographs in the Rain” and a heartfelt mortal reflection on “A Dog Named Freedom.” Best known for sendups like “We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To You” and “They Ain’t Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore” – honky-tonk vaudeville numbers that offered biting if occasionally murky caricatures of small-town bigotry – Friedman has arrived at a more empathic narrative voice. “Jesus in Pajamas,” a world-weary tale of suffering and compassion, recalls 1973’s “Ride Em Jewboy,” yet finds the ever-restless eccentric spinning old yarns in new ways. Jonathan Bernstein
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Immortal, Northern Chaos Gods
The first full-length in nine years from these Norwegians is a thoroughly conventional black-metal record. Which in is a great thing, considering that Immortal were among the originators of the style; it’s also surprising, considering that it’s the band’s first LP without longtime vocalist/bassist Abbath, who split in 2015 following a trademark dispute. Taking his place is guitarist and co-founder Demonaz, who hasn’t actually played on an Immortal album since 1997 (he bowed out due to tendinitis and has contributed only lyrics since then). Die-hards might miss Abbath’s unearthly croak, but Northern Chaos Gods’ eight tracks are satisfyingly filled with relentless speed, anthemic riffs and frosty imagery. Songs like the fist-pumping title track and “Gates to Blashyrkh,” with its eerie clean-toned guitarwork and old-school heavy-metal might, sound like new classics from a veteran outfit with something to prove. Hank Shteamer
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Hifiklub + Lee Ranaldo, In Doubt, Shadow Him!
In Doubt, Shadow Him! – a 49-minute film billed as “[a] drift about Lee Ranaldo” – would likely prove dull to anyone but diehard Sonic Youth nerds. However, its smoky soundtrack features French instrumental crew Hifiklub putting on their best downtown NYC T-shirt and jeans. With dead-eyed vocals from Ranaldo (“Musee De Ville De Paris” details the existential thoughts that follow a viewing of German photographer August Sander’s work), guest appearances from Talk Normal’s Sarah Register and Bad Moon Rising-era Sonic Youth drummer Bob Bert on the Branca-rockin’ “Pure (Take Me First)” and some inspired bursts of feedback, Doubt often plays like that vintage gnarl. However, Hifi are bruisers, and tracks like “Weapons” move closer to the build-and-release of post-rock bands like Mogwai. Christopher R. Weingarten
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

RP Boo, I’ll Tell You What!
An architect of Chicago footwork in the late Nineties, RP Boo helped create the first wave of the juddering dance music with his menacing, skeletal sound. At once harsh and murky, his breakout song made a slap-chop soufflé of the Godzilla soundtrack; eventually he would create similar stomp-and-skitter with The Empire Strikes Back, Live and Let Die and Shogun Assassin. His third full-length doesn’t have anything as immediate as 2016’s euphoric Lenny Kravitz fricassee “Electric Energy” but instead goes deeper and moodier, a singular statement of dank throb that exists in the fogs of post-dubstep, Midwest and Memphis rap and experimental electronic music. While still rooted in dance, the skipping beats, grinding noise and cavernous rumbles of “No Body” and “At War” recall avant-garde texturists like Philip Jeck or the Bug. “U-Don’t No” repurposes Stevie Wonder’s 1981 weeper “Lately” into a burbling battle record, with RP Boo and Stevie conversing about his abilities: “You don’t know…” “…a person like me that can hit these works.” Still, the tune remains mellow, brooding and sad. The music of “Bounty” falls away until it’s just a dubby bassline, then RP Boo raps Blondie’s “One Way or Another” as a dancer’s boast, the music and his voice never rising above a gentle boil. Turning footwork into murmuring bass music, a genre pioneer finds a fascinating new atmosphere. Christopher R. Weingarten
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

The Nude Party, The Nude Party
This North Carolina group lives up to their cheeky name on their self-titled, bare-bones debut, a flapping-in-the-breeze album that evokes Nuggets garage rock and Out of Our Heads-era Stones. With minimalist production by Oakley Munson – drummer for the similarly jangly Black Lips – tracks like the ominous “War Is Coming,” the outrageous “Paper Trail (Money)” and album opener “Water on Mars” burst out of the gate, announcing a band that relishes the ramshackle. Which isn’t saying the Nude Party is sloppy; rather, singer Patton Magee and his mates are kinetic, harnessing raw energy as only a gang of barely-twentysomethings can. Listen to “Chevrolet Van,” a rousing kiss-off to The Man, and just try resisting the temptation to quit your own go-nowhere job. Joseph Hudak
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

Rizzla, Adepta
The first full-length from this New York producer and DJ could double as a personal-apocalypse soundtrack. Rizzla transforms any sound they could forage into material for their claustrophobic, frenetic beats – harvested from “acapellas, youtube videos, sermons, [and] field recordings,” according to an interview with NoiseyMaura Johnston
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify

Bjørn Torske, Byen
The Norwegian nu-disco vet’s first album in eight years is a dreamy trip to clubland that revels in detours. The flocking gulls of “First Movement” temporarily cede their beach to rumbling bass and skip-step keyboards, while the splendid “Chord Control” gets joyously lost in a two-note melody that’s given extra intensity by persistent chimes and gentle gear-grinding. “Night Call,” an 11-minute groove, is flecked with glitter and grit, its shimmying beat beckoning listeners to succumb to the wee hours’ heady charms. Maura Johnston
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

In This Article: Future, Kinky Friedman, Meek Mill

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