Three new albums that were worth the wait

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Album cover of Alicia Keys newest
Album cover of Alicia Keys newest "Alicia"

Will Love’s Monthly Music Memo

Alicia Keys

Written and produced primarily by Alicia Keys herself, the self-titled Alicia marks the seventh studio album by the songstress. Exploring sociopolitical concerns and relationships, acting almost as a soundtrack to her memoir More Myself: A Journey released earlier this year, Keys returns to the piano-ballads and introspective lyrics which made her a household name.

This album is more of a vibe than a genre as influences range from R&B, soul, funk and country. From the emotionally striking “Perfect Way to Die” to the guitar-laden “Underdog” to the vulnerable “Truth Without Love,” this is the best we’ve heard Alicia Keys in a long time. In fact, this may actually be Keys at her best yet.

Ava Max

Album cover of Ava Max latest "Heaven & Hell"
Album cover of Ava Max latest “Heaven & Hell”

Ever since Ava Max (Amanda Koci) hit the music scene, seemingly out of nowhere, in 2018 with her breakthrough hit “Sweet but Psycho” she has drawn heavy comparisons to Lady Gaga musically and even physically. After waiting a solid two years, accumulating subsequent hits from Kings & Queens” to the latest “Who’s Laughing Now,” Ava has released her highly anticipated debut album, Heaven & Hell. The result is one of the best pop records in years as Ava Max brings us back to the pop perfection of the early 2010s (think early Lady Gaga/Ke$ha/Katy Perry when they were at their prime).

Heaven & Hell is the album we’ve been waiting for, reminding us of a time when pop music was at its peak and giving us hope with everything from “So Am I” to “Call Me Tonight.” From her versatile vocals, to her quirky songwriting skills and savvy selection of producers, Ava Max does no wrong, and makes up for recent efforts from her predecessors which missed the mark.

 

Mariah Carey

Having sold over 200 Million records worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling artists of all time and inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, it makes sense that even Mariah Carey’s scrapped material runs circles around a majority of the music released today. Highly anticipated, The Rarities features a wealth of unreleased material long-time fans have either always longed to hear or have only listened to poor quality versions of which leaked over the years.

"The Rarities" album cover from Mariah Carey
“The Rarities” album cover from Mariah Carey

2020 is a monumental year for Carey which coincides with the 30-year anniversary of her self-titled debut album, as well as the year she finally released her long-awaited memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey becoming a #1 New York Times Best Seller upon release this September. Much of The Rarities content still sounds fresh today, particularly “Slipping Away” which could easily be released as a single tomorrow and hit hard. Other highlights include the firecracker version of “Loverboy,” which proves sometimes the original concept works best. This is a stellar compilation effort.

New & Upcoming Releases:

The last quarter of 2020 gives birth to a wealth of music, from uplifting holiday releases, to new studio albums from the biggest names in the industry. 2020 may have been an unnerving year, but the last few months are sure to deliver (musically, at least).

Artist Album Release
Ariana Grande Positions October 30th
Goo Goo Dolls It’s Christmas All Over October 30th
JoJo December Baby October 30th
Meghan Trainor A Very Trainor Christmas October 30th
Sam Smith Love Goes October 30th
Tori Kelly A Very Tori Christmas October 30th
Kyle Minogue Disco November 6th
Little Mix Confetti November 6th
AC/DC Power Up November 13th
BTS Be November 20th
The Smashing Pumpkins Cyr November 27th
Shawn Mendes Wonder December 4th
Lana Del Ray Chemtrails Over the Country Club December 10th