Musicality – Post Malone; Gryffin & Carly Rae Jepsen; Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus & Lana Del Rey 

Lana Del Rey

Norman Fucking Rockwell

(Polydor/Interscope)

The queen of sad pop has returned, and now this album is my official playlist for the beginning of autumn. The album is somber in a way that only Lana Del Rey can make it, idling somewhere in between hopeless and hopeful. Her music is always set somewhere sunny, whether it’s Florida or California, but she makes it the saddest music about love and passion in the warmth. Releasing this album as summer winds down was perfect. We are still sweating during the afternoons, but the nights are beginning to cool off. Lana Del Rey started her career as a concept apart from her true self, but it seems like she’s leaning into her music in a much more personal way now. She is shedding the facade without destroying her original image, and it shows in the depth of this album, which is complex and fantastic. My favorite songs are “Venice Bitch,” “Cinnamon Girl,” and “Doin’ Time.”

 

Post Malone

Hollywood’s Bleeding

(Republic/UMG)

I haven’t been able to call myself a Post Malone fan in the last few years while he has been on top. It’s not that I dislike him or his voice. Maybe I heard his songs a few too many times. I’ve read the positive things written about him on the internet and still think he was a bit overrated. Now this new album has changed my opinion of him. I’m starting to see the appeal. His voice is wonderful – smooth, with a rather impressive vocal range. He keeps the style that he adopted for his last album, but there are some fun surprises as well. He is not afraid to experiment and give respect to those who came before him, especially with the great track featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott, “Take What You Want.” My favorites off the album are “Circles,” “Die For Me,” and “On the Road.”

 

Gryffin & Carly Rae Jepsen

“OMG” Remixes Part 1

(Darkroom/Geffen)

Carly Rae Jepsen is the featured vocalist for this song from Gryffin, the Los Angeles-based producer. The synth track with her iconic pop vocals is great, and the prospect of new music from either artist is exciting. This single is a lead-up to the album Gryffin is releasing later this year called Gravity, as well as an upcoming tour. Kansas City, Mo., is on the tour schedule for Oct. 26 at the Truman. It’s become the venue to watch, and this should be a good show. The bright single now has a slew of new remixes to choose from, and they all make it even better. Two of them, however, stand out among the rest. The MOTi Remix is amazing; the piano in particular makes it even more catchy than before. The Seycara Orchestral Edition has my heart, though. The addition of what sounds like a full orchestra is simply amazing.

 

Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus & Lana Del Rey

“Don’t Call Me Angel”

(Republic/UMG)

I never thought I would see the day that Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey collaborated on a song. Now it’s happened. It’s not a bad overall track, but the expectations from three powerhouse pop singers on one song were a bit too high. This song is for the soundtrack of the upcoming remake of the movie Charlie’s Angels. It’s a great teaser for the movie, but it ultimately sounds like the song was mostly made for Ariana Grande and the two others are merely given a small part in it. At first, the highlight for me was Lana Del Rey’s slow and sexy breakdown, but upon further listening, her part just sounds like it is its own song. Miley Cyrus’ part seems like it fits well, though. Her voice is raspy enough and crisp, which seems to fit the overall tone of the song. The backing melody played by quick bells is fantastic, but the lyrics don’t layer well. The track is catchy, though, and I can’t get it out of my head. I can’t wait for the movie, especially because Kristen Stewart will be one of the angels.