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In this special episode from our friends at Pop Culture Happy Hour, host Stephen Thompson talks with critics Christina Lee and Marcus J. Moore about Kendrick Lamar's new double album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. It's been five years since Lamar released his previous album, DAMN. Since then, he's won a Pulitzer Prize, been nominated for an Oscar, and become a parent. But Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, is anything but a breezy victory lap. Lamar examines generational trauma, sexual politics, and his own attempts to grow amid high expectations and heavy introspection.
The best albums out this week include Harry's House from Harry Styles, jazz pianist Joey Alexander's Origin, new ones from R&B singer Ravyn Lenae, rapper Boldy James, Porridge Radio and more.Featured Albums:1. Harry Styles — Harry's HouseFeatured Tracks: "Music for a Sushi Restaurant," "Grapejuice"2. Joey Alexander — OriginFeatured Tracks: "Remembering," "Summer Rising"3. Ravyn Lenae — HypnosFeatured Tracks: "3D," "Inside Out," "Xtasy"4. Porridge Radio — Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the SkyFeatured Tracks: "Back to the Radio," "End of Last Year"5. Boldy James & Real Bad Man — Killing NothingFeatured Track: "Game Time"Other notable releases for May 20:Charlie Hickey — Nervous At NightCraig Finn — A Legacy of RentalsFlume — PalacesHanson — Red Green BlueJoe Rainey — NiinetaKronos Quartet — Mỹ LaiLykke Li — EYEYEMary Lattimore & Paul Sukeena — West Kensingtonmxmtoon — risingSOAK — If I never know you like this againUffie — Sunshine Factory
All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen introduces this year's Tiny Desk Contest winner, Alisa Amador, plus new music from SOAK, the identical twins duo Companion, Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman and more.Featured Artists And Songs:1. Alisa Amador: "Milonga accidental" (Single)2. Jens Lekman: "The Linden Trees Are Still in Blossom," from The Linden Trees Are Still in Blossom3. Companion: "If I Were a Ghost," from Second Day of Spring4. SOAK: "purgatory," from If I never know you like this again5. Jasmyn: "Cruel Moon," from In The Wild
Kendrick Lamar's highly anticipated Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, Leikeli47's Shape Up, Florence + the Machine's Dance Fever and more are on our shortlist of the week's best new albums.Featured Albums: 1. Kendrick Lamar — Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers2. Leikeli47 — Shape UpFeatured Track: "Chitty Bang"3. Florence + the Machine — Dance FeverFeatured Track: "Choreomania"4. Quelle Chris — DEATHFAMEFeatured Track: "King in Black"5. Tank and the Bangas — Red BalloonFeatured Track: "Communion in My Cup"6. John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter & Daniel Davis — FirestarterFeatured Track: "Charlie's Rampage"Other notable releases for May 13:The Black Keys — Dropout BoogieKevin Morby — This Is A PhotographMandy Moore — In Real LifeMary Halvorson — Amaryllis and BelladonnaMonophonics — Sage MotelPkew Pkew Pkew — Open BarSam Gendel & Antonia Cytrynowicz — Live a LittleSay Sue Me — The Last Thing LeftThe Smile — A Light For Attracting AttentionThey Hate Change — Finally, New
All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen shares the "most astonishing song" he's heard this year: Regina Spektor's "Up The Mountain," plus Stella Donnelly's "Lungs," the many colors of MABUTA and more.Featured Songs And Artists:1. Regina Spektor: "Up The Mountain," from Home, before and after2. Rachel Bobbitt: "More" (Single)3. Shane Cooper & MABUTA: "Finish The Sun," from Finish The Sun4. Tomberlin: "idkwntht," from i don't know who needs to hear this...5. Kathryn Joseph: "The Burning of Us All," from For You Who Are the Wronged6. Stella Donnelly: "Lungs," from Flood
Jewly Hight from member station WNXP talks with Bonnie Raitt about the folk-and-blues legend's new album Just Like That... and how she's navigated five decades of storied music-making.
NPR Music's picks for the best albums out this week include Sharon Van Etten's We've Been Going About This All Wrong, Jack Harlow's Come Home The Kids Miss You, Arcade Fire's WE and more.Featured Albums:1. Jack Harlow — Come Home The Kids Miss YouFeatured Tracks: "Nail Tech," "First Class"2. Ibeyi — Spell 31Featured Tracks: "Made of Gold," "Sister 2 Sister"3. Arcade Fire — WEFeatured Tracks: "Age of Anxiety I," "End of the Empire"4. IDK & KAYTRANADA — Simple.Featured Track: "Dog Food"5. Sharon Van Etten — We've Been Going About This All WrongFeatured Tracks: "Headspace," "Born"Other notable releases for May 6:!!! — Let It Be BlueBad Bunny — Un Verano Sin TiBelle And Sebastian — A Bit of PreviousBryan Ferry — Love Letters Ella Mai — Heart On My SleeveEmile Sandé — Let's Say For InstanceJermiside & The Expert — The Overview EffectJOYFULTALK — Familiar ScienceKikagaku Moyo — Kumoyo IslandMidland — The Last Resort: Greetings FromOtoboke Beaver — Super ChamponSuki Waterhouse — I Can't Let GoSunflower Bean — Headful of Sugar
April brought us albums from a re-energized Pusha T, reggae legend Horace Andy, Myra Melford's improvised suite, Syd's broken-hearted R&B ballads and Straw Man Army's paranoid-but-expansive post-punk. Featured Albums:1. Horace Andy: "Watch Over Them" from Midnight Rocker2. Pusha T: "Dreamin of the Past" from It's Almost Dry3. Myra Melford's Fire and Water Quintet: "VII" from For the Love of Fire and Water4. Syd: "CYBAH" from Broken Hearts Club5. Straw Man Army: "Human Kind" from SOSOther notable releases for April:• Fontaines D.C. — Skinty Fia • Taj Mahal & Ry Cooder — Get On Board • Joel Ross — The Parable of the Poet • Miles Okazaki's Trickster Quartet — Thisness • Albert Ayler — Revelations • Vince Staples — Ramona Park Broke My Heart• Omar Apollo — Ivory• Bonnie Raitt — Just Like That...• The Linda Lindas — Growing Up• Wet Leg — Wet Leg
The week's best new albums include Toro y Moi's spectacular MAHAL, hard-hitting rap from the New Jersey hip-hop duo Dälek's Precipice, R&B singer Kehlani's blue water road and more.Featured Albums:1. Toro y Moi — MAHALFeatured Tracks: "Magazine," "The Medium"2. Girlpool — ForgivenessFeatured Track: "Nothing Gives Me Pleasure"3. Dälek — PrecipiceFeatured Tracks: "Devotion (When I Cry The Wind Disappears)," "Boycott"4. Kehlani — blue water roadFeatured Tracks: "wish i never" and "wondering/wandering"5. Let's Eat Grandma — Two RibbonsFeatured Tracks: "Watching You Go," "Strange Conversations"6. Girl Ultra — El SurFeatured Tracks: "Bombay," "Nade Que Hacer"Other notable release for April 29: Bloc Party — Alpha GamesBurnt Pink — Afterlife DubCongotronics International — Where's The One?Corb Lund — Songs My Friends WroteDiane Coffee — With PeopleEbi Soda — Honk If You're SadThe Head and the Heart — Every Shade Of BlueKelly Lee Owens — LP8Melody's Echo Chamber — Emotional EternalMiranda Lambert — PalominoRöyksopp — Profound MysteriesWilliam Basinski & Janek Schaefer — ...On Reflection
All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen shares his favorite new tracks of the week, including a live recording for the 20th anniversary of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, a new single from Phoebe Bridgers and more.Featured Tracks And Artists:1. Lizzy McAlpine: "weird (ft. Laura Elliot)," from five seconds flat2. Flasher: "Love Is Yours," from Love Is Yours3. Fontaines D.C.: "Roman Holiday," from Skinty Fia4. Phoebe Bridgers: "Sidelines" (Single for Hulu's Conversations with Friends)5. Quinn Christopherson: "2005" (Single)6. Wilco: "Reservations (Live at The Pageant, St. Louis, MO 7/23/02)," from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Deluxe Edition)
The best albums out this week include It's Almost Dry from Pusha T, space rock from Spiritualized, a gorgeous ambient record from OHYUNG, a rediscovered Charles Mingus live recording and more.Featured Albums:1. Pusha T — It's Almost DryFeatured Tracks "Let the Smokers Shine the Coupes," "Dreaming of the Past," "Just So You Remember," "I Pray For You"2. Jorge Drexler — Tinta y TiempoFeatured Tracks: "El Plan Maestro," "¡Oh, Algoritmo!"3. Ben Marc — Glass EffectFeatured Track: "Way We Are"4. Spiritualized — Everything Was BeautifulFeatured Tracks: "Always Together With You," "Crazy"5. Charles Mingus — The Lost Album from Ronnie Scott'sFeatured Track: "Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Silk Blues"6. OHYUNG — imagine naked!Featured Track: "symphonies sweeping"Other notable releases for April 22:• Becca Stevens & Attacca Quartet — Becca Stevens & Attacca Quartet• Bill Evans — Inner Spirit: The 1979 Concert at the Teatro General San Martín, Buenos Aires • Bonnie Raitt — Just Like That...• Charles Mingus — Mingus Three (Deluxe Edition)• claire rousay — everything perfect is already here• Fontaines D.C. — Skinty Fia• Hatchie — Giving the World Away• Jason Aldean — GEORGIA• King Gizzard & the Wizard Lizard — Omnium Gatherum• Mister Goblin — Bunny• Patrick Watson — Better in the Shade• Roger Eno — The Turning Year• S. Carey — Break Me Open
All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen shares his favorite tracks of the week, including a surprise return from Pink Floyd and uplifting songs from Sonny Singh, Patrick Watson and more.Featured Tracks And Artists:1. Pink Floyd: "Hey, Hey, Rise Up (featuring Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Boombox)" (Single)2. Sonny Singh: "Aisee Preet," from Chardi Kala3. Tuba Skinny: "Trickster's Rag," from Magnolia Stroll4. Charlie Hickey: "Dandelions," from Nervous At Night5. Patrick Watson & La Force: "Height of the Feeling," from Better in the Shade6. The Good Ones: "I Dream Someday To Have a Home," from Rwanda...You See Ghosts, I See Sky
NPR Music picks the best new albums out this week, including new releases by Kaitlin Butts, Samora Pinderhughes, Mal Blum and more.Featured Albums:1. Kaitlin Butts — what else can she doFeatured Song: "it won't always be this way"2. Samora Pinderhughes — GRIEFFeatured Song: "Masculinity"3. Mal Blum — Ain't It Nice
Featured Song: "Everybody Loves You"4. Jerry Paper — Free TimeFeatured Song: "Just Say Play"5. Dave Brubeck Trio — Live From Vienna 1967Featured Song: "St. Louis Blues"Other notable releases for April 15:• Joel Ross — The Parable of the Poet• Flock of Dimes — Head of Roses (Phantom Limb• Digga D — Noughty By Nature• Kurt Vile — (watch my moves)• Spanish Love Songs — Brave Faces, Etc.
All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen shares his favorite tracks of the week, including new ones from singer Joan Shelley, Florist, The Hold Steady's Craig Finn and more.Featured Artists And Songs:1. Florist: "Red Bird Pt. 2 (Morning)," from Florist2. Joan Shelley: "The Spur," from The Spur3. Sadurn: "snake," from Radiator4. Dana Gavanski: "I Kiss The Night," from When It Comes5. Craig Finn: "Messing With the Settings," from A Legacy of Rentals6. dani mack: "Someday"7. Medicine Singers: "Daybreak," from Medicine Singers
It's a crazy-packed release day with new albums from Camila Cabello, Omar Apollo, an all-star collaboration with Wiz Khalifa, Big K.R.I.T., Girl Talk and Smoke DZA, Syd's Broken Hearts Club and more.Featured Albums: 1. Omar Apollo — IvoryFeatured Songs: "Talk," "En El Ovido"2. Syd — Broken Hearts ClubFeatured Song: "BMHWDY"3. Girl Talk, Big K.R.I.T., Wiz Khalifa, Smoke DZA — Full Court PressFeatured Song: "Fly the Coop"4. Camila Cabello — FamiliaFeatured Song: "Psychofreak"5. BANKS — SerpentinaFeatured Song: "Meteorite"Other notable releases for April 8:Calexico — El MiradorCoi Leray — TrendsetterDeer Scout — WoodpeckerFather John Misty — Chloe and the Next 20th CenturyFivio Foreign — B.I.B.L.E.Hiatus Kaiyote — Mood Variant (The Remixes)Jack White — Fear of the DawnJohnnyswim — JohnnyswimKae Tempest — The Line Is A CurveThe Linda Lindas — Growing UpOrville Peck — BroncoSon Lux — Everything Everywhere All At Once (OST)Vince Staples — Ramona Park Broke My HeartWet Leg — Wet Leg
March's best new music includes Kilo Kish's pop treatise on this game called life, Jenny Hval's philosophy on art-making, Soul Glo's punk rage and more. Featured Music:1. Kilo Kish: "DISTRACTIONS III: SPOILED ROTTEN" from AMERICAN GURL2. Jenny Hval: "American Coffee" from Classic Objects3. Soul Glo: "Jump! (Or Get Jumped!!!) ((by the future))" from Diaspora Problems4. rusowsky, "pikito" 5. Jóhann Jóhannsson: "The Mountain View, the Majesty of the Snow-Clad Peaks, from a Place of Contemplation and Reflection" from Drone MassOther notable releases for March:• Lous and The Yakuza, "Kisé"• Cécile McLorin Salvant — Ghost Song • Charli XCX — Crash • Rosalia — MOTOMAMI• Emmanuelle Parrenin — Targala, la maison qui n'en est pas une
NPR Music's picks for the best albums out this week include new ones from the Bronx rapper T-Shyne, Sondre Lerche, the Canadian pop singer known as LIGHTS and more. Featured Albums: 1. T-Shyne — Confetti NightsFeatured Track: "Feed the Fam" 2. Pillow Queens — Leave the Light OnFeatured Track: "Be By Your Side"3. Sondre Lerche — Avatars of LoveFeatured Track: "Summer in Reverse"4. LIGHTS — PEPFeatured Track: "Money in the Bag"5. GGGOLDDD — This Shame Should Not Be MineFeatured Track: "Spring"Other notable releases for April 1: Big Cheeko — Block Barry WhiteCarpenter Brut — Leather TerrorChristian Lee Hutson — QuittersDuster — TogetherField Works — StationsMeshuggah — ImmutableMolly Tuttle & Golden Highway — Crooked TreeNight Palace — Diving RingsPUP — THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBANDRed Hot Chili Peppers — Unlimited Love
What record changed your life? NPR Music's Turning the Tables, which challenges sexism in the pop music canon, asked writers that question. Every week in March, we're diving into their answers.
All Songs host Bob Boilen shares his favorite new tracks of the week, including songs of love from Angel Olsen and Soccer Mommy, a new one from the upcoming Perfume Genius album Ugly Season and more.Featured Songs And Artists:1. Perfume Genius: "Pop Song," from Ugly Season2. Zola Jesus: "Lost," from Arkhon3. Arooj Aftab: "Udhero Na (feat. Anoushka Shankar)," from Vulture Prince (Deluxe Edition)4. Angel Olsen: "All The Good Times," from Big Time5. Saya Gray: "IF THERE'S NO SEAT IN THE SKY (WILL YOU FORGIVE ME???)," from 19 MASTERS6. Soccer Mommy: "Shotgun," from Sometimes, Forever
Our picks for the best albums out this week include new ones from Nashville singer Maren Morris, the Jamaican rapper and singer Koffee, London's Afro-funk group Ibibio Sound Machine, Barrie and more.Featured Albums: 1. Maren Morris — Humble QuestFeatured Tracks: "Humble Quest" and "Nervous"2. Koffee — GiftedFeatured Track: "Shine"3. Ornette Coleman — Genesis of Genius: The Contemporary AlbumsFeatured Track: "Lorraine"4. Barrie — BarbaraFeatured Track: "Jersey"5. Ibibio Sound Machine — ElectricityFeatured Tracks: "Protection from Evil" and "Truth No Lie"Other notable releases for March 25:Aldous Harding — Warm ChrisBuddy — SuperghettoCamp Cope — Running with the HurricaneDenzel Curry — Melt My Eyez See Your FutureDestroyer — Labyrinthitis Machine Gun Kelly — mainstream selloutRema — Rave & RosesWalter Martin — The Bear
Comments (114)

Maniya

wonderfully nostalgic!

Oct 19th
Reply

Katelin Keeney

I love Tinashe. thanks for covering her

Aug 12th
Reply

Laura öd'-rhûtti Webb

listen

Jul 26th
Reply

Laura öd'-rhûtti Webb

blue Joni Mitchell

Jul 26th
Reply

Shelby Wiggins

yolo

Jun 29th
Reply

Shelby Wiggins

yolo

Jun 29th
Reply

Ross Fraser

the last song wasn't played.....

Jun 28th
Reply

Daniel Christensen

4 is Waxahachee. 3 is Fiona Apple, Fingerspelling. fetch t bolt cutters. of real abuse. 2 is taylor, lovely set of tunes. 1 is of course Phoebe Bridgers, Punisher (and not SAULT).

Dec 18th
Reply

Daniel Christensen

6 is dua lipa. tiny desk is special. 5 : RTJ = run the jewels, killer Mike + LP.

Dec 18th
Reply

Daniel Christensen

10: Jason Isbell shows the mentoring of john prine. BTW, lady gaga can do any music style. 8 is Fleet Foxes. hear the beach Boys influence. 7 is HAIM. fun deli pic and DC tour.

Dec 18th
Reply

Daniel Christensen

13 is Rina Sawayama. 12 is tame impala. 11 is the weekend. the enya of sex -new age perversity.

Dec 18th
Reply

Daniel Christensen

#20 is Bob Dylan, murder most foul, on Dallas nov. 1963. 19 is Charlie xcx, made in quarantine. of "hyperpop." or sad disco. 18: BTS (not played). 17: Adrienne Lenker, Anything. love it. 16 is mac Miller. Died young. 15 is perfume genius. set my heart on fire, immed. tune: Describe.

Dec 18th
Reply

Daniel Christensen

Gaga. Waxahachie. fleet foxes. Jason Isbell. Fiona Apple. Taylor swift folklore.

Dec 18th
Reply (1)

Daniel Christensen

On Sault: In just over a year, Sault has released three albums with little warning and scant member information. If the group's previous albums, '5' and '7' brought the funk-soul party, then 'Untitled (Black Is)' "funnels rage and sorrow into contemplative streams of thought, over equally brooding music meant to slow your heart rate," Marcus J. Moore wrote in his review for NPR Music. He further called the album "a robust collection of funk, soul, meditative spoken-word and protest chants meant to score the full spectrum of Blackness."

Dec 11th
Reply

Daniel Christensen

1. cardi. b. and Megan thee stallion, WAP. a mix of play and seriousness.

Dec 11th
Reply

Daniel Christensen

Q. Christina and the queens. people I've been sad. feb2020 out

Dec 11th
Reply

Daniel Christensen

3. Megan thee stallion. full rap. savage remix

Dec 11th
Reply

Daniel Christensen

Mackey Guyton, black like me. good!

Dec 11th
Reply

Daniel Christensen

bad bunny. raps. samples. raeggeton

Dec 11th
Reply

Luke McKillop

where's K.G.?

Nov 20th
Reply
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