The Welsh chanteuse’s first two records were rooted in clubby dance-pop, but on her latest, she tosses off the dubstep like cheap cubic zirconia. The change highlights her brightest facet—that limber voice, which swings from voluptuous alto to fluttering soprano in one swoop.
With no clear bangers on the landscape, Late feels more like the platonic ideal of a Drake album: a woozy, wordy stream-of-consciousness whose stylistic shifts are subtle on a molecular level.
How Big is Welch’s most accomplished album yet, primarily because she doesn’t rely solely on operatics to make herself heard.
The songs here are far more intricately constructed than anything on the band’s debut, and the musicianship is disciplined almost to a fault; a little unbridled rocking out would actually have injected some needed verve into Color’s quieter second half.
Dead Petz is a remarkable accomplishment because Cyrus appears to have grasped all of her potential at once: there are Hot 100-ready sugar bombs, psychedelic departures, rugged rock, and throbbing alt-pop that immediately makes the year’s other best pop record (Carly Rae Jepsen’s excellent EMOTION) sound alarmingly obsolete.
At.Long.Last.A$AP is a fantastically dense hip-hop album, worthy of its association with recent instant classics like Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and the aforementioned Drake surprise album.
Lamar operates in the same boldly visionary idiom as the Purple One, expanding the boundaries of the hip-hop empire and daring other aspirants to the throne—yes, even Kanye, even Jay—to play catch-up.