Searching for something to listen to this weekend? Yahoo Music has you covered with a rundown of some of this week’s biggest and buzzing releases, including Kendrick Lamar, Chris Shiflett, John Mayer, and more. Check back every Friday for a fresh list of albums to help fuel your weekend playlists.
Kendrick Lamar: DAMN. (Top Dawg Entertainment/Aftermath/Interscope). Is Kendrick Lamar the greatest rapper alive? His latest effort may just support that theory, as Lamar shows he can move effortlessly from the social/political awareness carrying 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly to this set’s lighter, more stripped-back, but still thought-filled approach. The album features contributions from such heavyweights as Rihanna, U2, Zacari, Mike WiLL Made-It, BADBADNOTGOOD, the Alchemist, DJ Dahi, “J. Blake,” Sounwave, and others.
Chris Shiflett: West Coast Town (Side One Dummy). Shiflett is best-known for his role as the rockin’ Foo Fighters guitarist; however, he’s got a collection of solo releases under his belt that show off his love of twang. This, his third, was recorded in Nashville and produced by Dave Cobb, whose credits include Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson. True to Shiflett’s punk roots, it’s country with a good dose of outlaw.
Lillie Mae: Forever and Then Some (Third Man). This Nashville songstress is a seasoned performer, having been on stage since she was three years old. She was scooped up by Music City’s eclectic Jack White and his Third Man label for her debut LP, with the result being a clever and adventurous blend of classic country and bluegrass.
Andre Cymone: 1969 (Blindtango). Cymone – who collaborated with Prince in the pre-Revolution days – has made his primary musical stamp as a producer rather than a performer. After releasing several solo albums in the ‘80s, he put himself on singing hiatus, which he broke in 2014 to release The Stone, an unexpectedly sharp return. He continues this reinvention with his latest, a collection of thoughtful commentary on the state of the world today.
Alvarez Kings: Somewhere Between (Sire/Warner). Up-and-coming Yorkshire based pop-rock quartet Alvarez Kings have been developing a fan base for some time now – one that has been especially eager for their debut full-length release. The group doesn’t disappoint, bringing forth a collection of romantically themed songs that translate as well on record as they do live.
Barenaked Ladies and the Persuasions: Ladies and Gentlemen: Barenaked Ladies and the Persuasions (Raisin’/Warner Music Canada). Canada’s Barenaked Ladies have joined forces in an unexpected combo with Brooklyn a cappella group the Persuasions, resulting in a fun, jazzy, high-spirited set. A highlight of the album is a reworked, nearly instrument-free version of BNL’s massive 1998 hit, “One Week.”
Richie Kotzen: Salting Earth (Headroom-Inc). Singer-songwriter/guitarist Kotzen likes to keep himself busy, whether playing with his band the Winery Dogs or releasing solo albums – such as this one, his 21st overall. He also likes to mix things up: Since he’s handling the lion’s share of the album by himself, he can do whatever he likes, which includes traversing a wide variety of styles. Fans of his rocking side will be surprised.
John Mayer: The Search for Everything (Columbia). Mayer’s full-length release combines two previously released EPs, plus four new songs, with the sum being one of his most personal collections ever. The overriding theme is lost love, which he handles with an undeniable and newfound maturity that appears to belie his self-aggrandizing past.
Little Dragon: Season High (Loma Vista Recordings/Concord). Experimental pop is at its best on the latest from this Swedish group, who soak themselves in ambient takes on sounds of the ‘80s, specifically sexy R&B vibes referencing Prince and Sade.