Welcome to another edition of “5 Albums You Should Be Listening to Right Now,” kids! This week, the new segment makes a stop in “Must-Listen-Monday” land, as we serve up 5 brand spankin’ new albums that deserve a whirl in your headphones. Dive in below.
Kelly Clarkson/”Piece by Piece”
After taking time off to become a mamadukes, Ms. Kelly has returned to grand form with her shimmering seventh studio set. Laced with dreamy synths, powerful vocals and top-notch collaborators (Sia, John Legend, Kara Dioguardi, Greg Furstin, to name a few), Kelly’s latest proves that motherhood hasn’t slowed her down one bit. From pulsating lead single “Heartbeat Song,” to the piano driven “Run, Run, Run” with Mr. Legend, Ms. Clarkson is back and ready to tug at your heartstrings. Personal favorites include Sia penned tunes “Invincible” and “Let Your Tears Fall,” “Dance With Me” as well as the albums thumping title track. After listening to Kelly’s latest, you will be scratching your head as to why apparently no one wanted to work with the diva on her prismatic new set-it’s that good.
“Let Your Tears Fall”
Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack U
Originally scheduled for a later release, beat masters Skrillex and Diplo surprised fans last week when they dropped their first collaborative debut. The perfect blend of up and down music, this one will take you straight to the crazy dance floor of life or give you a soaking sweat during your intense workout at the gym. The world renowned DJs also brought in some killer guest stars, including deep house diva Kiesza for lead single, “Take U There,” Justin Bieber on the bouncing, “Where Are U Now,” and even spitster 2 Chainz freshens it up on the pulsating, “Febreze.” The real highlight of this whirling set comes at the end, when the one-and-only Missy Elliot pops up on a remix of “Take U There” that will have you pressing repeat once the track ends. Ms. Elliot’s contribution alone makes Skrillex and Diplo’s Jack U debut worth your “Must Listen” pleasure.
“Take U There” (Missy remix)
Imagine Dragons/Smoke + Mirrors
You would think that Las Vegas rockers Imagine Dragons would feel the pressure after their debut set,’ Night Visions,’ transformed them into music sensations and went on to to sell a whopping 3 million copies…but it doesn’t show on their long awaited follow up record at all. On their rockin new set, the band delivers a whimsical world full of guitar riffs, punchy melodies and indie influenced grooves. Album singles “Gold,” “I Bet My Life,” and my personal favorite, “Shots,” are certainly packed with plenty of Imagine punch, but it’s other album cuts, “Summer,” “Hopeless Opus,” “Trouble,” and another personal favorite, “It All Comes Back To You,” that will certainly have the boys of Imagine Dragons avoiding that dreaded sophomore music slump.
“It All Comes Back To You”
I confess….this isn’t exactly the newest release of the bunch, being that it came out last fall, but sadly, no one is paying attention to Jennfer’s luscious third studio set. If you’re looking for the perfect mix of baby makin beats and delectable dance ditties, Ms. Hudson’s album is the one for you. From opener ,”Dangerous,” to the Timbaland produced, “Walk It Out,” and to powerful closing ballad, “Moan,” Ms. Jennifer delivers quite a fantastic piece of music heaven all the way through. With that being said, Philly Mixtape wants to know why everyone seems to be ignoring the latest music from Ms. Hudson these days. In a word, it needs to stop….so we may just have to come up with 5 reasons why. All we can say is..stay tuned.
“I Can’t Describe”
America’s top drag diva returns with another set of fierce dance ditties and sultry shade-y lyricism. Ru delivers quite a ferocious set featuring the stylings of DJs Dave Aude, Eric Kupper and Frankmusik, as well as bestie Michelle Visage, Lady Bunny…and Rebecca Romijn??? Yas. Now, will Ms. Paul’s latest launch her into the music stratosphere? Most likely not. But will tracks “Die Tomorrow,” “Step it Up” and the albums title track have you working that runway of life? Indeed, honey. Also adding flair to Ru’s latest set are rewerked versions of older hits “Throw Ya Hands Up” and “Born Naked,” meaning that Ru’s new set can shantay and stay in our headphones all year long.
“Step It Up”