College is done for the year and as I board my flight to Israel for some time away on the family kibbutz, I wanted to share some singles that were a constant during some late night study sessions over the past few weeks. I’ve come to the realization that perhaps there is some truth to the argument that most pop or rock albums today only offer a few singles worth listening to.
Kendrick Lamar: “The Heart Part 5”
(Release Date: 05/08/2022, Qobuz, 24-bit/96kHz)
The first release from Lamar’s latest release has already become a hit on YouTube and TikTok and is a rather strong bit of social commentary on how famous black men are perceived in American pop culture and society at large. Lamar doesn’t deliver the same kind of funk on his latest album but this track is a strong moment.
Orville Peck: “The Curse of the Blackened Eye”
(Release Date: 03/11/2022, Qobuz, 24-bit/48kHz)
The baritone cowboy returns with his second studio album in 3 years after the widly successful, Pony, earned him critical acclaim in both the U.S. and Canada where he was nominated for multiple awards.
Peck’s Bronco: Chapters 1 & 2 is an even stronger release with a trio of hits already including “The Curse of the Blackened Eye”; a very personal look at escaping an abusive relationship. Peck’s vocal abilities have earned comparisons to Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Chris Isaak — his old school country music is delivered with a gravitas that makes everything else today in the category sound quite amateurish.
(Release Date: 4/29/2022, Qobuz, 24-bit/44.1kHz)
A unique blend of electronic music and jazz, Galerie features three tracks that make this obscure release a worthwhile listen; “Dribble,” “Bond,” and “Untouchable” showcase his unique compositions. You can find them on tour this summer across North America on tour.
Soft Cell: Happiness Not Included
(Release Date: 05/06/2022, Qobuz, 24-bit/44.1kHz)
Soft Cell, known for their eternal song “Tainted Love” has released its first album in 20 years. The iconic duo of Marc Almond and instrumentalist, David Ball, have returned for their fifth studio album and it’s a definite trip down memory line; the album has a very strong ’80s feel to it and while it doesn’t have the dance vibe of the best Depeche Mode or New Order albums from the same period — it’s still a very layered and entertaining listen.
Related reading: New Music Monday: The Black Keys, Mavis Staples & Levon Helm, Harry Styles and Kendrick Lamar (May 23, 2022)