Miguel
Art Dealer Chic, Vols. 1-3
R&B

In a genre saturated with malleable singers like Usher, Chris Brown, and Ne-Yo, a budding light in the tunnel has been provided by artists like The Weeknd, Frank Ocean, and a 25-year old Los Angeles native currently perfecting his falsetto in Miguel. The recently released series of EPs, Art Dealer Chic Vol. 1-3, depicts a character lovestruck, horny, self-centered, and apocalyptic in just over 30 minutes on nine tracks. The albums imagery taunts on fishnets and bottle service while delivering a straight shot of endorphins through thudding bass riffs and sexualized libretto. Having yet to release a sophomore album, Miguel has inadvertently set expectations sky-high, but summarized in a brief mantra, if anyone can handle it, it’s this guy.

Fiona Apple
The Idler Wheel
Easy Listening

Due June 19th via Clean Slate/Epic Records, Fiona Apple’s new album The Idler Wheel will be her first work since 2005s Extraordinary Machine, which applied copious amounts of string and dollops of lush orchestration. The albums first single, ‘Every Single Night’ showcases Apple’s lyrical artistry in a homogenous Sylvia Plath-esque manner. Lines such as, ‘I just want to feel everything’ sung in sultry vocals backed by childish piano riffs hint at an artist spinning out of control; like a Ballerina. Since 2005s “Free Fiona” fan protests, Apple loyalists have teetered between love and hate over a new release, which undoubtedly will be a bewildering as the proposed album cover.

Beach House
Bloom
Sub Pop

The quintessential summer lye’s within Beach House’s latest LP, Bloom, which continues en route with their established surfwave sound; mournful dream pop, as was predominate in their previous full-length, Teen Dream. Fans of the bands previous work won’t find kinks in singer Victoria Legrand’s vibrato-free voice and more sensualized take on genres like soul and R&B. Seemingly, Beach House has settled on their slow-blooming hazy-melodies and casted cleaner production; otherwise enchanting indie-goers into endless multicolored smoke rings. Though, innovatively, Bloom takes no risks or makes significant departures from work past. However, those faithful to the psychedelic Beach Boys sound won’t be disappointed by the crescendos or staccato drum machine beats.

Jack White
Blunderbuss
Rock/Alternative

After 15 successive years in the music industry and pioneer of several distinctive bands, Jack White has become the hallmark of blues riffs through punk rock energy. Though experimental, White’s a renaissance man, but purist who fancies basic rock structure, and hence, his self-titled album, Blunderbuss lends itself to pre-computer music mastered by Led Zeppelin, The Who, and The Rolling Stones. The LP is a fearless string of thoughts about love, loss and life, shown most vividly in “Take Me With You When You Go”, a hymn to his recent divorce. The album is White’s most expansive record since the White Stripes’ 2003 classic, Elephant, which is full of brilliant melodies similar in stature. Now, not under the guise of a band, and through all the heartbreak, White leaves several epitaphs. In a track called “Sixteen Saltines”, the artist quotes, “Spike heels make a hole in a lifeboat”. While being emotionally flamboyant, White still cascades in enigma and provides ample acoustic strums, electric noise, and power-riffs certain to make Raconteurs or Stripes’ devotees fulfilled.

Santana
Shape Shifter
Rock/Pop

Having captivated a new generation of fans with his 1999 album, Supernatural which featured the likes of Eric Clapton and Dave Matthews, and subsequent releases, Shaman, All That I Am, and Guitar Heaven which featured Nas, India.Arie, Michelle Branch, and Steven Tyler, many die-hard guitar fans longed for a reincarnation of classic Santana, circa the 1970’s, Abraxas. Considering Santana’s sold more than 100 million records and accumulated 10 Grammy awards, the guitar virtuoso still prescribes by a John Lee Hooker mentality that “It’s in you, and it’s got to come out”. Shape Shifter can be sure to return to a fusion of rock, blues, jazz, and salsa with the energy of Sonny Sharrock and Jimi Hendrix and is expected to drop May 15th on Starfaith.

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