Our New Music For March!

Posted by: yetheart, March 22, 2017 11:27 am
Blog Image: 
Miranda Lambert, Weight of These Wings

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 March 2017!

Miranda Lambert, Weight of These Wings
Texan singer/songwriter Miranda Lambert is part of the new wave of young artists who are updating traditional country & western music with a modern style. More soulful than pop, Miranda’s songs tell the usual stories of heartbreak and bad times in a way that goes beyond imitating Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, or others who paved the way for her. She married fellow country singer Blake Shelton but divorced him four years later, and the songs on Weight of These Wings revolve around that specific event. If Adele sang country, it might sound like this. You can hear the entire album on Freegal.

Lupe Fiasco, DROGAS Light
Not many rappers idolize swing clarinet player Benny Goodman, but Lupe Fiasco is not a typical hip-hop artist. Born in Chicago, he was raised Muslim by his mom, who was a chef, and his dad, who was an engineer, martial arts expert, and Black Panther. Lupe was encouraged to read books and explore all genres of music. When he had trouble learning to play an instrument, he took up poetry instead. This led to his interest in rap, a genre he first dismissed as too vulgar. Though considered “brainy” by his contemporaries, they respect his art-rap. His latest release, Drogas Light, makes use of trap-heavy production and lyrics that use drug slang to build imagery in each track. The whole (explicit) album is available on Freegal.

Reba McEntire, Sing It Now
Reba McEntire is a country music icon who has been releasing records since 1977. She is also an actress who had her own sitcom from 2001-2007. Reba's one of the most popular female entertainers in America today. Her 29th studio release is her first fully gospel album and it is a two-disc CD. The first disc is traditional hymns, while the second disc is all originals. This is something Reba has wanted to do since the 1980s, but it was her recent divorce that made now seem like the right time. With Sing It Now, she may have found a whole new audience. Watch the video for “Back to God."

Nothing, Tired of Tomorrow
Nothing is a rock band from the Philadelphia area that fall into the dream-pop, indie rock/noise category. Despite several lineup changes, the main force behind the group has always been Dominic Palermo, who spent many years in hardcore punk bands and some time in jail for assault. Determined to be less agro and more constructive, Palermo formed Nothing and released a number of EPs that got him signed to Relapse Records. Their sound is reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and other BritPop shoegazers of the 1990s. You can stream the whole album on Freegal.

The Hamilton MixtapeVarious Artists, The Hamilton Mixtape
Don’t worry if you haven’t gotten around to seeing the Broadway musical Hamilton yet—most people haven’t. However, if you are interested in that musical, then chances are good that you have already listened to the cast recording. The Mixtape isn’t quite that. Instead, it is a collection of songs from the musical as performed or remixed by rap, soul, and R&B stars, along with some demos and songs that were inspirational to Lin-Manuel Miranda while writing the score. Artists includeTthe Roots, Jill Scott, Usher, John Legend, and more. Check out Ja Rule and Ashanti performing “Helpless” live.

Tony Bennett, Tony Bennett Celebrates 90
Age is only a number to some people, and Tony Bennett seems to be one of them. Born in Astoria, Tony began his singing career after serving in the army in WWII and being a singing waiter. He was “discovered” by Pearl Bailey, who introduced him to Bob Hope, and the rest is history. Unlike many of his peers who retired or got stuck in the past, Tony keeps performing and updating his image, most recently by singing duets with Lady Gaga. His latest record is a mix of stars performing his signature tunes, a duet with Billy Joel, and a mini-concert of solo material by the man of honor himself. There was even a TV special! Here’s Leslie Odom, Jr. performing “Autumn Leaves” during that show.

J. Cole, 4 Your Eyez Only
Themed albums seem to be making a big comeback, and southern rapper J. Cole’s latest release could be considered a hip-hopera with the themes of struggle and life’s fragility. It tells the linear story of a young black man who goes from dealing drugs to raising a family and dying. The tracks are lyrical notes left behind by the main character for his daughter to hear after he’s gone. The concepts involved aren’t new, but the format and structure make it unique and outstanding. Critics and fans agreed and Eyez found its way onto many “best of” lists for 2016. Listen to the clean version of the track “Déjà Vu.”

PartyNextDoor is the stage name of Canadian rapper and R&B singer Jahron Brathwaite. He got the public’s attention when he signed to Drake’s label OVO Sound and released the first PARTYNEXT DOOR CD (a.k.a. P1) in 2013. While P1 was more of a mixtape, P2 was his first official studio album and led to him working with Rihanna on her hit album Anti. PND’s latest is, of course, P3, which seems like his launchpad to greater success and recognition. It debuted at number 3 (naturally) on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for two 2016 Grammy Awards. Listen to the clean version of “Come and See Me” (featuring Drake).

The 1975, I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
Dance-pop and alternative rock have been around since the 1980s, so it may seem strange that a British band that fits those descriptions would name themselves The 1975. Apparently, they were inspired by a book of poems by Jack Kerouac. In any event, these ethereal rockers have found an audience in Britain and America. I like it when you sleep… is their second album, and it topped the Billboard 200 when it was released. Oddly, they were nominated for “Worst Band” by NME in 2014 and were just nominated in 2017 for “Best Live Band” and “Best Album” by the same publication. Decide for yourself by watching the video for “Somebody Else."

Susan Boyle, A Wonderful World
Remember the splash Susan Boyle made when the video of her performing on Britain’s Got Talent went viral? It may have been the first video that “broke the Internet.” That was in 2009, and since then she has released seven international hit albums and won numerous awards. Susan isn’t stylish or trendy, but she can sing in a way to touch your heart and make you smile or cry, sometimes both at the same time. She’s so popular that she’s even had a stage musical written about her life. Her latest album, A Wonderful World, is a mix of standards, covers, and originals that is sure to please her fans and maybe attract some new ones. You can hear the whole album on Freegal.