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Taylor Swift: Reputation (2017)

Thus far two preview tracks have been released from the album dropping this November. It sure seems as though Taylor has been studying Rihanna's play book. She's trying to make these heavier songs but her voice is just not made for that. She wrote the book on pop music in the last 10 years and I feel for her because she's trying to grow as an artist, she is leaps and bounds away from her country orgins, but I think she's taking a wrong turn here. Speak Now, Red, & 1989 almost feel like a trilogy for her. She hit her stride, and made a lot of bank doing it. Reputation is a new chapter for her. I just hope it's a short chapter.
Kesha: Rainbow (2017)

Kesha has evolved from Party Anthems to PTSD Anthems. It's pretty clear this album was her therapy to deal with her life over the last couple years. It's a risky album for her, it won't have the same broad pop appeal as her previous material. At the same time she has grown as an artist and you have to take that chance and hope the audience will follow. And honestly, the audience my not follow this one, but I can see the bigger picture and this as a stepping stone.
Arcade Fire: Everything Now (2017)

This marks their first album in 4 years. Mostly self produced with some assistance outside collaborators like Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk. They released 4 singles leading up to the album release to create as much buzz as possible. Released first was the title track and ode to instant gradification called "Everything Now" which sounds more like a reimagining of ABBA. Other tracks like "Creature Comfort" are a bit heavier while keeping the same 80' spirit alive.
Lana Del Rey: Lust For Life (2017)

For Lana's fifth studio release, she is well on her way to becoming this generation's Stevie Nicks. She even goes so far as to colaborate with Stevie herself for the song "Beautiful People Beautiful Problems". Meanwhile the first single "Love" was largely overlooked by radio but still enough to get the public's attention to get this album trending.

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In memoriam
Chester Bennington
March 20, 1976 - July 20, 2017

Linkin Park: Hybrid Theory (2000)

When LP released "One Step Closer" to radio, it gave all new life the the nu-metal genre. The album was appropriately named because it was a hybrid of styles that blended beautifully. 17 years later, it still holds up. And over those years they have released several very successful follow up albums and most recently One More Light which changed their sound and format dramatically. But when you think of Linkin Park, it all comes back to Hybrid Theory.
Judah & The Lion: Folk Hop N' Roll [Deluxe] (2017)

A new discovery for me and one I am very excited about. After hearing their unique sound on the first single "Take It All Back 2.0" which I can only describe as Eminem singing folk music. It might sound crazy but it really works. They are still pretty new to the mainstream music scene, I'll be very curious to see where these guys go next. I really anticipate them being like the next Mumford & Sons.
Jay-Z: 4:44 (2017)

Jay-Z has been a trend setter from the start. So when he drops a new album, a lot of people take notice. But in cases like this, it's not for everyone. The title track 4:44 is about growing older and focusing on his family and new twins he welcomed into the world with Beyonce. Other tracks like "The Story of OJ" focus heavily on race. Mainly this is just an album for his fans that subscribe to TIDAL. For the rest of us, it's skipable.
In memoriam
Chris Cornell
July 20, 1964 - May 18, 2017

Audioslave: Audioslave [The Civilian Project / The Sounds Of Rage] (2002)

I wasn't much of a fan of Soundgarden. First time I really took notice was on Chris' first solo album Euphoria Morning. It wasn't long after, that he teamed up with the former members of Rage Against The Machine to create the supergroup Audioslave. So when I heard of Chris' passing, this was the album I turned to.
Aaron Lewis: Sinner (2016)

Aaron has been on the music scene since the late 90's with the band Staind. He helped create some of the heaviest and hardest songs I've ever heard. As time went on he changed things up with his solo career going into the country genre. His first country EP and album were a little too cliche, trying a little too hard to be "real country". With this follow up album, he gets it right, and not only that, he gets the blessing from country royalty by none other than Willie Nelson on the song "Sinner". The best track on the album is not a single and probably never will be, but it's called "Story Of My Life" and is a retrospective on his life that I feel many men can identify with that have also followed him along on his journey from the days of Staind through mid-life where we are today. The last song on the album he puts the spotlight on his daughter Zoe who covers the song "Travelin' Soldier" which you may have heard previously by the Dixie Chicks.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: The Getaway (2016)

Never underestimate the RHCP's ability to reinvent themselves. They hit the mainstream with Blood Sugar Sex Magik, then 8 years later reinvented themselves with the Californication album featuring "Scar Tissue". This album The Getaway marks yet another new sound and era in their careers. Preceded by the first single "Dark Necessities" they caught my attention quickly, then followed up quickly by "Go Robot". Based off the strength of those 2 songs alone, proves that this album is worth investing in.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping [The Lonely Island] (2016)

The funniest movie I've seen in years. Period. It takes the format of This Is Spinal Tap and cranks it up to 12. The soundtrack is crucial to the movie and they pull in some big names for guest vocals. P!nk and Adam Levine make special appearances.
Rihanna: Anti (2016)

I've been a fan of Rihanna since Good Girl Gone Bad in 2007. It's fascinating to see her career develop. This newest album she started off with the duet with Drake called "Work" which would have worked so much better if he hadn't been on it. As a bonus check out her latest collaboration with DJ Khaled called "Wild Thoughts". Although it's not part of the Anti album, it fits well with the style and flow of it.
The Doors: Greatest Hits (1980)

The classics never die. This album is best enjoyed on vinyl, but in this day and age, no shame in the digital format for ease and convenience. The music is roughly 46 years old but will forever be imprinted on our souls.

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