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Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:30:26
This week was huge for new albums. A number of the biggest acts in the world returned with highly anticipated material, while a couple of soon-to-be stadium headliners proved their worth once again.
Singer Brandon Flowers digs deeper than ever before on The Killers‘ return. Circa Survive‘s newest effort finds them emerging from the shadows fully formed. The Horrors, meanwhile, may have made the leap from top-of-the-line cult band to someday-soon stadium fillers.
Rapsody delivered what might be one of the finest hip-hop albums of the year. And Godspeed You! Black Emperor gave us their most melodious set yet. So without further ado, here are ARTISTdirect’s top albums of the week:
The Killers — Wonderful Wonderful
It’s been five long years since The Killers released Battle Born, but the band is finally back and, just maybe, better than ever. In 2004, they took the world by storm with their cocksure debut, Hot Fuss, but since then have mostly churned out a number of releases with nothing that’s quite reached the heights of that first album. On their new LP, Wonderful Wonderful, lead singer Brandon Flowers find himself opening up more than ever before. He takes pokes at his young self and reveals his continuous angst. It’s an honest record with enough oomph to fill stadiums and one of The Killers’ finest releases to date.
Circa Survive — The Amulet
We caught up with Circa Survive lead singer Anthony Green to discuss the new album, and he told us a bit about the songwriting process, “For this album, a lot of the songs were born from the band and Brendan bringing me an idea, or the band bringing up an old idea, and us kind of riffing on the feeling of the songs. I think there was a lot of stuff going around about suicide and there were a lot of people dying and my son Jack was born, so the idea of this infinite cycle of life and death, and also just dealing with depression in a way where it’s like you have all this awesome s*** and it’s difficult to think about why you have compulsively hurtful or suicidal thoughts, and dealing with stuff like that is a difficult thing. It’s a difficult thing to talk about. I feel like I found a place to talk about it on this record more boldly than I’ve ever been able to talk about it.”
The Horrors — V
On The Horrors’ aptly titled fifth album, they find a new level and their sweetest spot yet. Aided by superproducer Paul Epworth, known for his work with Adele, Rihanna, and U2, the band leaves their indie garage rock past behind on V and steps out into a swirling world of sounds from a thousand different places. No longer the grungy goths of 2007, they somehow seamlessly weave it all together. This new LP should be the one that catapults them from beloved cult band to fully manifested stars.
Rapsody — Laila’s Wisdom
The music world’s excitement about Rapsody’s sophomore album, Laila’s Wisdom, has been building for a while now. Busta Rhymes, who appears on the record, said about it, “The best album I’ve heard not only from a female MC but in Hip hop period as well that I’ve personally had a chance to hear from top to bottom in it’s entirety…in the last 10yrs.” Let’s just say, this one does not disappoint.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor — Luciferian Towers
The experimental music collective known as Godspeed You! Black Emperor always manages to push the envelope. They’ve made their name both on their roaring sound and plenty of unapologetic political commentary. The first press release for their new record came with a statement demanding, “An end to foreign invasions. An end to borders. The total dismantling of the prison-industrial complex. Healthcare, housing, food, and water acknowledged as an inalienable human right. The expert f***ers who broke this world never get to speak again.” So if you expected their new album to be full of Lucifer’s fury, we would understand. This is a melodic and more positive piece but still one of their finer efforts, proving they can not and should not be pigeonholed.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff