Full Release: Music

Janelle Monae

It’s a sweet week for new music, as a couple discs that we’ve been eagerly awaiting are finally dropping. Let’s skip all the chit-chat and go through this week’s new audio releases.

Janelle MonaeThe ArchAndroid – Totally out-there underground soul singer Janelle Monae drops her first studio joint, and this thing is going to be serious business. Monae not only has the pipes to make it big, but she’s a hugely imaginative songwriter with legit big ideas, putting her way ahead of the pack. Guest spots by Saul Williams, Big Boi and Of Montreal spice up this 70-minute epic. Watch the video for Tightrope.

LCD SoundsystemThis Is Happening – Third and supposedly final album from James Murphy and his crew of dedicated knob-twiddlers. It’ll be a sadder world without this guy making his music, but quitting’s never forever. Watch the video for Drunk Girls.

The Black KeysBrothers – Ohio-born blues-rock duo drop their sixth album, and early listens have it easily their best, with fifteen tracks of gutter stomp and surprising tunefulness. You can win the Deluxe Edition package, with a hardcover artbook and more, here.

ExodusExhibit B: The Human Condition – Long-lasting California thrash metal band founded by Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, these guys have been at it for thirty Goddamned years. Their latest delivers massively brutal dual-guitar attacks, furious blastbeats and some surprisingly memorable leads.

Nas and Damian MarleyDistant Relatives – Bob Marley’s son and Queensbridge’s finest team up for a reggae-influenced hip-hop album that reaches back to the African diaspora. Recorded with a live band, this is not only going to be a hype record, but proceeds are going to build schools for disadvantaged communities in Africa, so no reason not to pick it up. Guests include Lil Wayne, K’Naan and Joss Stone.