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10 New Albums to Stream Now: Mitski, Prince, Ariana Grande and More Editors’ Picks

Mitski’s resolute anthems, Prince’s post-Warner reissues, Ariana Grande’s soaring pop and more albums to stream now

Mitski, Prince

Bao Ngo; Virginia Turbett/Redferns

EDITORS’ PICK: Mitski, Be the Cowboy
The latest full-length from singer-songwriter Mitski Miyawaki proves that “making complex feelings of powerlessness loom as large as movie kaijus isn’t just a signature talent — it can seem like the main point and power of what Miyawaki does,” writes Will Hermes. “There are no cowboys riding in to save the day anytime soon anywhere, it seems. But Mitski will remind you that saving yourself is usually a good first priority.”
Read Our Feature: How Mitski Became the Cowboy
Read Our Review: Mitski’s Be the Cowboy Makes Feelings of Powerlessness Loom Large
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal

Prince, Anthology 1995-2010
This primer for today’s deluge of Prince reissues — 23 albums from his post-Warner period through 2010, including some he self-distributed through his own NPG Music Club — is lovingly put together, its 37 tracks including the riotously raunchy “P Control,” the spiny workout “Black Sweat,” the guitar workout “Shhh,” the fuzzed-out title track to 1996’s Chaos and Disorder and the lushly existential ballad “Gold.” Use it as a jumping-off point for further study of Prince’s DIY years — or just for getting down. Maura Johnston
Read Our Feature: The Prince Estate’s Big Plans: Inside the Upcoming Purple Reign
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Ariana Grande, Sweetener
The pop sensation’s fourth album delivers on her promise of bringing light to her listeners. After a tumultuous period marked by the bombing of a 2017 show in Manchester, England, and the dissolving of a toxic relationship, the 25-year-old has found serenity, whether through her accomplishments — as “Successful” gleefully flaunts — or meeting her “soulmate,” who gets a full-name shoutout on the tender and short “Pete Davidson.” Pharrell Williams and Max Martin handle most of Sweetener‘s writing and production, and their different approaches to songwriting structure help make it her most focused and personality-encapsulating LP yet. Songs like the bouncy title track, the luxurious “R.E.M.” and the Imogen Heap-sampling “Goodnight and Go” successfully cross genre lines without losing Grande’s most immense and powerful tool: her voice, which breaks free from previous albums’ over-production and soars like it was always meant to. The light Grande promised has helped lead her down the path toward her best album yet, and one of 2018’s strongest pop releases to date. Brittany Spanos
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Death Cab for Cutie, Thank You For Today
The indie stalwarts sound “rejuvenated” on their ninth studio album, writes Kory Grow. “Thank You For Today shows that as long as [frontman Ben] Gibbard feels haunted about one thing or another, he and his bandmates should be able to conjure up an appropriate soundtrack.”
Read Our Review: Death Cab For Cutie Get Reborn on ‘Thank You For Today’
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

Aminé, Onepointfive
In an age where mixtapes are treated like albums, yet marketed as mixtapes — presumably to lower expectations while profiting from anticipation — this Los Angeles MC’s latest release is hardly a major statement. But it’s an important update from an artist whose impressive debut, last year’s pop-rap gem Good For You, was unjustly ignored. The Portland-born rapper soldiers on in hopes that listeners who only dismiss him as “the ‘Caroline’ guy” will dig deeper into his perceptive thoughts on being a young, talented son of Ethiopian immigrants. Onepointfive does contain a bit of mixtape chaff, particularly when he tries to cobble together trap-lit showcases like “Chingy.” But when Aminé rhymes and harmonizes about his anxieties regarding success — whether he’s riding the chirpy bounce of “Together” or surfing alongside Gunna on the gauzy synth washes of “Hiccup” — he solidifies his status as an artist worth watching. Mosi Reeves
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Julee Cruise, Three Demos
Blue Velvet director David Lynch and composer Angelo Badalamenti set out to make Julee Cruise a star after she lent vocals to that film’s eventual dream-pop classic “Mysteries of Love.” These three proof-of-concept demos are sparser than the versions that eventually appeared on her still-stunning 1989 LP Floating Into the Night, but they’re fascinating nonetheless: Lynch and Badalamenti toyed with vocal delay on the early version of the Twin Peaks theme “Falling”; “Floating” originated as more of a spacious rumination than the jazzy, almost upbeat album version; and Night closer “The World Spins” (which Cruise reprised during last year’s Twin Peaks: The Return) was originally a minute longer. These three tracks provide a blueprint that artists like Au Revoir Simone and Lana Del Rey are still using today. Kory Grow
Read Our Feature: Dream Team: The Semi-Mysterious Story Behind the Music of Twin Peaks
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

The Necks, Body
The twentieth album from this Australian longform jazz institution swerves from their 30-year career of gorgeous ambient washes and fragile improv interplay, instead opting for muscle and hypnosis. This nearly 57-minute piece is held together by drummer Tony Buck’s right arm, which taps out ride-cymbal eighth notes while the band ebbs and flows, builds and collapses, churns and soars. This album is really Buck’s show, his overdubbed percussion accents clanking like a Rube Goldberg machine. Around the 24-minute mark, it turns into a real robot-rock zone-out reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age, expansive psych-rock bands like Black Angels or Rhys Chatham’s guitar trios. Body doesn’t have the telekinetic bond of the Necks’ famed live show, or the gorgeous ambience of recent albums like Vertigo and Untold, but it brings these veterans into a different space. Christopher R. Weingarten
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

Circles Around the Sun, Let It Wander
This Dead-approved quartet’s first proper album “is a two-CD set of even deeper spells that thread suggestions of Little Feat-style grooves and Bernie Worrell’s percolating synthesizers in Parliament-Funkadelic through the German mid-Seventies space travel of Tangerine Dream and the offbeat churn of the Dead’s ‘Estimated Prophet,'” writes David Fricke.
Read Fricke’s Picks: Guitar Wonders From Circles Around the Sun, Howlin’ Rain and More
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Oh Sees, Smote Reverser
Caffeinated, ever-mutating garage-bubblegum crew Oh Sees are wobbling off the timeline that leads from “Incense and Peppermints” to “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Like last year’s Orc, their 21st album (and second with their current lineup) spills off into other parts of the Sixties and Seventies: Thin Lizzy choogle and Zep shuffle, Motörhead chug and krautrock rhythms, Silver Apples noise and prog weirdness. The run of “Enrique El Cobrador,” “C” and “Overthrown” is a lean hard-rock tornado, but the rest opens up with space ballads (“Moon Bog”), garage Floyd (“Flies Bump Against the Glass”) and a 12-minute jam in 7/8 (“Anthemic Aggressor”). Christopher R. Weingarten
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Jess Sah Bi & Peter One, Our Garden Needs Its Flowers
Eighties West African pop was about dance bands, not harmonicas and acoustic guitars. But this unlikely 1985 set, cut in the wake of Baaba Maal’s unplugged masterpiece Djam Leelii and Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton’s global hit “Islands In The Stream,” somehow channeled both these influences — rich African harmonies laid over American folk and country arrangements with a touch of French chanson, while lyrics invoked Black Power and pan-African unity. It was a regional smash, too. This reissue comes via the ace crate-diggers at Awesome Tapes From Africa; it definitely qualifies as one. Will Hermes
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

 

In This Article: Ariana Grande, Mitski, Prince

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