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11 New Albums to Stream Now: Paul McCartney, Swamp Dogg, Paul Simon and More Editors’ Picks

Paul McCartney’s cosmic trip, Paul Simon’s reworking of the past, Swamp Dogg’s plunge into Auto-Tune and more new albums to stream now

Capitol Records; Samir Hussein/Getty Images

EDITORS’ PICK: Paul McCartney, Egypt Station
“Egypt Station flows as a unit, structured like a long ride on a cosmic train, beginning and ending with ambient railway-station noise,” writes Rob Sheffield. “These days, he’s not on any kind of assembly line—he only makes albums when he’s got enough worthy songs saved up, which is why his recent work has been top-notch. … This album’s masterpiece: ‘Dominoes,’ one of those Paul creations that feels both emotionally direct yet playfully enigmatic. An eerie acoustic guitar hook, worthy of the White Album, builds for almost five minutes, complete with an old-school backwards guitar solo and the disarming farewell line, ‘It’s been a blast.'”
Read Our Review: Paul McCartney’s Awesomely Eccentric Egypt Station

Swamp Dogg, Love, Loss and Auto-Tune
The R&B vet had one goal with his new album: “I didn’t want it to sound like Swamp Dogg,” he told Rolling Stone. So he enlisted Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Poliça’s Ryan Olson to update his brand of soul. “There are reasons to be skeptical of this combination, which seems like a stunt dreamed up for NPR listeners,” writes Elias Leight. “But with a few exceptions — ‘I’ll Pretend’ sounds like Phil Collins, which is a waste of Swamp Dogg’s charisma — Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune doesn’t take itself too seriously. And you can’t accuse this album of not going for it. Swamp Dogg could make another southern soul album in his sleep; that’s not what this is.”
Read Our Feature: Inside Swamp Dogg’s Existential Soul Opus
Read Our Review: Swamp Dogg Sinks His Teeth Into Some Eighties Grooves on Love, Loss and Auto-Tune

Paul Simon, In the Blue Light
“Leave it to Paul Simon to look back not with anger but with fussiness,” writes David Browne. “Timed to coincide with his farewell tour, In the Blue Light finds Simon rifling through his back catalog and remaking ten cuts from his post-Garfunkel albums. … At its best, In the Blue Light amounts to a dream set list for devoted PaulHeads who wish he’d do entire shows of rarities and not bother with oft-played hits.”
Read Our Review: Paul Simon Revisits Some Obscure Tunes on In the Blue Light

Ruston Kelly, Dying Star
A Southern singer-songwriter who owes as much to Jackson Browne as Kris Kristofferson, Kelly deserves to be known as more than “that guy Kacey Musgraves married” — though props for that, dude. He projects an inspired trainwreck vibe, as song titles like “Blackout” and “Faceplant” (“I took too many pills again…”) suggest. His writing is is drumhead-tight, and like his wife, he ain’t afraid to lay robo-soul vocals over pedal steel. It’s shaping up to be a helluva family. Will Hermes

Estelle, Lovers Rock
The British multi-hyphenate looks back to her parents’ turbulent love story for her fifth album, which spins off the reggae subgenre it’s named after into thrilling directions. The plush synths of “Don’t Wanna” provide a soft landing for its love-drunk lyrics; the bounding bass and percussive brass of “Sweetly” make its breakup story extra bittersweet; and the twinkling keyboards and heaven-sent backing vocals that hang over closer “Good For Us” make its happy ending sparkle. Estelle’s velvety soprano soars and slinks, hearkening back to old-school R&B duets on the strutting collab with soul crooner Luke James “So Easy” and commanding the dancehall on “Ain’t Yo Bitch,” while her lyrics depict a grown-folks romance that was made even sweeter by its lengthy cooking time. Maura Johnston

Clutch, Book of Bad Decisions
“These Maryland road dogs have gradually honed a sturdy, compact sound that’s immune to drastic change: bluesy, riff-centric hard rock with hints of psychedelia and punk, topped off by the gravelly roar of wildly charismatic frontman Neil Fallon,” writes Hank Shteamer. “So it’s fitting that the band’s first-time meet-up with A-list Nashville producer Vance Powell (who has worked with everyone from Jack White to LeAnn Rimes, and who won a Grammy for engineering and mixing Chris Stapleton’s Traveller) on their 12th LP results mainly in minor tweaks rather than large-scale overhaul. … In a time when the band’s brand of trend-proof rock is in exceedingly short supply, dependability like this is worth a raised glass or 10.”
Read Our Review: Clutch Serve Up More Raucous Good-Time Rock on Book of Bad Decisions

Lenny Kravitz, Raise Vibration
“Lenny Kravitz gets angry in only the most Lenny Kravitz way possible: with a high-pitched “hoooo,” some funky bass and his typically über-passionate vocal delivery,” writes Kory Grow. “Nearly every track on his 11th album — at least those that aren’t his signature love songs — seems like he intended it to be an anthem for resistance in the Trump era. … But what makes Raise Vibration more than just Professor Kravitz orating about the world’s ills is how he never forsakes catchy melodies for seriousness.”
Read Our Review: Lenny Kravitz Lends His Voice to the Resistance on Raise Vibration

Krisiun, Scourge of the Enthroned
At this point, roughly 30 years into death metal’s lifespan, the subgenre is about as well-codified as the blues. Plenty of bands are pushing its boundaries with feverish complexity or off-the-wall instrumentation, but Krisiun aren’t among them: Formed in 1990, this trio of Brazilian brothers has become an underground staple simply by digging in and committing to their medium’s core principles. And as their lean 10th LP shows, they’re currently among the best in the world at what they do. These eight tracks charge ahead with martial aggression, mixing in just enough tempo shifts and technical flash that their signature speed bursts — fueled by drumming marvel Max Kolesne’s piston-like precision and Alex Camargo’s throaty growl — rarely feel rote. A fan will hear a veteran band sharpening its signature attack, while a casual listener will hear an established style executed with deep virtuosity and total conviction. Win-win. Hank Shteamer

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, The Difference Between Me & You
This Austin-based singer-guitarist is pissed off — at back-stabbers, ego hounds and society’s obsession with status — on his latest album. He harnesses that anger for a garage-rocking collection of skronky soul, blues and punk that is less structured than previous efforts like 2011’s raucous Scandalous, but still satisfies. Chalk that up to Lewis’s innate magnetism. Whether he’s selling a line like “what they want they already have” in “Culture Vulture” or commanding his Honeybears on the horn-heavy “Suit or Soul,” the onetime seafood deliveryman has charisma to burn — even when he’s suggesting haters hang it up in the eviscerating “Do Yourself In.” Being told off has never sounded so good. Joseph Hudak

Mirah, Understanding
Nearly 20 years since her K Records debut, Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn is still a wide-eyed observer, an indie-rock folkie pivoting between girl-child wonder and grown-up wisdom on handcrafted songs that conjure Ani DiFranco, Kate Bush and Kraftwerk by turns. Here, she looks at relationships, micro and macro, with as broad a sonic palette as ever. “We love to death our money/we love to death our gods,” she observes on “Information” with a rueful chuckle, incanting the word “America” like she’s planting a flag shorn of illusion, but still woven through with hope and devotion. Will Hermes

St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Young Sick Camellia
The Alabama soul outfit’s third album takes on politics while bringing synthesizers into their sound. “I don’t think we’re in a place where we could do something like an Ummagumma,” bassist Jesse Phllips told Rolling Stone. “But we’re also not trying to adhere stringently to what people might be expecting from us. I still do think we consider ourselves an R&B band fundamentally. It’s just how far can we push it in any given direction while still sounding like ourselves and not going too far off the deep end?”
Read Our Feature: St. Paul and the Broken Bones Are Finally Reckoning With the South

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