Our New Music For February!

Posted by: yetheart, February 22, 2017 1:58 pm
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Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker

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 February 2017!

Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker
Leonard Cohen, the Canadian artist of many talents, left this world last November. As he was dying, he recorded one last album, appropriately titled You Want It Darker. His fans already knew his music to be beautifully haunting, such as his best known song “Hallelujah,” and even people only casually acquainted with his work might describe him as “dark.” Despite all of that, listening to his music can be an uplifting experience. Just as the blues can bring you joy, so too can music inspired by death reaffirm your life. Find some quiet time, dim the lights, and stream the full album on Freegal.

The Weeknd, Starboy
The Weeknd (real name Abel Makkonen Tesfaye) is a multi-talented artist from Canada. He sings, writes, produces, and acts. His third LP, Starboy, went straight to number one on the Billboard 200 and the singles from it will continue to be played in clubs for months to come. When you collaborate with Daft Punk, Lana Del Ray, and Kendrick Lamar, it would be hard not to have a few hits. Perhaps the album’s only problem is lack of continuity—is it a dance album, R&B, pop, or electronica? It's all of them, of course, which is why it may be better as a source of hits than a "sit & listen" experience. Listen to the clean version of the title track.

Metallica, Hardwired...to Self-Destruct
Heavy metal icons Metallica have released their first album in over eight years, so as a reward for their fans’ patience, they made it a double. Hardwired...to Self-Destruct is their sixth straight album to hit number one on the Billboard Top 200. It did so without any songs by lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, because he lost his phone containing all of his ideas and riffs and he had never made a back-up copy. Take a lesson from Kirk, folks: always back up your files. In any event, the band is in true form, having head-banging fun even if they aren’t quite as ferocious as they used to be. Watch the video for the track “Moth Into Flame."

John Legend, Darkness and Light
John Legend writes songs, sings them, and does some acting on the side. He has won multiple awards for all of these talents and he shows no sign of stopping. Oddly, he has yet to have a number one album, and his current release Darkness and Light only hit number 14 on the Billboard Top 200. It may be because the themes of the album seem to be humility and the importance of family, topics that don’t usually make for big sales. And even though he is known to be brashly political, he chooses not to go too far and comes across more sad than angry. These songs cover a variety of styles—gospel, R&B, hip-hop, and pop—but the unifying thread is always Legend. You can stream the entire album on Freegal.

The Rolling Stones, Blue & LonesomeThe Rolling Stones, Blue & Lonesome
The Rolling Stones are still chugging away more than 50 years after they hit the London scene and gave the Beatles a run for their money. Their newest release is a labor of love, going back to their roots when they were mainly a blues cover band. It is, in fact, their first album of all blues covers and it seems like they had a lot of fun making it. The band hasn’t sounded this good in decades, foregoing all the production glitz that made their past few records sound like some other group. Hear and watch a band in its glory doing their version of Little Walter’s “Hate to See You Go."

Melissa Etheridge, Memphis Rock and Soul
Melissa Etheridge is a popular rock singer and guitarist from Kansas whose style is best described as “heartland rock." On her 14th album, though, Ms. Etheridge gets some soul and performs 12 hits from the Stax Records archives. Desiring authenticity, she went to Memphis and recorded the LP in the famous Royal Studios with the Hi Records Rhythm Section as her house band. She even sampled bits and pieces from original Stax recordings to give the tracks a bit of historic depth. The result is familiar yet fresh, and more a homage than just a bunch of cover versions. Listen to her interpretation of Otis Redding’s hit “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long."

OneRepublic, Oh My My
OneRepublic is a rock & pop band from Colorado who hit the mainstream with the Grammy-nominated song “Apologize” back in 2009. Since then, they have seen their popularity rise, and their latest album Oh My My went to number three on the Billboard Top 200, their highest chart position yet. While their music may come across as standard pop for teens, you have to give OneRepublic credit for playing their own instruments together in a studio and not producing their album from a laptop, something all too rare with younger groups these days. Watch the video for the song “Kids."

Neil Young, Peace Trail
You just can’t keep Neil Young down. He’s putting out more records at age 71 than most musicians half his age, but he has always been prolific and political. Peace Trail is his 37th (!) solo studio album. It is mostly acoustic, with some help from Jim Keltner on drums and Paul Bushnell on bass guitar. The song topics are all related to current events, so it will either last as a time capsule or fade away like an old newspaper. In the song “Indian Givers,” he addresses the current protests at Standing Rock; watch the video.

Bon Jovi, This House is Not For Sale
New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi are back with their 13th studio album and first with new guitarist Phil X, who replaced longtime guitarist Richie Sambora. This House is Not For Sale carries on the tradition of stadium rock anthems that Bon Jovi have made their stock and trade. Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi still sounds lively, hitting all the right notes to inspire generations of karaoke imitators to come. The album's songs all deal with integrity and taking the band back to its roots, before fame and fortune changed their lives. Every song on the album will have a music video, and you can watch the latest one, for “Living With The Ghost."

Barry Gibb, In the Now
Barry Gibb is the last surviving member of the Bee Gees and he has had a successful solo career since 2012. His lifelong inspiration was always Frankie Valli, but he also has a soft spot for American country and bluegrass music. Barry actually envisioned a solo career as a country singer but chose instead to stick with classic pop. That may have been a wise choice, as his fans may not be ready yet for such a radical change from their expectations. His second solo album is In the Now, and Barry sounds the same as ever, only missing the harmonies his brothers used to provide. You can stream all these new songs on Freegal.