Throughout this intoxicating third album, the artist born Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini pivots effortlessly between deceptively sweet singing ... and fierce, filter-free rapping ... It’s a breezy affair, 14 tracks fly by in under 45 minutes and that gives Doja an ample opportunity to show off her range.
It’s an intricate project – the record also comes with an accompanying 50-minute film – that could collapse under the weight of its concept. Bolstered by its author’s frank pen, though, and instilled with a sense of hope, it’s a powerful listen.
Once again, SAULT demonstrate the power of words and just how impactful music can be. It’s impossible not to feel affected by the stories being told.
‘And Then Life Was Beautiful’ truly is a true celebration of R&B, yet – despite its nostalgic nods – Nao has still created a record that doesn’t sound like anyone else.
Bleachers’ third album is their strongest effort so far – the most cohesive, with the most poignant lyricism and musical moments.
Following their two hype-building EPs ‘Sweet Princess’ and ‘Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks’, the quartet’s debut album sees them wade further into lyrical surrealism and musical experimentation.
Their peak may be years away yet, but this is still some of the most exciting music you’ll hear until then; I’m not sure what more you could ask of a debut.
The Leicester band ruminate on modern living and mental health with sincerity and breezy wit.
The 27-year-old star has shaken off the expectations she has been held to and, on her debut album, she is finally unapologetically herself.
The epitome of the figurative “beating heart” that formed Big Red Machine, this is an autumnal album, one that lays the duo bare emotionally, and one that frequently calls for reflection.
Deeply reflective and in-your-face all at once, the Californian artist's debut album is an unashamedly proud celebration of recovery.
‘Pink Noise’ is steeped in liberation, not bitterness – it isn’t just a heartening comeback, but an absolutely sparkling pop album.
Largely written in the solitude of lockdown, the Northampton rapper's second album sees him reckon with childhood, adulthood, shame, defiance and regret.
After two decades of bombast, the band's contemplative concept album finds frontman Brandon Flowers reconnecting with his roots.
With ‘Smiling With No Teeth’, Genesis Owusu has delivered a riveting album that underscores the power of self-knowledge, perspective and art – one that should be cranked loud.
The Bristol band's fourth album is a course correction, one that dials down the aggression in favour of reflection.
Expertly curated, every single song in ‘Valentine’s relatively restrained 10-song tracklist feels like a fully-realised gem. As a songwriter, Jordan continues to cut straight through to the messy, conflicted, hopelessly infatuated guts of life.
The DJ-producer duo’s introspective yet hard-hitting second album shows just how affecting dance music can be, even (or perhaps especially) right now.
On ‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’, the magic is in the way that the music moves: the songs are radiant and full of joy, formed from the synergy of two relentlessly creative minds.
The New Zealand star's third album continues her winning streak, as she blazes a trail through the pop landscape with a beautiful paean to nature.
For the most part ... ‘Blue Banisters’ reminds us that, beyond the social media fires and press backlashes, Del Rey is still as great as she’s always been. With her attention firmly on her “endeavours” rather than the noise around her, perhaps her next album will be even better.
The Nottingham duo put COVID Britain bang to rights with stunning production, great guests, scabrous lyrics – and a steadfast refusal to offer easy answers.
Both musically and lyrically, this is Clairo doing what she does best – crafting gorgeous jewels that help you make sense of your own world, one step at a time.
It’s a rare achievement to make an album as thoughtful and transparent as this; you need real lyrical talent to do so.
Frontman Adam Granduciel has never bought into the mythology that comes with rock stardom, but this is a triumphant ode to his genre.
‘For Those I Love’ is not only an immaculate debut, but a beautiful record that speaks to anyone who’s ever loved and lost, anyone who might be mourning or just processing the days of youthful abandon, or perhaps those who need reminding that you can’t have shadows without the light.
After 'Drivers License', pop's brightest new thing proves she's not just a flash-in-the-pan, but a multidimensional artist who's in it for the long haul.
The breakout star has crafted a quietly subversive pop record that, for all its deceptive softness, challenges old perceptions of sexuality and mental health.
‘Carnage’ is arguably Cave and Ellis’ best record since The Bad Seeds’ latter day reinvention on 2013’s ‘Push The Sky Away’, or maybe even ‘Abattoir Blues’. It’s certainly two master craftsmen at the peak of their melodramatic powers.