Musical artists from across the spectrum — rock, Latin, alt country, singer-songwriter and pop — are dropping major releases this May! Here are our picks for this month. Look for these great CDs and many more at most of our stores.
You’ll find a more adventurous, more mature and more layered Ingrid Michaelson on her sixth album. While long-time fans will still savor a few familiar singer-songwriter arrangements that have been a hallmark of her career, she asks us to come with her down new musical paths. Ethereal ballads, synth-pop, dance and funk all glisten and gleam with confidence and craftsmanship. Revealing a voice with newfound depth and richness, this is easily her best album yet!
Her first full-length recording of new material in four years, Sarah McLachlan’s Shine On is a deeply personal exploration of her own appreciation of life in the wake of her father’s passing. Recorded in Vancouver with longtime collaborator and producer Pierre Marchand (co-writer on Adia and Building a Mystery), the album centers on her legendary voice, haunting melodies and lush but simple arrangements. Not to be missed.
Following up on 2011’s platinum-selling El Camino, Grammy-winning duo Black Keys are set to drop their eighth full-length album Turn Blue in early May. The seemingly omnipresent Danger Mouse (longtime Black Keys co-producer), says that this effort will be looser and more psychedelic than previous releases but still tap into that same perfectionist combination of growling guitar, percussion and soulful vocals.
XscapeThis second posthumous release of Michael Jackson material is, in the words of producer Timbaland, “gonna be big.” Eight previously unreleased songs, most of them from 80s and 90s-era Michael, are “contemporized” by producers Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, J-Roc, L.A. Reid and more. Michael’s youthful vocals sparkle amid state-of-the-art sounds in what is shaping up to be a very talked about release.
The world of Latin rock gets a big bump with Santana’s 23rd studio release. Each track (except for the last) is a collaborative effort, bringing Santana’s immortal guitar work together with some of the genre’s (and rock’s) biggest names — Glorie Estefan, Ziggy Marley, Juanes, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and more. Energetic, passionate and powerful.
Grammy winner Ray LaMontagne says of the writing process on his fifth release, “It was playful and really wonderful, like when you’re first writing songs.” Joyful, truthful and, of course, soulful, Supernova is produced by Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach. Ray’s supporting national tour starts in late May, and for the first time will feature a sizeable chunk of electric guitar work.
Just as on his first release, young country-pop sensation Hunter Hayes has written or co-written every song on his second album. Unlike the first one, however, he doesn’t play every instrument, instead choosing to collaborate with some of Nashville’s most talented and sought-after musicians. His enthusiasm, talent and songwriting skills are on full display. Enjoy!
Where have your musical choices taken you lately? New discoveries? Dusting off old favorites? Tell us in the comments below