Welcome to the first week of September! As we dive into this week’s music sphere, enjoy new releases from Kanye West, Abba, Drake and more:
Kanye West – Donda
As I’m sure you know by now, the long-awaited album Donda has arrived. While this album deseres a full-length analysis of its own, here’s a small breakdown:
The album is dedicated to his mother Donda, who passed away in 2007 from a post-operative issue with plastic surgery. The album unfolds his recent divorce, his relationship with his kids and God, and longing for the most pivotal woman in his life, his mom. The album can be considered a cultural and musical shift due to its live events, camaraderie and the countless allusions and symbols he used in his live premieres. The album itself isn’t quite cohesive, but Donda is a religious experience nonetheless, with many of the rap and pop greats collaborating to make this emotional experience.
Abba – “I Still Have Faith in You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down”
Since Abba‘s tour in 2000, the band was done. “We will never appear on stage again,” says bandmate Bjorn Ulvaeus in 2008. The band that wanted to be remembered as the “young, exuberant” digital-pop persona, will now being remembered for their 2 latest songs! “I Still Have Faith in You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down” are Abba’ first singles since 1982. The Abba aesthetic (which is arguably Mamma Mia! core) is strong in this latest revival, and it’s far from over. The band’s past-and-present sound will be celebrated in an upcoming album Voyage, release date TBA.
Drake – Certified Lover Boy
This week, Champagne Papi released his 6th studio album Certified Lover Boy. The classic rapper brings Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Future, Travis Scott, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, 21 Savage and more of the greats into his spotlight. Lasting 21 songs and nearly 90 minutes, Drake flirtatiously proves that having a kid doesn’t stop you from running the game.
Charli XCX – “Good Ones”
Like many other artists being inspired during quarantine, Charli XCX contributes her music to this era with the new single “Good Ones”. The single follows last year’s album how I’m feeling now, which came out during the first quarantine. Charli relays in a press release that this is a new era for her as she delves into topics like death, loss, glamor and fame.
Pearl & The Oysters – Flowerland
The pop-electronica Pearl & The Oysters released their third album Flowerland. This album follows the same Florida theme for this French-American band, and is one you could get entranced in. Jumping from pop to electric to synth, all while in the setting of the Florida sun, the band utilizes Brazilian, Taiwanesee jazz and more genres to make a feeling all its own.
Imagine Dragons – Mercury – Act 1
This week, Imagine Dragons returns with the album Mercury – Act 1. The album is separated in two sections, each with their own sonic and lyric feel. Dan Reynolds, lead singer for Imagine Dragons, says:
” [The] Mercury album name comes from the word “mercurial”, something very volatile and subject to extreme changes, drawing on my experience with mental health struggles, as well as the genre bending Imagine Dragons style, of not choosing what genre to write it, but writing what comes to me….so ‘Mercurial’ felt fitting, as the album also swings from side to side.“