From 2 Chainz to Calvin Harris: What was new in music in June?
Cruising up the freeway with the top down, you've got that music jamming. And we're right there with you, bringing you just a few of the hottest new releases from the past month to make your road trip slammin'. From Lorde to 2 Chainz, Katy Perry, Lady Antebellum, Phoenix, and more, check out what's new in music from June 2017.
2 Chainz, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
GRAMMY-winning rapper 2 Chainz is back with his third solo album, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, which reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Chock full of amazing hooks and dead-on punchlines, 2 Chainz continues to build his solo brand. "He's put together a project that finds him taking another step towards becoming regarded as a supreme soloist," writes XXL.
Dan Auerbach, Waiting On A Song
Auerbach, perhaps best known as a member of the GRAMMY-winning rock duo the Black Keys, has stepped out on his own to create a record that evokes the sounds of Southern soul. A multitalented artist/producer, it's no surprise this rocker has expanded his musical palette to include a wider range of sounds. Per Rolling Stone, "It's a 'Nashville Sound' the town could use more of."
Chuck Berry, Chuck
Before his passing on March 18, rock and roll pioneer Berry had already announced he was working on a new album. Now that Chuck is here, it serves as a reminder why Berry's music has a lasting place in music history. "Chuck is his show," writes Ultimate Classic Rock. "He charges through its 35 minutes with the same command and authority that drove his string of hits back in the day."
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Louie Louie Louie
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's latest release covers three Louies — Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima and Louis Jordan — capturing the essence of jazz royalty in combination with the jump blues aesthetic of the band. "The result," writes AllMusic.com, "is an album that strikes a balance between Jazz at Lincoln Center-style adherence to tradition and dynamic, pop-informed bravura showmanship."
Bleachers, Gone Now
Bleachers — aka GRAMMY-winning artist/producer Jack Antonoff — released his second studio album, a pop masterpiece with spoken word, passionate production and lyrical candor. "Though it's hard to believe it's possible, Antonoff shares even more of himself on Gone Now than on Bleachers' debut," writes AllMusic.com. "It makes for some of his most immersive and satisfying music yet."
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie
You may recognize them as members of the GRAMMY-winning band Fleetwood Mac. Now they have teamed up for an album of rock duets written or co-written by each. The result is a 10-track collection of songwriting genius. "Their self-titled album is front-loaded with jams, with the kind of choruses that dissolve doubt on first listen," writes Pitchfork.
Jay Z, 4:44
It's been four years since Jay Z's last opus, Magna Carta Holy Grail. Produced by GRAMMY winner No I.D., 4:44 likely promises another classic with lyrics such as, "Letter to my dad that I never wrote/Speeches I prepared that I never spoke/Words on the paper that I never read/Proses never penned, they stayed in my head." A series of promotional clips feature Mahershala Ali, Danny Glover and Lupita Nyong'o, and the album is available through his streaming service, Tidal.
Lady Antebellum, Heart Break
Their sixth studio album, Heart Break shot to No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, the GRAMMY winners' fifth No. 1 album. Lady Antebellum called on GRAMMY-nominated producer busbee to create their first album back after a brief hiatus, one that proved creatively lucrative. "The alluring sheen doesn't intend to grab the ear but burrows into the subconscious," writes AllMusic.com. "The melodies are remembered upon repeated plays."
Melodrama marks this GRAMMY winner's first No. 1 album, and with good reason. Her raw lyrics in combination with inventive beats (courtesy of producer Jack Antonoff) make a record that's equal parts vulnerable, relatable and danceable. "Where Pure Heroine was her global, future-forward debut, Melodrama is the red-eyed, no-rules after-party, where the lost and loveless go for comfort," writes Paste.
Mali Music, The Transition Of Mali
Mali Music's R&B infused gospel on Mali Is caught the attention of listeners, and his latest release emphasizes more of the R&B for "smooth feel-good music." Add in top-notch collaborators such as Jazmine Sullivan and Jhené Aiko, and it's the perfect blend. "Blues is the truth of what's happening," Mali Music told The Boombox. "You add rhythm to that, and you can kind of dance to it."
Katy Perry, Witness
This GRAMMY nominee's hotly anticipated album went straight to the top of the Billboard 200 upon its release. Perry called on GRAMMY-winning producers Jeff Bhasker and Max Martin as well as collaborators such as Nicki Minaj and Jack Garrett to round out the album's direction. "It feels as if she's more comfortable with who she is," Consequence of Sound says. "And just to drive the point home, Perry keeps in some swearwords."
Phoenix, Ti Amo
This French indie band brought their flavor of pop/rock/disco influences to their latest, Ti Amo, for a '70s inspired album. Their 10-track opus covers lots of love and lust across several languages. "Phoenix are at their most fun when they're writing in the margins of pop history," writes Rolling Stone. "The music radiates a suave majesty that feels universal."
Royal Blood, How Did We Get So Dark?
Royal Blood, a British rock duo, made a name for themselves with their debut self-titled album and its driving hooks. Their follow-up builds on that legacy by keeping their muscled rhythm section, but adding in funk instrumentations for a varied sound. "We welcome another 40 minutes of Royal Blood exploring their home turf on 10 shamelessly melodic rock monsters that hit home like a nail gun to the eardrum," says NME.
Vince Staples, Big Fish Theory
Big Fish Theory finds Long Beach rapper Staples pioneering the art of rap and pushing the boundaries of his lyricism. The album also boasts some serious features, including Bon Iver, Juicy J, and GRAMMY winners Flume and Kendrick Lamar. The result is what AllMusic.com says "cements Staples' status as one of the most talented and forward-thinking voices in rap in the late 2010s."
Roger Waters, Is This The Life We Really Want?
The former bassist and chief songwriter for Pink Floyd, Waters' latest album harkens back to a more 1970s sound, with GRAMMY-winning producer Nigel Godrich given strong oversight of the album. Of its content, Waters told Entertainment Weekly, "It's about the transcendental nature of love and, I suppose, how it can transform anger into compassion."
DJ Khaled, "Wild Thoughts"
This sexy dance track features Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, and capitalizes on Rihanna's seductive ability to sing repeated words with verve. And don't miss the sample of Carlos Santana's guitar lick from "Maria, Maria."
Foo Fighters, "Run"
Foo Fighters surprised fans with their latest single, "Run." The tune continues the GRAMMY-winning band's signature rock sound with a heavy twist. The track is the first single from the Foo Fighters' recently announced ninth LP, Concrete And Gold, due out Sept. 15.
Sia, "Free Me"
Sia's "Free Me" is a charity single that supports the EndHIV initiative to find a vaccine for HIV. The downtempo song features heart-wrenching lyrics that approach the gravity of the cause it supports with respect. Sia recruited Zoe Saldana and Julianne Moore to help support the single.
Shania Twain, "Life's About To Get Good"
"Life's About To Get Good" marks the first single from Twain's first album since 2002, Now. And she doesn't disappoint. "A rollicking anthem of folk-pop perseverance with a gently throbbing pulse, a sing-along-by-song's-end chorus and an inscrutable, almost quacking hook on the verses … it's marvelous, it's irresistible," says Billboard.
Calvin Harris, "Feels"
Harris' collaboration with Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Big Sean may be a candidate for song of the summer with its island vibes and stylized video. This is the latest in all-star releases from Harris' upcoming album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1.