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14 New Albums to Stream Now: Jlin, Lil Wayne, Tom Petty and More Editors’ Picks

Rolling Stone’s editors pick the best new albums to stream this week, including Marissa Nadler, Mudhoney and Chic

Ebru Yildiz; Scott Roth/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

EDITORS’ PICK: Jlin, Autobiography
“America’s most acclaimed new electronic composer scores a piece by choreographer Wayne McGregor with her cutting-edge synthetic textures and brain-blendering pinball beats,” writes Christopher R. Weingarten. “Allowed to stretch, she explores a dripping, hard-panning, evocative ambient music made of bamboo clanks, tubular bells, ticking clocks, birds, bugs and splashing water.”
Read Our Review: Jlin’s Autobiography Shows the Electronic Composer Doing More Than Moving Feet

Lil Wayne, Tha Carter V
The best thing about Tha Carter V is that it simply exists. For the past five years, Lil Wayne has floated in a netherworld of lawsuits and accusations against his former mentor Birdman, with projects like 2015’s Free Weezy Album and last year’s Dedication 6 suppressed after leaking to online outlets. His fight to extricate himself from Cash Money’s red tape has clearly left him exhausted; he has rarely sounded as vulnerable as he does here. “I am not number one, it’s true/I’m number 9-27-82,” he says in reference to his birthday on “Don’t Cry.” Ten years ago, when he truly was the Best Rapper Alive, he would have never admitted to such self-doubt, and that newfound maturity elevates this uneven yet still triumphant comeback. It’s thrilling to hear him test his skills against relatively newer talents like Kendrick Lamar on “Mona Lisa” and the late XXXTENTACION on “Don’t Cry.” Lil Wayne may already be rap history, and a permanent installation on the genre’s post-Golden Age Mount Rushmore. But he’s still hungry. Mosi Reeves

Tom Petty, An American Treasure
An American Treasure makes good on its promise of lighting Petty from a different angle,” writes Kory Grow. “Beyond the chart crushers, he was an even more thoughtful poet, precise in capturing life’s pleasures and acrimonies, and a perfectionist. When you cut away the stuff that’s already out there from the set, it makes you want to know more.”
Read Our Review: The Tom Petty Archival Set An American Treasure Offers a New Way to Hear the Rock Legend

Jon Batiste, Hollywood Africans
“There’s so much going on in the world that I wanted to respond to, and there’s not a lot of music where people can meditate, think, reflect, but also be uplifted by,” the pianist and Late Show With Stephen Colbert music director told Rolling Stone. “I wanted to get back to the basics of who I am as a musician but also the basics of who I am as a person.”
Read Our Feature: How Jon Batiste Found His Most Authentic Self on Hollywood Africans

Nile Rodgers and Chic, It’s About Time
Part victory lap, part party for dance-pop guru Nile Rodgers — not to mention artists old and new who have gravitated into his orbit over his storied career — the ninth studio album from Chic showcases Rodgers’ still-present knack for crafting high-gloss pop. Some of the twists taken by the throwback-minded It’s About Time are delightful; French New Ager Philippe Saisse adds his keyboard-tickling to the splayed-out “State of Mine (It’s About Time),” which in a more just world would presage the return of smooth jazz stations to this country’s FM dials, while British garage-pop crooner Craig David and UK MC Stefflon Don team up for the high-stepping New Jack Swing bounce “Sober.” The flinty guitars and irresistible beats that defined Chic’s disco-era dominance are in healthy supply elsewhere on the album, with Lady Gaga stepping into Alfa Anderson’s platforms for an update of “I Want Your Love” that bridges the gap between Chic’s slinky vibing and Gaga’s Born This Way-era stomp. Maura Johnston

Marissa Nadler, For My Crimes
This Boston-based mood musician excels at crafting Americana gothic — lyrical, spectral songs, sparsely arranged, that frame stories told in extreme close-up. On her eighth album, Nadler, with assistance from pals like Angel Olsen and Kristin Kontrol, spins tales of love and loss into gold. Her feathery soprano is the album’s floating center, transforming the post-heartbreak lament “I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore” into a stirringly relatable romantic eulogy and turning the lush “Blue Vapor” into a slow-burning fever dream. Maura Johnston
Read Our Feature: Marissa Nadler Is Done Being Haunted

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Distant Sky: Live in Copenhagen EP
Nick Cave has always been a different beast on stage than in in the studio — he paces the stage lithely in his black leisure suit and locks his piercing eyes with any fan who dares look his way. He seems unpredictable and electric as he and his cadre of Bad Seeds transform their songs into something more daring or more vulnerable, depending on the track. This EP presents four tracks from an especially vibrant Copenhagen gig in support of the group’s heartbreaking 2016 album Skeleton Tree: You can hear the energy build as “Jubilee Street” twirls into a mess of melody and noise, with Cave bashing a piano at the end, and both the discordant “From Her to Eternity” and “The Mercy Street” both show the singer’s intensity. The standout here, though, is the title track, a poignant Skeleton Tree ballad about learning to let go that showcases Danish singer Else Torp’s gorgeous and moving soprano. It stays with you. Kory Grow

Marsha Ambrosius, Nyla
“Marsha Ambrosius, an R&B singer’s R&B singer, is responsible for co-writing one of pop’s most intoxicating odes to infatuation,” writes Elias Leight. “That would be Michael Jackson’s ‘Butterflies,’ perhaps the star’s finest post-Bad single, where his inimitable vocal quavers slam home all the tingly, head-over-heels couplets. So it’s no surprise that Ambrosius excels in this mode on her new album.”
Read Our Review: Marsha Ambrosius Writes Songs That Linger on Nyla

Cypress Hill, Elephants on Acid
“Full of sitars, guitars, organs, Nuggets-rhythms and vinyl crackle, Elephants… is a bad trip of 1967-72 imagery; a hip-hop blunt rolled on vintage rock’s gatefold vinyl sleeves,” writes Christopher R. Weingarten. The long-running hip-hop group’s sonic architect Muggs told Rolling Stone, “Psychedelic rock and stuff has been a big influence on me. I’ve been listening to it since it was in my mother’s and my uncle’s collection. … I had the idea what the name of this record was going to be and then I just started building the whole sound around [it]. Just a whole sound like feeling like you’re high on hallucinogenic drugs – but you’re not on no drugs.”
Read Our Feature: Cypress Hill Preview New LP Elephants on Acid

Tim Hecker, Konoyo
The ninth album from the contemporary ambient icon takes cues from Japan. “Much of the raw materials here are purely acoustic, courtesy of members of Tokyo Gakuso, an ensemble that performs gagaku – an orchestral music and dance that has roots in the 5th Century – as well as new compositions,” writes Christopher R. Weingarten. “A handful of woodwinds are present – the piercing bamboo shō, the reedy hichiriki, the flighty ryuteki – as well as a handful of percussion instruments. Texturally, it’s new ground for Hecker, but in function its reminiscent of his 2011 breakthrough Ravedeath 1972, but instead of piano fighting his shoegaze-y gusts and digital manipulations, its ancient instruments.”

Mudhoney, Digital Garbage
Not much changes in Mudhoney’s world, and that’s a good thing. Three decades after they helped kick-start grunge with their lumbering, gritty guitar riffs and frontman Mark Arm’s sardonic snarls, they simply sound like a better, defter, maybe even snottier version of their younger selves on their 10th album. They send up social-media culture on the hilarious “Kill Yourself Live” (“Do it for the likes!” Arm wails), right-wing terrorists on “Please Mr. Gunman” and neanderfucks on “Hey Neanderfuck.” It’s a loose, wild, silly outing, as well as a nice reminder that rock can be both serious and fun at the same time. Kory Grow

Peluché, Unforgettable
This London trio’s gorgeous debut twists the central idea of “post-punk” in a way that allows the agitation at its center to open up into sumptuous, stretched-out songs that take inspiration from jazz and funk, Rough Trade 7-inches and Def Jam 12-inches. “Figure Me Out” begins with vocalist Rhapsody Gonzalez cooing “Breathe, take it easy” over an insistent bassline; but before it can turn into a floor-filling jam, its pace quickens and it opens into a loving, yet pointed indictment of a resistant lover. For a moment the near-militaristic drums take over, saxophone drones filter in, and Gonzalez flips her script, noting that the breathing she’s directing “is not that easy.” Peluché are masters of tension, with the build-and-release cycles of the ornate “Keep Making Me Happy” and the jittery “To Be a Bird” acting like their own balms; they’re also thoughtful arrangers, adding sonic details that reward closer listening again and again. This stunning album is a master class in rewriting music’s rulebooks — no matter what genre. Maura Johnston

Cécile McLorin Salvant, The Window
“One might expect Cécile McLorin Salvant, who picked up Best Jazz Vocal Album Grammys for each of her past two albums and is riding a wave of mainstream acclaim, to team with a buzzy producer or attempt some other kind of savvy crossover,” writes Hank Shteamer. “But on The Window, the wise, virtuosic and subtly subversive 29-year-old singer opts for a setting so stark it can almost seem abstract: For the majority of this part-studio, part-live LP, she’s accompanied only by pianist/organist Sullivan Fortner. …In refusing to pander, either to easy nostalgia or to current trends, she touches on something timeless.”
Read our Review: Cecile McLorin Salvant Transcends Nostalgia on Radically Spare ‘The Window’

The Marías, Superclean, Vol. 2
“The Los Angeles newcomers dim all the lights on their latest EP,” writes Suzy Exposito. “Under the breathy incantations (and sometimes plucky murmurings) of vocalist María — just María — the lounge pop band marries past and present sounds with a timeless polish. Although both volumes of Superclean generally contend with the interior workings of a relationship, the music tells the story of a high-class ensemble that ditches the jazz club for a pool party in Laurel Canyon (directed by Sofia Coppola). Trip-hop interlude ‘Loverboy’ gives María’s pillow talk a shadowy edge, while ‘Cariño’ makes for a delectable Spanglish treat. ‘Cariño,’ María sings beguilingly, ‘There’s something about you, babe.'”

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