How in the world is it already November? I just got my Halloween decorations up and now you expect me to change them out for tinsel? Well, luckily my Nightmare Before Christmas obsession justifies the meld of the two holidays for another few months. Despite this though, it is in fact November, so let’s see what the music world is offering us up this month.
Alicia Keys – Here
Release date: 11/4
I will admit, part of the reason I love doing this column is that, even as a music industry professional, new releases sometimes escape my radar (hey, there’s a LOT) of music out there!), and this allows me to delve into stuff I may have otherwise missed.
Can we all agree Alicia Keys is basically a queen? I mean, the woman changed what strength in female music is – or at least brought it back to truth and light. In a quick visit to her Spotify page, the song “Holy War” is listed as the latest release, giving a quick taste of what we’re going to get in a few days here. It’s gorgeous and inspiring, as you would absolutely expect from Miss Keys. It makes you think. It makes you want to join a choir to sing it somewhere.
“Blended Family (What You Do for Love)” was also made public and is included on this album. While it sat at a respectable charting position in R&B, you may have only caught this once or twice from a radio DJ who took the chance. Again though, the lyrics are full of honesty. We don’t always get that in whole-album forms, but I have to believe that is what Alicia Keys is about to deliver us this month.
Other 11/4 releases:
Ryan Adams – Title TBA
Bon Jovi – This House Is Not for Sale (pushed back from last month’s listed 10/21 release date)
Sleigh Bells – Jessica Rabbit
Release date: 11/11
Please don’t throw things at me, but I’m not head over heels for Sleigh Bells. I get the hype, and am glad it’s not overdrawn. I appreciate the music. But you ask me what I want to hear, and this is just not a musical selection that would spring to mind immediately.
That said – I just pulled up “I Can Only Stare” to hear what we’re going to get into with this new release, and I am so pleasantly surprised! This is really great! The steady beat is becoming a welcome ear worm, and the lyrics work at just a deep enough level to mean a bit without having to think too hard.
I love the new streaming age in that we can get a track or two or three leading up to an album to get us hooked. It’s also incredibly helpful when you need a quick taste to write an article. This is the case for the gritty second song available, “It’s Just Us Now.” I remember why this is a little hard to hear now, but I have to say, if this is a preview of the whole album, I will definitely be checking it out in a few weeks.
Other 11/11 releases:
The Rolling Stones – Havana Moon [Live Album]
Sting – 57th & 9th
Miranda Lambert – The Weight of These Wings
Release date: 11/18
I didn’t need an article due date to prompt me to hear any new Miranda music. I’m already mildly obsessed with everything this rockin’ country girl does, so to have a new album coming is like early Christmas. And what’s more, it’s a DOUBLE album! There are two parts – The Nerve and The Heart – freaking brilliant, this girl.
We got “Vice” a little while ago, and everyone I know was entranced by it. It’s got soul and heart for sure. Then, last week, boom, “Keeper of the Flame” shows up, and we are reminded that the storyteller is here to give us her all. 20 of the 24 new tracks are co-written be Miranda herself, so if you’re looking for her… uh… reflections on the big break up, we may finally be getting that.
It seems like a lot of the album is about reflections and the highway – traveling on in both a literal and metaphorical sense. I hear there’s some bluegrass elements this go-around, but she keeps it rock and true Miranda. If you don’t like country, suck it up and check this out anyway – Miss Lambert has never been one to disappoint anyone in any fan sector.
Other 11/18 releases:
Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct
Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
The Weeknd – Starboy
Release date: 11/25
I want to like The Weeknd. I want to think of him as more than the guy who did the song from 50 Shades that I really like. He’s better than that thought – I know this. So here’s to hoping this album makes that happen, because this guy’s voice is entrancing.
“False Alarm” and “Starboy” have already come out. Things are electronic and moving fast and this could have just as easily been an EDM release in some realms (though I’m sure there are remix releases out there that will prove it’s possible). Daft Punk is involved on “Starboy” as well, bringing in their equally great soft trance beats.
If nothing else, this release is intriguing. The Weeknd made such a huge impact over the past few years, launching into the stratosphere of stardom with his hits. This seems a little more pulled back and subdued, but you have to admit, after last year, the guy deserves to do whatever he wants.
Other 11/25 releases:
Young Legionnaire – Zero Worship