Dedicated is a more nuanced and subdued work than Jepsen's 2015 masterwork, trading in some of her last record's razzle-dazzle for a more refined emotional palette, but losing none of the songs' staying power.
Wrapping The Practice of Love in avant-pop instrumentation, Hval nimbly threads complex sentiments through its prismatic shades of sound.
Eilish's success is no fluke — When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is a debut record that showcases a bold artistic vision and a willingness to move beyond the boundaries of pop conventions.
It does little to dispel any of the mystery that surrounds the band, even while proving them worthy of the praise they've received across the pond.
On the Line is full of such raw realizations laid bare — it's Lewis squaring up a difficult period of her life with an affected but steady gaze.
Now that they're mostly unburdened from the narratives of their past, Father of the Bride finds them at their most relaxed, jovial and inviting.
Drawing attention to society's weak spots through simple, strong storytelling, Jaime attempts to break the cycle, moving toward a better future.
Paired with the dream-like, celestial quality of U.F.O.F., Two Hands shows Big Thief's loving view of the world can be immeasurably intimate and intangible, but also be bare-boned and brutally honest.
Big Thief are accepting the inherent beauty of life's invisible forces and their contemplation with the unknown has led them to a mindful state of raw, celestial power. U.F.O.F. is trembling with mystical energy and is truly one of the year's best records.
The best parts of the album, though, are the moments where it doesn't sound exactly like anything either artist has released before, yet still shows two songwriters at the height of their talents.
Titanic Rising may draw inspiration from the past, but it's ultimately a clear-eyed look at love, catastrophe and hope that's perfect for the present moment.
With strings, thoughtful arrangements, backup vocals, and rich production plus David Berman's inimitable wordplay and phrasing, Purple Mountains is a true masterpiece.
At the heart of it, Morbid Stuff just still sounds like friends having fun and making catchy, cathartic punk anthems for teens and almost-adults alike — offering a brief, but much needed respite from the hell that is everyday life.
Remind Me Tomorrow is not only a reminder of the power of love but also features some of Van Etten's finest work to date.
Giannascoli's creativity is endless and as he continues his never-ending output of mysteriously disorienting and strangely familiar songs, he's becoming stronger and weirder with every album.
In portrait mode, Magdalene tears down the metaphorical walls — aurally, visually, physically — to build back up a wholly realized self.
Monumental and intimate in equal measure, All Mirrors' boldness is exceeded only by its profound emotional resonance.