Even at their poppiest, Destroyer remain an acquired taste. This time around, it’s one more than worth acquiring.
Color Theory is a glorious record: the lyrics, delivered in a plain uninflected voice by Allison – melodic, but not in the least showy – are paired with tunes and arrangements that leap out.
All the Time is filled with tracks that get the delicate balance right between experimentation and a love of an uncomplicated pop tune; between nostalgia for the past and a dedication to sounding like the future.
The tabloids are frothing about the R&B singer’s ‘steamy’ new direction, but her sixth album blurs into one long slow jam.
It makes Notes on a Conditional Form a curious thing, an album whose flaws are inherent in what it sets out to do: music for the no-filter generation, with all the good and bad that entails.
Circles continues Miller’s searching musical journey, adding elements of soft rock, pop and more to emo-rap: the result is beguiling and natural.
Written to an imaginary child about ‘what it is to be a woman in this society’, the singer’s seventh album is alternately intimate, sneering and sad, and lavished with gorgeous melodies.
It manages to be as lyrically unflinching as the music is compelling – not the easiest balance to achieve, as acres of terrible protest songs historically attest. You’d call it the album of the year if its predecessor wasn’t just as good.
Dan Snaith’s project returns after five years away to confront grief and family, beautifully warping songs that are drenched in melody.
Sean Bowie’s creative imagination is extraordinary: experimental, capable of any genre, with an internal logic powering its shifts in mood.
It doesn’t add much to the climate change debate, but as a representation of what it’s like when fame turns dark, it is powerful and compelling.
For all its bleakness, Rough and Rowdy Ways might well be Bob Dylan’s most consistently brilliant set of songs in years: the die-hards can spend months unravelling the knottier lyrics, but you don’t need a PhD in Dylanology to appreciate its singular quality and power.
Instead of pop sugar-hit or arresting experimentation, Ungodly Hour’s draw lies in the detail; not only the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it strangeness ... but in the slow-burn appeal of the pair’s vocal melodies, which are habitually inventive, ornate and hauntingly beautiful.
Released with little fanfare this move to more muted songwriting is proof Swift’s music can thrive without the celebrity drama.
The charts are currently packed with British rappers, but not all of them have their own niche quite as clearly delineated as his. Big Conspiracy leaves you wanting to hear even more.