Our New Music For December!

Posted by: yetheart, December 14, 2016 5:29 pm
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Sting, 57th & 9th

Looking for new music? Look no further than your local Queens Library!

Every month, our expert staff will bring you the best of what's new in our physical and digital collections.

Check out our music recommendations for December 2016!

Sting, 57th & 9th
A lot of famous musicians died in 2016, but unless you’ve already listened to Sting’s latest record, you probably didn’t know that the song “50,000” pays tribute to Prince, David Bowie, Lemmy, and Glenn Frey. That is only one of the surprises on Sting’s first rock album since 2003. 57th & 9th is reminiscent of his former group the Police without sounding like it is stuck in the 1980s. Despite his forays into world music, jazz, and other genres, Sting is still able to belt out some rocking tunes when he wants to. Apparently he really wants to, as his 2017 world tour will focus on the new album. Get a taste of it with the song "Petrol Head."

Common, Black America Again
If you still think political protest music only belongs to folk rockers and punks, you haven’t been paying attention to the hip-hop community. While rap and soul music have always addressed political issues connected to urban ills, the past two years have seen a number of songs reflecting the national news and the Black Lives Matter movement in particular. Common, a long-time activist, goes a step further on his 11th album, Black America Again. The entire work is angry, dissonant, and speaks to specific issues and current events. From Eric Garner to the water in Flint, Common lets his hurt and anger flow, but he always concludes that peace and brotherhood must win the day over violent solutions. Watch the 20-minute film he made for the title track.

Ronnie Dunn, Tattooed Heart
Ronnie Dunn is a country music artist best known for being half of the duo Brooks & Dunn. When they broke up in 2010, Ronnie went solo and founded Little Will-E Records. His third album got its name from an Ariana Grande song, showing that even old country singers can be in tune with current pop music. Taking a more hands-off approach to the new album, Ronnie only wrote two of the songs and did not take part in its production, leaving him room to concentrate on singing. The result has been a critical smash. He even got back with his old partner Kix Brooks for the song “Damn Drunk." Watch the video for that song.

Pedrito Martinez Group, Habana Dreams
Thinking about a trip to Cuba now that it is legal? You can start by getting into the rhythm of the Pedrito Martinez Group and their new album Habana Dreams. Pedrito was born in Havana but defected to New York in 1998 while on tour with the Spirit of Havana Ensemble. Since then, he has been infusing a bit of New York jazz into his Afro-Cuban roots and teaming up with stars from the jazz, salsa, blues, and Santeria communities to create a sound all his own. As bandleader, he concentrates on polyrhythmic dance music that keeps audiences on their feet. You can dance along to the track “Compa Galletano” (featuring Ruben Blades).

Emeli Sandé, Long Live the AngelsEmeli Sandé, Long Live the Angels
Emeli Sandé is a Scottish singer-songwriter with a soprano voice who records R&B, soul, and gospel. You may recognize her as the performer who sang during both the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics. Long Live the Angels is her second full-length album and continues her mission to present raw, honest songs promoting world peace and addressing political issues. She hasn’t found an American audience yet, but the new album debuted at number two on the UK charts. Get to know this rising star by checking out the video for the song “Hurts."

Young Jeezy, Trap or Die 3
Young Jeezy (or just Jeezy) is a rapper from Atlanta who started the CTE record label and is considered a crossover artist of the Southern hip-hop genre known as “trap." Although he spent much of his young life in trouble with the law, Lil J (as he was known) was able to independently produce two albums that got him attention and the opportunity to join the group Boyz n da Hood. He then went on to sign with Def Jam as a solo artist and take on the name Young Jeezy. Since that time, he has climbed the charts and had consistent success with every project. His seventh studio album, Trap or Die 3, is no exception, debuting at number one on the Billboard Top 200. Watch this Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM interview with Jeezy about his new album, how Donald Trump is like Tupac, and more.

Xenia Rubinos, Black Terry Cat
Xenia Rubinos is a Brooklyn-based singer and musician with deep roots in Latin music, jazz, soul, and punk. Her songs tend to be very personal, while her vocals tend to be quite powerful. Xenia’s music is also a bit contradictory and hard to define, syncopated and funky yet brooding and soulful. Her second album has many songs about her quest to understand herself as a person of color who instinctively defies all expectations of her race and heritage. It grabs your attention musically, but holds your interest lyrically. This is best experienced in the song “Mexican Chef.” Watch the video.

Kenny Chesney, Cosmic Hallelujah
Kenny Chesney is one of the most popular country music singer-songwriters in the world today. Almost every record he releases goes gold or platinum and he sells out stadiums and arenas on worldwide tours. He has won multiple awards, including CMA’s Entertainer of the Year four times. Cosmic Hallelujah is Kenny’s 17th studio album and it has certainly kept his winning streak going. He even teams up with pop superstar Pink for a duet that stretches both of their stylistic limits. Whether you’re a fan or just curious, you can stream the whole album on Freegal.

Meshuggah, The Violent Sleep of Reason
Swedish extreme metal group Meshuggah have released their eighth studio album, The Violent Sleep of Reason. The title comes from a painting by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya and is a reference to extreme religious dogma, terrorism, and the violent implications of not being aware of what is going on. The band are one of the creators of a progressive heavy metal sound known as djent, which features distorted low-pitch guitar stylings. They have not had much mainstream success, but they certainly have a following in underground music circles. If you like dark, angry, loud music with interesting guitar effects and an atypical rhythm section, then give Meshuggah a shot. You can listen to the whole album on Freegal.

Taking Back Sunday, Tidal Wave
Taking Back Sunday are a rock group from Long Island that have been playing and recording as part of the post-hardcore scene since 1999. While not exactly punk, the music is still fast and loud with overtones of emo, perfect for the Warped Tours that they were invited to join. While primarily a four-piece band, a total of eleven people have been in the lineup through the years. That sort of turnover can lead to new directions or a disintegration of your fan base, but Taking Back Sunday have remained true to their sound and their fans have stuck with them. Check out the video for the song “You Can’t Look Back."