HipsterZOMBIEJoint’s New Music Friday Picks 1/17/20

Lots of great new albums are dropping today to get us rockin’ through the weekend! All of these albums and more are now streaming on Apple Music and Spotify.

Per NPR:

Music To Be Murdered By, Eminem‘s 11th studio album, was a midnight surprise dropped quietly in the wee hours this morning, packaged with assists from Black Thought, Ed Sheeran, Q-Tip, Anderson .Paak, Juice WRLD — the 21-year-old Chicago rapper who died on Dec. 8 — and others. Among them you’ll find skits; the voice of Alfred Hitchcock (from whom Mathers cribbed the album’s title) and a cross-section of popular hip-hop’s varied, favored production styles. But it’s the video released in tandem, for the song “Darkness,” that appears to be the album’s centerpiece and fulcrum.

Per Sounds Like Nashville:

Country Band, Little Big Town, are charting a new course with their cinematic ninth studio album that’s filled with strong, yet heartfelt observations. They set this precedent nearly one year prior to the album’s release when they unveiled “The Daughters,” a poetic and powerful reflection on the burdens placed on women, whether it be to mind her manners or sacrifice her dreams for someone else’s. They continue to explore this idea in an equally striking fashion on “Sugar Coat,” told from the perspective of a woman who must cloak her pain with a forced smile and metaphorical “sugar coat” – the tradition passed down to her by her mother. “It’s colder out there than you think,” Fairchild sings as the mother’s word of caution in the cinematic number that sounds like it belongs on a film soundtrack.

Per Rock n Load:

Mark Morton’s Ether kicks off with ‘All I Had To Lose’, one of the new tracks and features Mark Morales from Sons of Texas and the incredibly soft touch of the acoustic guitar caresses you and the soft yet rough-edged vocal provides a sound of emotion that washes over you. It is rare that an acoustic track packs this much punch et it starts the EP off in an emotive fashion.

‘The Fight’ follows up and begins to include some additional instruments, along with John Carbone from Moon Tooth. Whilst this track does have a more overall upbeat feeling, the stripped-back sound allows for the feeling to be felt to your core.

The first cover of the EP is up next and it nothing other than ‘She Talks To Angels’ of Black Crowes fame. Not only that however Lzzy Hale provides the guest vocal on this huge track. The combination of powerfully passionate yet almost vulnerable sounding vocal provided on this cover is something wonderous to experience as the master guitarist provides the incredible fretwork that this track demands.

Per Billboard:

On her third studio album, Manic, Halsey performs a musical biopsy, opening up her chest and examining its contents with surgical precision. In that sense, the album is infused with pain — every song on the record is soaked in a sense of anguish as the star carefully studies each facet of herself.

Gone are the singer’s signature metaphorical devices; Manic has neither a post-apocalyptic dystopia nor a Shakespearean allegory to serve as its backbone. Instead, Halsey takes an antithetical approach to her previous work, stripping away the veneer of her persona and introducing fans to her true self, Ashley Frangipane — in fact, she literally opens her album with one of its most introspective songs, titled “Ashley”. 

The cathartic rage exhibited on the singer’s feminist firebrand anthem “Nightmare” (not featured on the album) remains largely absent from Manic, instead replaced in spots by muzzled frustration. “I Hate Everybody” has the sound of a potentially cutesy love song, while the lyrics see the singer bitterly swearing off love through gritted teeth. “Killing Boys,” meanwhile, sees the star calmly but firmly vowing revenge against a cheating ex as a subdued synth-pop beat wanders through the background. 

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