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12 New Albums to Stream Now: Chris Cornell, Mariah Carey and More Editors’ Picks

We pick the best new releases to stream this week, including music by the Good, the Bad, & the Queen, Little Mix and Ryley Walker

Chris Cornell, Mariah Carey

We run down the best new releases for November 16th, including Mariah Carey's latest and a massive Chris Cornell box set.

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EDITORS’ PICK: Chris Cornell, Chris Cornell
This 64-track retrospective of the late grunge icon’s career is a testament to his vocal prowess and thoughtful approach, apparent even on early Soundgarden tracks like the chugging Ultramega OK opener “Flower” and Louder Than Love’s still-relevant environmentalist plea “Hands All Over.” Tracing his journey from hair-whipping yelper to rock elder, Chris Cornell compiles hits like Temple of the Dog’s glorious “Hunger Strike,” Audioslave’s speaker-shaking debut single “Cochise,” and Cornell’s elegiac cover of “Billie Jean” alongside quieter tracks like the gorgeous Singles ballad “Seasons” and his string-assisted final solo single “The Promise,” and curveballs like his mashup of U2’s “One” and Metallica’s song of the same name. The real treat is the last quarter, which compiles live performances from across Cornell’s career; while the 1996 blaze through “Jesus Christ Pose” showcases just how much of a workout he gave his voice on a nightly basis, the version of Mother Love Bone’s “Stargazer,” taken from the hometown stop on Temple of the Dog’s 2016 reunion tour, is elegiac and tender. Maura Johnston
Read Our Interview: Kim Thayil on New Chris Cornell Box: ‘The Main Thing Is to Represent His Versatility’

Mariah Carey, Caution
Don’t get it twisted: There isn’t a single artist who can match Mariah Carey’s nearly three decades of consistency. Even when it seems like she’s at a career low (Glitter, though excellent, proved that even the biggest seller of the Nineties could slip down the charts), she comes back swinging in the next round. Caution arrives four years after Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse, a solid album that lacked the cohesion of her best works. Some time away did : this LP is Emancipation of Mimi levels of hip-hop-leaning pop bliss. Sure there are love songs and moments of inward reflection, but the majority of the tracks are kiss-offs aimed at those who have doubted her or left her scorned. It’s thrillingly current without swallowing Carey’s charm (even though that seems increasingly more and more impossible for a star like her). Brittany Spanos

The Good, the Bad, & the Queen, Merrie Land
Some people would be content with releasing one great album a year, but not Damon Albarn. Just a few months after reanimating Gorillaz for The Now Now, he’s back with another of his many supergroups. You might remember this one, whose other members include Afrobeat legend Tony Allen and one of the guys from the Clash, from 2007’s The Good, the Bad & the Queen — a moody history piece that rewards re-listening by devoted Damonites. Their decade-late follow-up is even better, a richly arranged fuck-you to Brexit-era nihilism that features some of Albarn’s realest stream-of-consciousness rambles and most bittersweet melodies in ages. It’s full of regretful ballads like the title track, “Lady Boston” and “Ribbons” — this is an album of Waterloo sunsets, deeply Kinks-ish in spirit if not always in sound. The result is Albarn’s best concept album about bummed-out Britain since 1995’s The Great Escape. Simon Vozick-Levinson

Anderson .Paak, Oxnard
It’s been interesting for longtime Anderson .Paak fans — and maybe a bit worrying – to watch him scale up his career to match Aftermath’s ambitions for him: subtle placements in NBA broadcasts, less-subtle and omnipresent placements on Dr. Dre’s Beats 1 streaming service, and even a free carnival in Oxnard to celebrate .Paak’s new album. And indeed, the resulting Oxnard is much slicker and less organic than his previous work. A key example is “Sweet Chick” with the underrated BJ the Chicago Kid: Without the dusty, surreal Knxwledge loops that made .Paak’s NxWorries project so great, his slick pimp talk occasionally sounds forced and ridiculous. Still, he buoys this major-label bow with passion and verve, including the strolling political funk of “6 Summers” and a brassy, heartfelt tribute to Mac Miller on “Cheers.” “How do you tell a nigga ‘slow it down’/When you’re living just as fast as him?” he asks. Meanwhile, Dre applies his mixing skills with the loving touch of a man polishing a Chevy Chevelle. Despite the sheen, these songs have plenty of crackling, booming hip-hop soul. Mosi Reeves

City Girls, Girl Code
City Girls’ debut earlier this year, Period, nearly went unnoticed until Drake recruited the Miami duo for “In My Feelings.” That Number One hit brought JT and Yung Miami’s uncompromising smack talk to a wide audience. Despite JT’s subsequent imprisonment on fraud charges in July, their formula on Girl Code remains unchanged: lots of sharp-tongued bars about “securing the bag” over punchy keyboard beats that evoke early-2000s rappers like Trina and Jackie O. (The album was recorded before JT began her sentence, which ends in 2020.) Sexually forthright cuts like “Panties and Bra” and “Broke Boy” will satisfy listeners who see the duo as leaders of a nascent raunchy-rap movement that also includes CupcakKe, Rico Nasty and many others. Meanwhile, those looking for context for City Girls’ aggressive style should turn to “Give It a Try,” where Jacquees’ silky, seductive chorus belies their angst-ridden lyrics about men who “can’t handle a bitch badder than a temper tantrum.” Mosi Reeves  

Rush, Hemispheres: 40th Anniversary Edition
” If 1976’s 2112 was Rush’s fiery eureka moment, Hemispheres — their sixth LP, released in October 1978 — was a mature masterpiece,” writes Hank Shteamer. “This expanded 40th anniversary reissue keeps the focus on the album itself, included on both CD and LP, while adding illuminating context in the form of a contemporary live set, a new 5.1 surround-sound mix on Blu-ray, extensive liner notes featuring new band interviews and candid session photos, and replicas of a tour-program and other memorabilia from the period.”
Read Our Review: Rush’s ‘Hemispheres’ Reissue Celebrates Their Prog-Era Peak

Mark Knopfler, Down the Road Wherever
Three years since his last album, Tracker, Mark Knopfler returned with another dependable collection of Irish blues and laid-back roots rock with Down the Road Wherever. The album’s material ranges from languid lullabys like “My Bacon Roll” and “Floating Away” to the upbeat blues funk of “Back on the Dancefloor” and “Nobody Does That.” At this point in his career, Knopfler tends to be most affecting in the former role, as the sensitive English balladeer with a knack for writing about the haunting, pervasive effects of memory and remembrance. Indeed, as he pushes 70, Knopfler has become newly reflective on his latest LP, from the personalized history of the Celtic-tinged “One Song At A Time” to the wistfully nostalgic highlight “Good on You Son.” Jonathan Bernstein

Little Mix, LP5
The British girl group doesn’t just walk the girl-power walk — they shimmy and sashay it. “Ohhhh, you on that feminist tip,” a male voice booms in the middle of the boastful “Joan of Arc” — and the “hell yeah, I am!” response sets the tone for the rest of the album, which is powered by the foursome’s collective swagger and willingness to mesh together styles in the name of pop triumph. Maura Johnston

Ryley Walker, The Lillywhite Sessions
Walker was a Dave Matthews fan during his youth in Illinois, and he’s returned to Matthews’ music for The Lillywhite Sessions, his song-for-song version of DMB’s never-finished but widely bootlegged 2000 LP with producer Steve Lillywhite. Ryley honors the band’s jazz-aware folk-rock sound and even Matthews’s singing style, while pulling the songs into his own Chicago indie-rock idiom. “Diggin’ a Ditch,” an ode to satisfaction-via-solitude gets coated in buzzy distortion à la Dinosaur Jr. or Yo La Tengo; the tensely agile guitar playing on “Busted Stuff” recalls Jim O’Rourke; ‘Sweet Up and Down” becomes a wailing loft jam; and Walker builds songs like “Grace in Gone” and ‘Bartender” into subtly rumbling pieces that suggest dark clouds slowly approaching a festival stage. But even as Walker reshapes the music, it’s his real connection to Matthews’ downcast introspect that makes this album resonate as something much more than just clever nostalgia. Jon Dolan
Read Our Interview: Why Is a Chicago Indie Rocker Covering a Lost Dave Matthews Band LP?

Robert Hood, DJ Kicks
As a founding member of the pioneering Underground Resistance crew, Robert Hood is Detroit techno royalty — so he’s an EDM architect emeritus by definition. This hour-plus mix in the DJ Kicks series — dependably curated by the Berlin-based !K7 label for nearly 25 years now — shows he remains a master of darkly minimalist dance-floor bliss. Compared to the bullet-train wank of big-box EDM, this music is a tantric escalator, tiered builds and rolls climbing stealthily, with peaks revealing themselves like mountaintops from cloud cover. Hood shuffles his own jams with those of younger peers, and the crescendos really start pumping around the 50-minute mark, by which time they feel fully earned. As with all great dance music, it’s more about the journey than the destination. Will Hermes

John MellencampOther People’s Stuff
Arriving a year after his rootsy Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, John Mellencamp’s new album is a series of (mostly) previously released folk standards and covers the 67-year-old singer has amassed over the years. The set is a testament to both Mellencamp’s signature sound and his wide-ranging taste. Culling recordings from a nearly 25-year period, Mellencamp’s latest LP is a surprisingly cohesive collection defined largely by the well-worn murky blues-roots arrangements the singer has become known for since his 80’s hitmaking days. The source material ranges from Atlantic Records soul (“Teardrops Will Fall”) to pre-war country (“Wreck of the Old 97”). Taken together, the record serves as a rendering of what Mellencamp’s own Great American Songbook might look like. Jonathan Bernstein

Deceased, Ghostly White
“Thoughts From a Leaking Brain,” the brilliantly titled closer from the eighth LP by Deceased, tells the story of a crazed Edgar Allan Poe fan who dreams of traveling back in time to meet his hero. It’s apt subject matter for this Arlington, Virginia, band — a treasure of the American underground, led for more than 30 years by frontman and multi-instrumentalist King Fowley — whose aesthetic combines elements of thrash, death metal and Eighties cornerstones like Iron Maiden and Mercyful Fate with unusually imaginative horror themes. Other Ghostly White tracks feature everything from a murderous matriarch (“Mrs. Allardyce”) to a killer on the prowl at Christmastime (“The Shivers”), brought to life via the eerily anthemic leads of guitarist Mike Smith and Fowley’s gruff yet expressive growl. Overall, the LP is a gripping, ferocious listen from a veteran band that’s only gotten better with time. Tragically, the album is also the final recording to feature longtime Deceased drummer Dave “Scarface” Castillo, who died just days before its release at age 43. Hank Shteamer

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