Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


New Music Mondays: The Black Keys, Mavis Staples & Levon Helm, Harry Styles and Kendrick Lamar

Mavis Staples and Levon Helm highlight a really strong New Music Mondays with some help from Kendrick Lamar and the Black Keys.

Four Albums for New Music Monday 2022-05-23

Summer is almost here and it is quite clear as I pack up and head home from college that the next four months will be one of the busiest concert periods in recent memory. With the pandemic in the rear view mirror for most people, there are hundreds of live music concerts scheduled with even large bands like the Black Keys, Green Day, and The Who playing smaller towns like my hometown on the Jersey Shore.

Music labels are pushing out new albums from some of their biggest artists to capitalize on the enormous demand for live music after two years of empty venues and this week is rather rich with new releases from some great artists.

Mavis Staples and Levon Helm? I’ll take two of those just because both are such incredible performers.

Harry Styles: Harry’s House

(Release Date: 05/20/2022, Qobuz, 24-bit/48kHz)

After leaving One Direction, Harry Styles branched off into acting and his solo career and he’s managed to be quite successful at both. His third studio album has the benefit of being promoted heavily by his army of TikTok followers and it almost didn’t matter if he delivered a dud; which is a sad reality of the music industry in 2022.

What’s actually surprising is how catchy the album is from start to finish, and while “As It Was” is likely to be the only hit from the release — it’s hard to see anyone at Columbia being upset with how it turned out and how it’s already climbed to the top of the charts on Spotify.

Buy at Amazon

Mavis Staples and Levon Helm: Carry Me Home

(Release Date: 05/20/2022, Qobuz, 24-bit/44.1kHz)

Helm passed away in 2012 from cancer and but in the years leading up to his tragic death, he fought it bravely and produced some excellent recordings in his legendary studio in Woodstock, New York. Blues legend, Mavis Staples, was featured in The Last Waltz; the Band’s final concert that was turned into a fantastic concert film by Martin Scorsese, and she puts in some serious work on this recording with Helm.

The crowd has been largely edited out of this live set and there is very noise or time between the tracks. Staples demonstrates throughout the 12-track set why she’s one of America’s music treasures and still going strong at 82 years of age.

Buy at Amazon

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The Black Keys: Dropout Boogie

(Release Date: 05/20/2022, Qobuz, 24-bit/48kHz)

Dan Auerbach has taken on a lot of responsibility in recent years as a studio owner and label boss; how he’s managed to put out his own music and tour is quite the mystery. The latest release takes a step backwards in time with a strong focus on the Southern hill country blues that made them so good at the very beginning. It may not have the same “gritty” feel of their earlier recordings but it’s an enjoyable stomp throughout.

Buy at Amazon

Kendrick Lamar: Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers

(Release Date: 05/20/2022, Qobuz, 24-bit/48kHz)

Lamar’s fifth studio album is a double-double (Canadians will understand the reference) and it criss-crosses so many topics; death, grief, the state of America, trauma, and his very obvious state of unease with his fame. He hasn’t had the easiest relationship with it so far and the album’s rather scattered approach and production reflects that.

His poetic skills are in full force but the album lacks the funky groove of To Pimp a Butterfly, and is not as musically engaging on that front; the album requires a deeper listen to really pick up on all of the themes and messages but it’s still far more entertaining than anything else in the category.

Buy at Amazon

Related reading:

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ORT

    May 23, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    Hello the house!

    Mavis Staples and Levon Helm are…Well they are genuine and true staples in the music world. Huzzah, indeed!

    As for that creature Harry Styes (yes, I spelled his surname this way on purpose)? Nope. Disgusting being that is positively lacking in any thing of worth. You like it, you buy it folks. No hard feeewings there. 🙂

    The Black Keys. Those keys open no musical doors for me and mine. Again, you like it? You buy it and be happy! 🙂

    Kendrick Lamar? For me it’s Hedley (!) and not this junque. You buy it. The ball is in your court. One supposes in the real world outside this Matrix you would just take “your” ball and go home. 😉

    As always, if I wanted to hear some inept, musically and mentally challenged individual “sing”, I would do so my self. I do NOT have to “like” every thing out there. I have my druthers and Mavis and Lamar, more often than not, would be just that.

    cRap and hippity hop are nothing more than modern day Beatnik “poetry”. I hate Beanik “poetry”. PASS. 🙂

    Most gnu music is some one passing off doodie as a Baby Ruth. I know, I know…It is a riddle of sorts but if you think about it, you may discover the meaning. I ain’t un-wRapping the cRapper to that Chunky lads and lassies.

    As always, I am not only pretentious and whimsically prescient but NEVER pusillanimous. I leave the latter emotion to the whiners and their gnashing of grills…’n’ sheit.

    Mavis and Levon for the win, not the whine. My thanks to the author of this piece for the heads up on that talented twosome.

    Others can enjoy their Baby Ruth. 😉

    As always, all boo boos are mine because I am NOT a pro nor bro fessional writer such as the author of this review.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You May Also Like


Events of the 20th century shaped my DNA and influenced what I've watched and listened to for almost 50 years. Can music set one...


How have I survived the past 3 weeks in the aftermath of the Hamas attack and ensuing war in Israel? Music.


Find out what evidence supports the recent claim that the blues were invented in the 1890s by Black Creoles in New Orleans.


What were the albums that shaped us? EIC Ian White goes first in this new series about the most important albums that affected us...


What separates a hit song from those that never had their 15 minutes of fame? We revisit My Father's House by Bruce Springsteen.


The innovative trumpeter’s postmodern masterpiece features an all-star line-up, including Gary Bartz, Ron Carter and Lenny White


Mixed on Focal #5 has been released by Focal Naim America and is available to consumers as a playlist on TIDAL, Qobuz, Amazon Music...


The first edition will be limited to 2000 units, and the first six titles are AAA-mastered from tapes.


ecoustics is a hi-fi and music magazine offering product reviews, podcasts, news and advice for aspiring audiophiles, home theater enthusiasts and headphone hipsters. Read more

Copyright © 1999-2024 ecoustics | Disclaimer: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

SVS Bluesound PSB Speakers NAD Cambridge Audio Q Acoustics Denon Marantz Focal Naim Audio RSL Speakers