Arranged for voice with orchestral strings and electronic beats, Vulnicura is a unified set of nine dark, swarming, melodically distended songs.
Blur have returned with inspiration to spare.
Dylan transforms everything on Shadows in the Night — 10 slow-dance covers, mostly romantic standards from the pre-rock era of American popular songwriting — into a barely-there noir of bowed bass and throaty shivers of electric guitar.
Black Messiah shows how deep easy can go. D'Angelo and his band have built an avant-soul dream palace to get lost in, for 56 minutes of heaven.
On his excellent second LP, Earl Sweatshirt keeps deepening his game — spooling out dense, mordant rhymes over zombifically blunted tracks as he somehow sucks you into his sunless reality.
Sol Invictus, the band's first record since 1997's underrated Album of the Year, offers newer, better versions of Faith No More's formula.
Upping the spectacle from Fear Fun, his 2012 debut, I Love You, Honeybear is an autobiographical set about love, marriage and derangement that's both ironic and empathic.
It misses some of Trailer's storytelling wistfulness and formal experiments — but track for track, it's stronger, an object lesson in Nashville songwriting.
If we're talking insurgent content and currency, Lamar straight up owns rap relevancy on Butterfly, whatever challengers to the throne barely visible in his dusty rear-view.
This retro-soul man doesn't have to work so hard to win you over on his debut LP: His smooth, Sam Cooke-esque croon makes Coming Home the best kind of nostalgia trip.
Rebel Heart is a long, passionate, self-referential meditation on losing love and finding purpose in chilling times.
This LP moves on to Seventies and Eighties funk, with more sharp casting
Even amid all the new sounds on Wilder Mind, the impassioned earnestness that made Mumford & Sons stars is still their driving force.
Drones is a truly guilty pleasure, like watching The Daily Show and knowing Jon Stewart's best jokes start with someone else's colossal error or hurt.
Giddens is having a solo coming-out party, displaying her classical vocal training and ability to reanimate traditional music in her own nuanced image.
Foil Deer is an upswing from the listless cynicism that clouded their 2013 breakout, Major Arcana: This time, Dupuis and fellow guitarist Devin McKnight take charge.
Stevens strips his sound far enough to reveal his deepest anguish; neither the Disney-style orchestras of 2005's Illinois nor the synth-pop-as-craft-project of 2010's The Age of Adz peek through his acoustic fingerpicking and warm-milk voice.