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 James Blunt, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Trey Songz, and more. Check back every Friday for a fresh list of albums to help fuel your weekend playlists.
James Blunt: The Afterlove (Atlantic). James Blunt is best known for his warbling takes on lovelorn ballads such as his hits “You’re Beautiful” and “Goodbye My Lover” — something he’s deftly addressed by introducing a social media personality full of wry, self-deprecating humor. On his fifth album, he brings this “new” Blunt to the forefront, taking a big step out of this comfort zone into more experimental musical territory. It may be a stretch for some of his fans. However, Blunt sweetens the deal by carefully choosing good collaborators — most notably some help from do-no-wrong hitmaker Ed Sheeran.
The Jesus and Mary Chain: Damage and Joy (EK OK). It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard from post-punk icons the Reid brothers — 1998, to be exact. Fans will be excited to know this comeback release doesn’t stray too far from the sounds of their heyday. Whether this snarly, fuzzy, and somewhat morbid sound exactly works 20 years later in the same manner as it did then is questionable, but it’s a good reminder of why this group received such acclaim.
Trey Songz: Tremaine the Album (Atlantic). It’s doubtful that Trey Songz actually invented sex, as he himself claims, but he unquestionably knows how to be sexy. On his seventh album, the R&B crooner woos with a series of pleasantly infectious love songs that show off an open and somewhat vulnerable side.
Mansionz: Mansionz (Bear Trap/Monster Mountain). Mike Posner and fellow writer-producer blackbear formed the duo Mansionz earlier this year, dropping several distinctive earworm singles before releasing their fully realized LP. The set includes a varied list of guest appearances, with G-Eazy and Dennis Rodman as standouts.
Andy Summers: Triboluminescence (Flickering Shadow Productions). The Police guitarist has had a prolific solo career of his own, which he continues with his 14th release. A pioneer of a sound he dubs “New Exotic,” Summers shows off rich, compelling guitar work with a dose of edge on his latest effort.
Betty Who: The Valley (RCA). Australian pop singer Betty Who broke out in 2014 when she was 22. She’s now all of 25, but a move to Los Angeles, a serious love relationship, and life experience as a result of an increasingly hectic career have all shaped her latest release in what she terms “not just some casual difference.” Although that sounds mighty grave, there are still plenty of dance-friendly grooves on this set.
Boss Hog: Brood X (In the Red Records). Garage rock’s favorite couple, Jon Spencer and Cristina Martinez, return in the form of Boss Hog to release their first album in 17 years. The set is an interesting glimpse into real-life dynamics of a rock family: Martinez chose to put the band on hold in 2000 in order to give her young son a stable upbringing. Said son is now out of the nest, the parents are now in their 50s, and it’s clear from the new music that the couple are ready to explore their second half of life on their own terms.
Jessi Colter: The Psalms (Legacy Recordings). This is Colter’s first album since 2006, and if that isn’t enough of a spiritual experience for fans, the outlaw queen draws her lyrics from the actual Psalms of the Old Testament. The 12 songs were recorded with her friend Lenny Kaye, whom she met when he was working on the autobiography of her late husband, Waylon Jennings.
Colton Dixon: Identity (Sparrow). Dixon, who made waves on the 11th season of American Idol, continues to project forward in both pop and Christian circles with his third release. Here he gets deeply personal examining his spiritual/faith journey of late, which includes reflections on his recent marriage.
Dollyrots: Whiplash Splash (Arrested Youth Records). This is the sixth effort by California duo the Dollyrots, and was recorded while singer-bassist Kelly Ogden was pregnant with her second child. Pregnancy didn’t slow things down, however — the set is filled with their trademark power pop and punk hooks, including a modern take on Katrina & the Waves’ ’80s hit “Walking on Sunshine.”
Craig Finn: We All Want the Same Things (Partisan). Craig Finn from the Hold Steady is chugging along with his third solo release, this one coming pretty quickly after 2015’s Faith in the Future. Here, Finn, fueled on a prolific writing jag, explores the positions of modern love and relationships in a beautifully melodic and reflective set.
Night Ranger: Don’t Let Up (Frontiers Music). Arena-rock legends Night Ranger (immortalized by their 1984 hit “Sister Christian”) are, remarkably, still at their power-ballad business, 12 albums into their career and going strong. Their latest chugs along, not exactly breaking any new ground, but will please those looking for a straight-ahead rock vibe.
The Residents: The Ghost of Hope (Cryptic/MVD). Following in their long-standing tradition of thematic-based projects, the Residents this time chose to focus on trainwrecks. Literally — they researched vintage news articles detailing rail accidents of the late 19th and early 20th century. With song titles such as “Killed at a Crossing” and “Train vs. Elephant,” it’s not the most upbeat release this year, but it’s certainly one of the more interesting.
Daye Jack: No Data (Warner Bros.). Nigerian-born artist Daye Jack grew up in Atlanta obsessed with hip-hop. During a holiday break at college in 2014, he tried his hand at a mix tape, which eventually won him a record deal. Two EPs later, he’s dropping his debut full-length, an interesting and not easily classified mix of catchy pop, rap, and R&B.