Bloc Party – Four
I became obsessed with Bloc Party when they were getting big in 2005. At 15 years old, I was right around the age where I started to realize how horrible bands like Limp Bizkit were (an important moment in every young man’s life), and began embracing indie music. The British group’s latest album, Four, set to be released on August 20th is supposed to be a return to their earlier form, which is welcome news to all those (myself included) who were disappointed with the band’s development after a stellar freshman effort. I guess it’s a good thing they didn’t break up as rumored.
GOOD Music – Cruel Summer
Perhaps more popularly known as “Kanye’s record label,” GOOD Music has arisen from the ashes Mr. West created with the Taylor Swift incident quite spectacularly. With Kid Cudi, Pusha T, John Legend, Big Sean and more, this is quite clearly the Murderers Row of the music world right now. We’ve already heard a few songs off it, including recent Billboard number one “Mercy,” and Kanye is on a streak of hit making we haven’t seen since Michael Jackson was black. September 4th cannot come soon enough for this Kanye-phile.
Bob Dylan – Tempest
If you had told me six months ago that I would be eagerly anticipating the newest Bob Dylan album, I would have probably just been mildly surprised. Still, it is pretty wild how I’ve gotten to the point where I will now happily buy his new album on September 10th. The story and mystique of Dylan is so enthralling that I’ve really thrown myself into it, listening to nearly all his albums (the discography is so vast) and watching as much film on him as possible. He grew up just miles away from where I did too, which in a weird way makes listening to some of his stuff very personal.
At 71, this will be Dylan’s thirty-fifth studio album. His newer material puts on full display the raspy voice that young people now characterize him by, but his sheer musical and writing ability show through as always. Far too many rock star types have either died young or faded into making poor music, but Bob Dylan has resisted both traps, and is still producing high-quality art at an advanced age. There will only ever be one Bob Dylan, and something in me decided to take advantage of that fact while we still have him.
A$AP Rocky – LongLiveA$AP
“Future best rapper alive” is how I like to describe A$AP Rocky. With the given name of Rakim (yes, after the hip-hop legend), something tells me his parents saw the same potential I do. His stock has risen high over the past year and half, which will culminate in his debut album being released on September 11th.
Lots of rappers have made a living rapping about weed, but what differentiates this Harlem-born from the likes of Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller is his actual talent for rap (sorry, can’t resist blasting those no-talents) and unbridled charisma. High expectations await this debut effort, but Rocky has jumped every hurdle put in front of him thus far, and should be expected to do the same here.