The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2
Sounds like: It’s at least a respectable follow-up to Part 1, but JT’s fourth gets a little laborious in the middle, with 70+ minutes of material to wade through.
Free association: Double albums notoriously don’t resonate for a reason, boo.
For fans of: Jay Z/Drake x Prince + MJ, George Michael, Britney in a Canadian tuxedo.
Sounds like: A 16-year-old from New Zealand who’s got a huge hit with “Royals,” and now her debut LP’s out, bangin’ and earning acclaim before prom.
Free association: She covers Kanye and turned down a tour spot with Katy Perry. Boss moves.
For fans of: SBTRKT x The Weeknd + Burial, Nicki Minaj/Etta James, fierce youth.
Oneohtrix Point Never
R Plus Seven
Sounds like: Brooklyn-based Daniel Lopatin’s fourth is a listening challenge; the lovely waves of gentle beauty are overshadowed by the alarming undertow of noise.
Free association: The chaos too rarely crystallizes into grooves or harmonies.
For fans of: Animal Collective x Brian Eno + Actress, Tangerine Dream, controlled cacophony.
Days Are Gone
Sounds like: Danielle, Alana and Este Haim are three of the most fascinating females in music right now, and this debut LP is like a refreshing chug of electrolytes.
Free association: Easily one of the funnest listens of the fall. These girls are going places.
For fans of: Hall & Oates x Fleetwood Mac, Feist for Destiny’s Child, effortless feminine heroes.
This Is … Icona Pop
Sounds like: The “I Love It” (ft. Charli XCX) Swedish house duo’s second is a little too EDM in some moments, and just-as-you’d-expect lovely fun in others.
Free association: More mature listeners may find themselves thinking “Now I feel old.”
For fans of: Rita Ora x Robyn on speed + Skrillex/Dragonette, Little Boots, club energy.
Nothing Was the Same
Sounds like: A shockingly mature third from Aubrey, who specializes in real, honest, confessionary hip-hop that’s not bombastic but surprisingly traditional.
Free association: Is his flow mind-blowing? Nah. But this whole package is strong.
For fans of: The Game x Tyga/Jeremih/Wale, Degrassi: The Next Generation.