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Next Week in Music | June 15-21 • The Short List: Seven Releases I Want To Hear (Or Not)

Here are some albums I totally want to hear. And some others I definitely don't.

It’s another one of those weeks where there are two kinds of albums on the way: The one I really care about, and the ones I don’t. I’ll presume you can figure out which is which.


Black Eyed Peas

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The time has finally come! Popping off on a global scale like they never left, Black Eyed Peas will unveil their anxiously awaited eighth full-length album Translation on June 19. Integrating hip-hop, pop, dance, reggaeton, and trap, the album unites Black Eyed Peas with some of the hottest voices in the world. They join forces with Shakira on the sexy and seductive Girl Like Me while the guys go crazy alongside Tyga and Nicky Jam during Vida Loca. Meanwhile, Becky G adds sass and spirit to Duro Hard, and French Montana turns up East Coast-style with a fiery flow on Mabuti. Everything culminates on News Today Just above acoustic guitar and a glitchy beat, they deliver provocative and powerful observations on life in 2020.”

Phoebe Bridgers

THE PRESS RELEASE:Phoebe Bridgers has announced her sophomore solo album Punisher is out June 19. The follow-up to Stranger in the Alps includes Garden Song, as well as a new track called Kyoto. Bridgers wrote and recorded Punisher between summer 2018 and autumn 2019. She worked on the new album with co-producers Tony Berg and Ethan Gruska. Her band on the record includes drummer Marshall Vore, guitarist Harrison Whitford, bassist Emily Restas, and pianist Nick White. In addition, Punisher has contributions from familiar faces like Conor Oberst, Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker, Christian Lee Hutson, Nick Zinner, Blake Mills, and Bright EyesNathaniel Walcott, who plays horns on Kyoto and I Know the End. Since releasing Stranger in the Alps in September 2017, Bridgers has shared the boygenius EP with Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, as well as Better Oblivion Community Center with Conor Oberst.”

Bob Dylan
Rough & Rowdy Ways

THE PRESS RELEASE:Rough and Rowdy Ways is Bob Dylan’s first album of original material in eight years and his first since becoming the only songwriter to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. Its 10 tracks include the three new songs released this spring: the album’s lead-off track, I Contain Multitudes, the nearly 17-minute epic Murder Most Foul and False Prophet.

Lamb of God
Lamb of God

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The simple Lamb Of God title for their first album in five years is a declaration from Lamb of God. It is a testament to the band’s long career — which includes two gold albums, two platinum DVDs and five Grammy nominations — and a bold statement about where the quintet is now. “Putting only our name on it is a statement,” D. Randall Blythe says. “This is Lamb of God. Here and now.” A true collaboration between all members of the band, Lamb of God’s eighth studio album is an amalgam of each individual’s writing style, perfectly blended to create a singular style. Guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler inject the album with a mountain of thrash, groove, shred and stripped-down aggression in equal measure. The fluid bass playing of John Campbell looms large as a rhythmic shadow and drummer Art Cruz, who makes studio debut with Lamb of God on this record, commands his position with passion, sweat and expansive dynamics. Vocalist D. Randall Blythe is as angry, insightful, informed, and hyper-literate as ever. Known for his outspoken lyrics, Blythe delivers once again, examining the state of the world through an early punk rock-style lens. In 2020, Lamb of God is re-energized and unrelenting, ready to lay claim to the metal throne.”

John Legend
Bigger Love

THE PRESS RELEASE: “I’m so excited to introduce my new album Bigger Love to the world. Here’s the album cover painted by brilliant artist Charly Palmer. This project has been a labor of love for me, something I’ve spent over a year conceiving and creating. I poured my heart and soul into these songs and collaborated with some incredibly gifted co-writers, producers and musicians. The songs are inspired by the loves of my life: my wife, my family and the rich tradition of black music that has made me the artist I am. All of these songs were created prior to the world being rocked by a pandemic, prior to the latest police killings in the U.S. that sent so many to the streets in protest. During these painful times, some of us may wonder if it’s OK to laugh or dance or be romantic. Lately, the images of black people in the media have been showing us with knees on our necks, in mourning, or expressing our collective outrage. We feel all those emotions. But It’s important for us to continue to show the world the fullness of what it is to be black and human. Through our art, we are able to do that. This album is a celebration of love, joy, sensuality, hope, and resilience, the things that make our culture so beautiful and influential. I’m under no illusion that music can save the world or solve the world’s problems, but I’ve always turned to music to help me through tough times and I know many of you have done the same. That’s why I couldn’t wait to release this album to the world. I debuted in 2004 with an album called Get Lifted. And now, as we enter the summer of 2020, I hope this new album can get you lifted again, fill your hearts with love and inspiration, give you something to dance to, something to hold hands to, something to make love to.”


THE PRESS RELEASE: “A glimpse into Wire’s working practices: When Wire play live there are different three classes of pieces that are performed, new songs, old songs and “new old” songs. The latter often involves taking something that existed on a previous release and re-working it, very often evolving a stage highlight from it. There are also pieces that have never seen a major release but for some reason never fitted on an album. The best of these ideas were recorded in 2 sessions: one relating to Red Barked Tree but recorded in 2010 and another relating to Wire’s latest album Mind Hive released in 2020. Incidentally celebrating the decade Matt Simms has been with the band. The album divides in to two halves — the 2010 side & the 2020 side — hence the title. Tracks 1 to 4 were recorded in the latter part of 2010 and feature contributions from both Margaret Fielder (of Laika) — who had been performing guitar duties with Wire on live dates the previous year — and Simms, who was on the point of becoming an official member of the band. 10:20 is that rare thing: an album that not only serves as a must-have for long-term fans and completists, but paradoxically also the perfect introduction for anyone new to the band.”

Neil Young

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Roughly 46 years after its original recording, Neil Young announces the release of one his most storied and sought-after albums ever, Homegrown. Often referred to by fans as one of Young’s mysterious, great “lost albums,” Young describes Homegrown as “The One That Got Away.” He posted the following letter on Neil Young Archives: “I apologize. This album Homegrown should have been there for you a couple of years after Harvest. It’s the sad side of a love affair. The damage done. The heartache. I just couldn’t listen to it. I wanted to move on. So I kept it to myself, hidden away in the vault, on the shelf, in the back of my mind … but I should have shared it. It’s actually beautiful. That’s why I made it in the first place. Sometimes life hurts. You know what I mean. This is the one that got away. Levon Helm is drumming on some tracks, Karl T Himmel on others, Emmylou Harris singing on one, Robbie Robertson plays on one. Homegrown contains a narration, several acoustic solo songs never even published or heard until this release and some great songs played with a band of my friends, including Ben Keith (steel and slide), Tim Drummond (bass) and Stan Szelest (piano). Anyway, it’s coming your way, the first release from our archive in this new decade.” Recorded between June 1974 and January 1975, Homegrown was intended to come out in 1975 before Young cancelled the release. The album has remained unreleased until now, achieving a legendary status among Neil Young fans in the process.”