Stream of the Crop: 5 New Albums for Heavy Rotation

New projects from Brockhampton, Eminem, and Charli XCX top this week's list.
December 17, 2017, 12:53pm
Image via Wikimedia

The end of the week means a glut of new music to dig into and, while that is Extremely Good, it can be difficult to know where to start. So every week, we at Noisey put together a list of our favorite new albums, mixtapes, and EPs from the past seven days. You can listen to them all on this page and click through to buy them if you'd like. It is neither comprehensive nor fair. We hope it helps.

Brockhampton: Saturation III

Of course, Brockhampton left the best until last. Saturation III, their third album of 2017, and the final instalment in the Sauration trilogy, is genre-cruising magic—but if you’ve heard anything at all from the “best boyband since One Direction,” you already knew that. They move from the urgent sirens of “BOOGIE” to MySpace-style 8-bit samples on ”HOTTIE” with an ease that belies their skill, even stopping off briefly at the unique sound Kevin Abstract established on his 2016 solo record American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story on “SISTER/NATION.” The latter part of that track also featured in their Runaway-esque short film Billy Star, released prior to Saturation III. That Kanye reference isn’t incidental, by the way—Brockhampton work at a similar level of innovation, and, now that they’ve announced their next project, Team Effort, there is, happily, more to come. For now, however, marvel at Saturation III, where they have perfected their craft.—Lauren O'Neill

Buy: Bandcamp | iTunes
Stream: Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Eminem: Revivial

Eminem's return was announced with a controversial BET cypher, an anti-Trump tirade that may have been well-intentioned but hardly blew minds (Noisey's Lawrence Burney wrote that the rapping was "shaky at best," and that wasn't the most troubling part). The cypher was followed by the Beyoncé-featuring single "Walk on Water," an introspective rap ballad that had Em shouting, "Bitch, I wrote 'Stan.'" It's been a little rough. If you rolled your eyes at those moments, an album featuring Ed Sheeran, X Ambassadors, P!nk, and Alicia Keys—PHRESHER is the only rapper—might not do much for you. But Eminem still has his legions of fans, the people who will sit through a 19-song record and rage out to every line. —Alex Robert Ross

Buy: iTunes
Stream: Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Charli XCX: Pop 2

In the teen movie of Charli XCX’s 2017, if her first mixtape of the year—the glossy, sugary Number 1 Angel—is the popular cheerleader with a dark secret, then her second, Pop 2, is its weird little sister who wears fishnet gloves and rings of kohl eyeliner to school. Pop 2 is a slightly less accessible affair than its predecessor, stranger and sparser, but you won’t have to probe very hard for something to love. Gloriously artificial production from AG Cook and various other collaborators like SOPHIE and Stargate both embraces and explodes pop tropes, and tracks like “Femmebot” and “Delicious” feel like a genuine glimpse at the future of a genre that is becoming more and more self-aware—Pop 2 indeed. The tape also expands Charli’s status as an international pop curator, with features from a diverse cast of players, including Mykki Blanco, Kim Petras, Brooke Candy, Jay Park, Number 1 Angel MVP CupcakKe, and reigning queen of pop Carly Rae Jepsen (who she whacks on the tape’s opener "Backseat"—a stumbling, unpredictable thing—as a clear statement of intent). In sum, it basically proves what we’ve known for a while: we might be ending 2017, but Charli XCX is already in 3068. —LN

Buy: iTunes
Stream: Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Lemuria: Recreational Hate

Running concise at nine tracks long, Recreational Hate is the sound of a seasoned band experimenting within a space they’ve established for themselves. It packs in all the sentiment, concern and attention to tiny detail you'd expect from Lemuria, but feels a little more at ease. If their previous albums have felt like bursts of frustration or joy, then Recreational Hate is more of a contented sigh. —Emma Garland, Lemuria Are Back and Better Than Ever

Buy: Bandcamp
Stream: Spotify

N.E.R.D: No_One Ever Really Dies

The first album in seven years from the genre-mashing, Pharrell-led trio was led by three baffling singles. "Lemon" was a bouncy collaboration with Rihanna, but "Rollinem 7s" with André 3000 and "1000" with Future were deeply strange. Too many ideas collided and too little space was given to esteemed guests. But No_One Ever Really dies does have some sort of cohesion to it in the end. Both of the Kendrick Lamar features—"Kites" and "Don't Don't Do It"—sound urgent; Gucci Mane's presence on "Voilá" is refreshing. Oh hey, Ed Sheeran's here too. On a reggae song. Okay. —ARR

Buy: iTunes
Stream: Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

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