Best Albums to Stream Now: Leon Russell, Midland and more - Rolling Stone
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10 New Albums to Stream Now: Rolling Stone Editors’ Picks

Leon Russell’s farewell, Kevin Gates’ latest dispatch from the edge, the Killers’ champagne dreams and more albums to stream this week

THE KILLERS publicity photoTHE KILLERS publicity photo

You can stream the Killers' latest album now.

Erik Weiss

Leon Russell, On A Distant Shore
The farewell album from storied songwriter and musician Leon Russell is his “most unflinching yet,” writes David Browne.
Read Our Review: Leon Russell’s On a Distant Shore Is a Powerful Posthumous Goodbye
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

The Killers, Wonderful Wonderful
On the Killers’ first album in four years, Brandon Flowers and his bandmates “seem in on the joke, doubling down on their hugeness fetish while wink-winking their way to the bank,” writes Will Hermes. They “bite from the best,” he adds, name-checking Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney while borrowing ideas from pop greats like Kool and the Gang and the Bee Gees. 
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Kevin Gates, By Any Means 2
Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates quietly went Platinum last year with Islah, a debut album of raps that mix modern sing-song flow with old-school technicality, boastful crime rhymes with raw confessionals. His something-teenth mixtape was presumably written before he went to prison (he’s expected for parole in 2018) and covers no shortage of woes ­– from love’s battlescars to industry bruises to legal run-ins. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Chris Hillman, Bidin’ My Time
The founding member of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers releases his first solo album in a decade, which includes his reworkings of the Byrds’ 1968 chestnut “Old John Robertson” and the Gene Clark composition “She Don’t Care About Time.” The record, which was produced by Tom Petty, counts fellow Byrds David Crosby and Roger McGuinn among its many guests.
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Midland, On the Rocks
On their debut album, this Texas-based trio (whose membership includes soap opera actor Mark Wystrach and “Uptown Funk” video director Cameron Duddy) mines the smoothed-out strains of early-Eighties George Strait and Alabama to cook up something fresh. “Make a Little,” with its Dwight Yoakam-evoking riffs, emphasizes love as the safest refuge from a harsh world, while breakout single “Drinkin’ Problem” mixes its down-and-out premise with precise harmonies and a generous helping of Music Row songwriting polish. Slotted next to pop-leaning acts Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett on country radio playlists, it sounds a little bit radical. Jon Freeman
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Jhené Aiko, Trip
This week’s surprise release from the R&B singer-songwriter is a vulnerable, heady concept album that traces her reaction to her grief over the death of her brother, who passed away from cancer in 2012. Aiko also released a short film that she co-directed with Girls Trip writer Tracy Oliver. 
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Laraaji, Bring On the Sun
First appearing on Brian Eno’s Editions E.G. label in 1980, zither-hammering ambient artist and Harlem-based astro-traveller Laraaji has spent decades creating shimmering soundscape via cassette and CD-R. He’s spent the last five years as a fave of the psych-drone hipster set thanks to a surge of private-press new age reissues, collaborations with bands like Blues Control and Sun Araw and a cassette campaign courtesy of Stones Throw’s Leaving Records. The second of two studio albums released this month (his first mass-produced studio LPs since 2001), Bring on the Sun is occasionally a huge, engulfing, swallowing wash of sound; occasionally a gently rollicking pluck of organ and strings. The beautifully meandering “Change” is a singer-songwriter piece and “Ocean Flow Zither” is 15 minutes of bubble and strum. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify

Rapsody, Laila’s Wisdom
The second album from this North Carolina MC (and first since her signing with Roc Nation) puts the spotlight on her fearless, honest rhymes while including guest spots from Kendrick Lamar, Busta Rhymes and Anderson .Paak. 
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Ledisi, Let Love Rule
A forthright journey through the process of finding love – and not just the romantic kind – Ledisi’s ninth album showcases her powerful voice on songs that pivot off classic R&B’s ideals while deftly adding modern touches. The sparse “Forgiveness” and the all-in piano ballad “All the Way” are lightly arranged, allowing the New Orleans-born vocalist to introduce listeners to her instrument’s sheer power, while the woozy “High” is a brass-accented dream where she displays its saucy low end. BJ the Chicago Kid and John Legend drop by for duets, and sound bites from Soledad O’Brien and Iyanla “Fix My Life” Vanzant add to the album’s inspirational vibe, but Ledisi’s star burns brightly at this confident, sing-along-ready record’s center. Maura Johnston  
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Moses Sumney, Aromanticism
Stark and stirring, this “concept album about lovelessness as a sonic dreamscape” doubles as an introduction to the Los Angeles-based composer and arranger’s overwhelming talent. The glittering, stretched-out “Quarrel” pits delicate harps and keyboards against a weary depiction of a person drained by arguments; “Lonely World” spirals from chaotic, ominous dread into manic disco; “Indulge Me” floats along on a simple acoustic-guitar riff that frames its isolation-minded lyrics in resignation. A headphone masterpiece that defies genre as its lyrics interrogate Sumney’s existence. Maura Johnston
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal


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