As we are starting to quickly approach the halfway mark of the year so many artists are releasing their albums and this week some big names dropping albums including Post Malone, Janelle Monae, Keith Urban, Anne-Marie and Missy Higgins. While some other artists like Shawn Mendes announced the release date of their new records. Check out some of the reviews below.
ALBUM REVIEW: Post Malone - Beerbongs & Bentleys
It almost feels like Post Malone has just blown up overnight but the singer-songwriter has been non-stop touring since 2016 and slowly crept into the mainstream circuit within the past 12 months. He’s become a force to be reckoned with sell out shows all over the world, multiple number ones and one hell of a supportive fanbase. His highly anticipated sophomore record “Beerbongs & Bentleys” is an 18 track collection of high energy and melodic hip-hop that perfectly combines the moods of 4am stoner reflection and in the moment angst. The album start off a slow with the mid tempo tracks “Paranoid” and ‘Rich & Sad”. But then he turns up the energy with the explosive “Rockstar” and angsty “Over Now” which will have you wanting to blast it while driving down a freeway. Lead single “Psycho” is a perfect representation of the melodic hip-hop sound that he delivers on the majority of this album. “Better Now” and “Otherside” stand out as some of the strongest tracks on this album because of this really genuine sound. While “Stay” introduces a stripped back acoustic guitar lead sound which surprisingly really suits him. His songwriting hasn't really evolved with him manly singing about the same topics as his debut album but there is a slight growth in his maturity on the more stripped back songs. The only downfall of this album is it’s length. It really could have been shortened to provide a bigger impact as some of this material crept into the filler category. However his fans are going to appreciate all 18 tracks and have this album on continuous replay so they aren’t really going to care.
ALBUM REVIEW: Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer
“Dirty Computer” is an experimental and bold collection of tracks that showcase an impressive growth of Janelle as an artist. However because the album is quite artsy and delivers a DIY styled production it is sadly going to be one that is quite heavily slept on. But it is also one that is going to grow on a lot of people and will be really complimented by her upcoming live shows as it is a very visual experience. “Make Me Feel” and “Pynk” are your big, catchy pop moments that are full of shiny production intertwined with DIY RNB beats. They are really cool representations of how her music has evolved over the years and while she has leaned towards a heavier RNB influence there is still a hint of the funky jams you were previously acquainted with. One of the standout moments is the mid tempo RNB balled “I Like That” which hears her crooning over a really simple and soulful production. Her vocals really take shine on this track that oozes pure sex appeal with the seductive and empowering lyrics. She revisits her funky and groovy production on the tracks “Take A Byte” and “Crazy, Classic, Life” which are cool throwback moments that sonically remind me of her last record. “Screwed” feat. Zoe Kravitz is an angsty track that reflects on the state of America and can also be taken as a sexual innuendo. Which is a cool two meaning track that will have you vibing instantly. However it was the Pharrell Williams produced “I Got The Juice” which disappoints massively as its uninspired and sounds like every Pharrell song ever created. But otherwise she impresses with an record which is going to be heaven for a music nerd because it’s so different.
ALBUM REVIEW: Anne Marie - Speak Your Mind
Anne Marie’s “Speak Your Mind” has become one of the years most anticipated debut albums. The UK songstress delivers 17 tracks that showcase a combination of different personas including a playful and sassy side as well as a very emotional and reflective side too. She opens a lot on this record and truly shows that there is more to her than just big pop hooks that you can’t help but singalong to on the radio. The record opens with the sassy and empowering “Cry” that hears her offloading pure attitude to an ex who broke up with her but is trying to creep back into her life. It’s the perfect first taste of the record because it manages to embody all of those elements and serve some strong vocals and honest lyrics that will have you living. She then goes straight into the hits with “Ciao Adios” and “Alarm” giving you those big hooks that you can’t help but love. She then manages to back them up with the playful “Trigger” which delivers a tropical production intertwined with DIY beats that sound fresh and will have you instantly hooked. Along with the dancehall inspired “Can I Get Your Number” these two tracks are easily the strongest choices for future singles as they effortlessly deliver memorable hooks and different production that immediately stands out. “Then” and “Perfect” strip it back with a more simple production that highlights her storytelling and melodies while her Marshmello collaboration “Friends” turns up the volume and is the sassy dance track you need in your life at all times. Whilst she is a pop artist her production is quite grittier and more experimental than most of your pop faves but Anne-Marie reminds you on “2002” that she can also do pure pop with one of the albums most fun tracks. She incorporates names of songs by the likes of Nelly, Backstreet Boys, Jay-Z and Britney Spears to tell the story during the chorus and it’s super gimmicky and fun. The song begins with a simple guitar strumming that introduces finger clicks and a classic 2002 inspired pop beat that I am LIVING for. Towards the back end of the album it does start to get a little long with some musical ideas being recycled and its a bit of a shame because she was shaping up to have an absolute home run. Songs like “Machine” and “Bad Girlfriend” are a little forgettable while “Breathing Fire” does eventually grow on you after a couple listens. “Speak Your Mind” is a strong debut record that successfully showcases different sides to her as an artist and delivers energetic moments that will make her live show very memorable. It is a bit long in length and could have been shortened to create a greater impact but with the amount of hits she has I will let it slide. She’s definitely cemented herself as one of the most exciting newcomers and will have you singing along from start to finish.
ALBUM REVIEW: Missy Higgins - Solastalgia
I’m always going to have a soft spot in my heart for Missy Higgins. After all she did deliver us the unforgettable “Scar” which has become an Australian anthem in it’s own right. Over the years she has reinvented herself multiple times and delivered moody alt-pop moments that have continuously connected with a wide range of listeners. After having a little break she has returned with a collection of candid tracks that hear her experimenting with a lighter indie-pop production. “Solastagia” still manages to deliver the honest storytelling she is known for and whilst the album is mostly upbeat there are still a couple of moody alternative tracks to make her longterm fans happy. Album opener “Starting Again” delivers a very cinematic sound that transports you visually to this very reflective headspace. It creates the right mood so your euphorically dancing during the visually charged “Cemetery” and “Futon Couch”. But in typical Missy style there are always some moody tracks that will break your heart and have you reminiscing on old times. “How Was I To Know”, “Don’t Look Down” and “49 Candles” are the strongest of the moody tracks and will give you nostalgic Missy vibes. Some of it is very hit and miss but when she gets it right you won’t get the hook out of your head. This is her most pop inclined record since her debut and it couldn't come at more perfect timing after she recently joined Ed Sheeran on his massive Australian Stadium tour. But while she does play with this sound she doesn’t lose the classic Missy Higgins heart and soul which you’ve come to know and love over the years.
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Want to listen to some of these songs? Then check out the #BLEACHED playlist on Spotify which is curated each week by Thomas Bleach featuring his favourite new releases.