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Next Week in Music | Dec. 9-15 • The Short List: Four Releases You Want to Hear

Floyd, Free Nationals, Plant and Stormzy are the cream of this week's crop.

We’re getting down to the short strokes now: There are only a handful of big-name releases out this week, and one — Pink Floyd’s The Later Years — was supposed to land two weeks ago, but got bumped by production problems. Fingers crossed that I get my copy soon so I can tell you all about it. Meanwhile, here’s the skinny on this Friday’s best bets:

Pink Floyd
The Later Years

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Later Years is a 16-disc set (5xCDs, 6xBlu-Rays, 5xDVDs) covering the material created by David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright from 1987 onwards. The period generated record sales of over 40 million worldwide and included three studio albums: A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, The Division Bell and The Endless River as well as two live albums: Delicate Sound Of Thunder and Pulse. With additional production from David Gilmour and Andy Jackson, over 13 hours of unreleased audio and audiovisual material, including the sought-after 1989 Venice and 1990 Knebworth concerts, Pink Floyd The Later Years is a must for all fans.”

Heavy is the Head

THE PRESS RELEASE:Heavy Is The Head marks a hugely exciting return for the multi award-winning phenomenon and is a record which has been executively produced entirely by Stormzy himself; showcasing his world-class lyricism and musicality alongside many of his celebrated and relatable subject matters. The album also features additional vocals from some of the most exciting musicians of this generation – all of whom have been hand-picked by Stormzy including: Ed Sheeran, H.E.R., Burna Boy, YEBBA, and Aitch, Headie One, Tiana Major9 with production from Fred Gibson, Fraser T Smith, T-Minus and others.”

Robert Plant
Digging Deep 7″ Vinyl Box

THE PRESS RELEASE:Digging Deep includes 16 A-sides and rare B-sides spanning three decades, remastered versions available on vinyl for the first time. The eight-disc collection also features restored artwork from the original 7’’ releases, packaged in a bespoke hardback book. Digging Deep collects two songs from each of Robert Plant’s eight acclaimed solo albums, highlighted by 10 iconic tracks which reached the top 10 on Billboard’s Rock Songs chart, including the #1 classics, Little By Little, Tall Cool One, and Hurting Kind. Robert Plant’s music is the result of a lifetime striding around the globe, from The Midlands to Morocco, from Nashville to North Wales, and the influences and friends collected along the way can be heard in his songs.”

Free Nationals
Free Nationals

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Quality takes time. Free Nationals, introduced to the world as Anderson .Paak’s backing band, had been telling media outlets they were putting the “finishing touches” on their debut album as far back as February 2018. Nearly two years later, the band delivers this self-titled debut, featuring songs as sharp and soulful as anything in .Paak’s catalog, plus a diverse array of guest voices. .Paak is, of course, present, supporting the gang on Gidget, but so are trap-music veteran turned outspoken social activist T.I. (Cut Me a Break), moody R&B antihero Syd (Shibuya), dancehall star Chronixx (Eternal Light), and Buffalo, New York-orginating Gambino rap traditionalists Westside Gunn and Conway (The Rivington), among plenty of others. The tie that binds is the funky and freewheeling Free Nationals sound, full of arrangements able to float the kinds of voices that have themselves impacted so many worlds. Hear it in full on the instrumental track Lester Diamond, a chance for the album to emphasize exactly who the Free Nationals are — some cats who can really play.”