Searching for something to listen to this weekend? Yahoo Music has you covered with a rundown of some of this week’s biggest/buzzing releases, including new music from Reba McEntire, Big Sean, LeAnn Rimes, and more. Check back every Friday for a fresh list of albums to help fuel your weekend playlists.
Reba McEntire: Sing It Now: Songs of Faith and Hope (Rockin’ R/Big Machine). It may come as a surprise, given her long tenure in Nashville royalty, that Reba has never attempted a gospel album. This is her first foray into that world, and it turns out her well-curated selection of classic spiritual tunes and hymns are a fine exercise for the singer’s legendary voice.
Big Sean: I Decided (G.O.O.D. Music/IDJ). Big Sean’s fourth album is jam-packed with political commentary, personal insights, and quite a wallop of star power. The rapper enlisted such names as Jeremih, Migos, Jhené Aiko, The-Dream, and more to contribute to the record—and, oh, can’t forget his Detroit friend Eminem, who helps out on “No Favors,” a track about the Flint, Mich., water crisis.
LeAnn Rimes: Remnants (Thirty Tigers). Although Rimes’s life has been complicated and her actions often criticized, one thing that has never been in question is her ethereal vocal talent. On her 16th studio album, Rimes traverses genres with a newly mature, seasoned tone to the voice that brought her fame as a child and beyond.
Sampha: Process (Young Turks). British singer-songwriter Sampha has garnered a lot of attention for his work with such names as Drake, Kanye West, Solange, and Frank Ocean, but his own solo efforts are hardly something to be ignored. On his debut, Sampha mostly eschews collaboration and allows his own voice to shine, sliding sensually through his clever and highly creative writing.
Surfer Blood: Snowdonia (Joyful Noise). Last year, Surfer Blood guitarist Thomas Fekete tragically passed away after a battle with cancer. This album is the band’s tribute to him; rather than being soaked in sadness, it’s a sonically aggressive march through various twists and turns, which admirably shows off the complex nature of processing grief.
Beth Hart: Fire on the Floor (Provogue/Mascot Label Group). Hart holds her own in the world of blues, but truth be told, it’s difficult to put her in a single genre category. On her latest, she traverses various ground including jazz, soul, and touches of rock, all with her extraordinary voice that can both growl and charm sweetly, depending on her approach.
Less Than Jake: Sound the Alarm (Pure Noise). Florida ska-punks Less Than Jake keep things tight on this release — only seven tracks are included. There’s not much here that hasn’t been done before, but third-wave revival fans will be more than pleased with the band’s ninth album, which is full of those classic horns and sing-along choruses that made the ’90s so much fun.
Elbow: Little Fictions (Concord). The seventh release from the British band is its first without longtime drummer Richard Jupp, but on the other hand, it features the string players of the Hallé Orchestra, the Hallé Ancoats Community Choir, members of London Contemporary Voices, and session drummer Alex Reeves. A lovely, creative endeavor.
Emily Estefan: Take Whatever You Want (Alien Shrimp/RED). Yes, she’s the 22-year-old daughter of music royalty (Gloria and Emilio Estefan), but the younger Estefan has a sound that is more than able to stand on its own. In addition to exploring 14 jazz, soul, and rock-influenced tracks, the singer also boasts writing and production credits on her debut.