Our New Music For November!

Posted by: yetheart, November 15, 2016 1:16 pm
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Dolly Parton, Pure & Simple

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 November 2016!

Dolly Parton, Pure & Simple
Dolly Parton is a living country music legend. Her 43rd solo album is titled Pure & Simple because that is essentially what it is. Dolly is usually known for bigger-than-life performances, so when she decides to turn down the volume and dial back the rhinestone dazzle, it tends to draw attention. As a result, this is her first number one album in 25 years and it hit that mark on both the country and folk Billboard charts. The LP’s appeal may also be due to its happy, optimistic songs, the sort that are all too rare in these times. If that sounds good to you, you can hear the album on Freegal.

Usher, Hard II Love
Usher is not just one of the most successful singers in American music history, he’s also an accomplished dancer, actor, businessman, and philanthropist.  He has rightfully earned his nickname of “Mr. Entertainment." His latest album finds him doing what he does best, R&B that appeals to pop and hip-hop fans. The strange thing is that it only debuted at number 5 on the Billboard Top 200. Its relatively poor sales performance could be due to Usher releasing the songs months ago on his streaming music service Tidal. But now you can stream it for free using Queens Library’s Freegal service!

Jerry Garcia Band, GarciaLive Volume Seven
The Jerry Garcia Band existed as a rootsy alternative to the Grateful Dead for almost 20 years, starting in 1975. At that point, the Grateful Dead were playing arenas and other large venues, so this side project was put together to play smaller venues for more intimate shows during breaks in the Dead’s tour schedule. The line-up changed often, but the principle was always the same. Jerry was looking for more connection with his audience and the music he loved and he felt that the Grateful Dead were moving away from that. GarciaLive Volume Seven is a recently discovered treasure—the band's November 8, 1976 performance at Sophie’s in Palo Alto, California, found on reel-to-reel tape in an unlabeled box in 2015. To catch the buzz, listen to the track “After Midnight."

Gucci Mane, Everybody Looking
Gucci Mane is a rapper from Atlanta whose “Trap House” recordings led to stardom, perhaps before he was really prepared for it. He’s been in a lot of trouble with the law for altercations with fans, but a felony weapons possession charge led to a two-year sentence. He must have used his time well, because after his release he took only 6 days to record his ninth album, Everybody Looking. Despite (or possibly because of) these circumstances, the album has been his biggest hit so far, reaching number 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. Having Drake and Kanye West as guest stars probably helped as well. With a name like Gucci Mane, you might expect him to be a fan of fashion—and you'd be right. Check out this article in Vogue where Gucci speaks about his new style transformation.

DJ Khaled, Major KeyDJ Khaled, Major Key
DJ Khaled is an American Muslim DJ, producer, and rapper from Miami by way of New Orleans. He has worked with just about every big name in rap and R&B, and his ninth album Major Key is no exception. Though the LP has only 14 songs, it lists 25 producers and 33 featured artists, including Jay Z, Chris Brown, Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Rick Ross, to name a few. With star power like that, it is no surprise that it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Perhaps DJ Khaled’s next job listing on his resume should be “music mogul." You can stream the entire album on Freegal.

Regina Spektor, Remember Us to Life
Russian-American songcrafter Regina Spektor is a musician who is hard to describe in a couple of sentences. She came to notice as part of the anti-folk scene in New York (along with Beck), performing an unusual hybrid of punk, Jewish-Russian folk, jazz, and noise-pop. Despite her eclectic style, she has found a solid fan base and has had her music used in many TV shows and movies. Her seventh album, Remember Us to Life, has somewhat more mainstream appeal while still retaining the quirky qualities of her earlier work. To see if she’s your cup of tea, check out the song “Seller of Flowers."

Green Day, Revolution Radio
Pop-punk stalwarts Green Day are back with their 12th album, which the band states is centered on the theme of violence in America. After a series of directionless, almost experimental albums and solo projects, the group is getting back to basics with a rougher edge and angry (if a little too obvious) lyrics. Green Day have always had a mainstream appeal since the advent of alternative rock in the 1990s, and despite their forays into worldwide fame and Broadway, they have managed to generally stay true to their roots, at least musically. Watch the video for the first single, “Bang Bang."

Passenger, Young As the Morning Old As the Sea
Passenger is the stage name of Michael David Rosenberg, a British singer-songwriter with an American father. His style ranges from gentle folk to pop and he had a big hit in the U.K. with the break-up song “Let Her Go” in 2014. On his seventh studio album, Passenger continues to explore acoustic ballads, soulful melodies, and the sort of songs that can make you cry and feel happy at the same time. Fans of Simon & Garfunkel should appreciate Passenger’s soft and light approach. Watch the video for the title track.

Wilco, Schmilco
Wilco are an alternative rock band from Chicago that came from the ashes of Uncle Tupelo in 1994. They quickly moved beyond the alt-country sound and developed a variety of styles, mostly based on genres popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Lead singer and songwriter Jeff Tweedy has been compared to John Lennon, Neil Young, and Brian Wilson, among others. On their tenth album, Tweedy seems to be channeling Harry Nilsson, as suggested by the album title Schmilco, which is a playful take on the iconic LP Nilsson Schmilsson. The songs on this one are very personal, as Tweedy is writing about his family and young life. Here's the video for the song “Someone to Lose.”

Van Morrison, Keep Me Singing
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist Van Morrison is back with his 36th studio album, Keep Me Singing. As one of Ireland’s most famous musical exports, Morrison has found fame by re-styling jazz, soul, and R&B in much the same way Elvis Presley did with country, gospel, and blues. From his first hit “Gloria” with the band Them to his induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007, Van Morrison has always defied expectations while staying true to his ideals. It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without songs like “Moondance” or “Wild Night.” For his latest release, his voice has lost some of its gravelly tone, but it is fitting for the mellower sounds of the songs. The music may reflect his age, but it will appeal to anyone looking back on times gone by. Watch him perform the song “Every Time I See a River” live on the BBC.