Rather than assume that the glut of guest stars and features pushes Albarn to the back of his own party, guess again. Every note and nuance of Song Machine bristles with the Blur frontman’s zotzed-out vision and eclecticism.
The Flaming Lips’ best and most fully realized albums since The Soft Bulletin.
Thundercat continues to alchemize his inimitable style as a honeyed singer, whipsmart producer, and lithe bassist.
Live Forever feels more like a perfectly curated DJ set than a cohesive album. And man do we miss DJ sets.
WIMPIII is tuneful and jammy enough to do just fine as this summer’s beach soundtrack, and yet it is also an album that sounds in retrospect like it was tailor-made for the quarantine life.
Magic Oneohtrix Point Never is untethered in many respects, but makes perfect sense as a self-titled work: surreal, unpredictable, magic.
The musical signals Moses Sumney’s twenty-track epic græ sends out are also vital. He brings shards of art rock, R&B, classical, electronic, jazz, and soul into one beautiful piece of musical kintsugi performed with the precision of a master potter.
Fetch the Bolt Cutters is as cold as it is overheated, as vibrant as it is humble, as noisily rhythmic as it is solemn, and as set-back and alone as it is welcoming of friends and pets.
This all makes for an album both cerebral and primal-scream angry. Both rappers are in prime form; El-P is cuttingly funny and incisive, and Killer Mike has rarely been better.