Love After War
Sounds Like: His fifth has 17 songs; a few are surprising gems, like the “Huapango”-sampled “Never Give Up,” then a dozen charming, half-cheesy, white R&B slow burns.
Free Association: The Lil’ Wayne joint’s pretty sick, too, but it ain’t no Sex Therapy.
For Fans Of: Justin Timberlake/Maxwell/Chico Debarge, Diff’rent Strokes, soul patches.
Sounds Like: Lucky 13 for our hometown heroes proves to be shockingly brilliant, the fictional tale of Redford Stephens with stunning production and potent guests.
Free Association: Takin’ it back to Things Fall Apart-style, listen to it for years (on repeat).
For Fans Of: Bilal, Big K.R.I.T., Dice Raw, Mos Def/J-5/Tribe/Gang Starr, keeping it real.
(Raven Marching Band)
Sounds Like: The Midwest-raised beacon of lady folk rock in the U.S. went and had a baby with her producer and decided to make a (tasteful and lovely) kids music LP.
Free Association: IDEAL for your new hipster parent friends—give it in a reusable tote.
For Fans Of: Humpty Dumpty, Goodnight Moon, Peter Rabbit, NPR, Portlandia.
Time for a big Bang breakthrough?