Every Friday, pop critics for The completely new York Times weigh in on the week’s most notable completely new songs as well as videos — as well as anything else which strikes them as intriguing. This particular week, Kamasi Washington previews “The Epic” follow-up, Carrie Underwood embraces an imperfection as well as Florence as well as the Machine show there’s beauty in restraint.
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Nicki Minaj, ‘Barbie Tingz’ as well as ‘Chun-Li’
Timing, huh? For the last week, This particular’s been Cardi, Cardi, Cardi — the saturation can be real. For Nicki Minaj, who’s released completely new music sparingly of late, This particular hip-hop realignment might be fraught. yet rather than keep her distance, she’s instead leaned into the moment, or perhaps stepped on This particular, which has a pair of completely new songs, “Barbie Tingz” as well as “Chun-Li.” Perhaps appropriately, these are sparring records — loose, pugnacious, a little uncentered. “Barbie Tingz” has the cold snap of early ’80s hip-hop as well as electro, as well as “Chun-Li” swaggers with the authority of the mid-90s. As can be the norm, Ms. Minaj aims shots at unnamed antagonists, yet within the past, which bluster felt truly targetless. yet today, for once since the beginning of her career, there’s someone who might plausibly shoot back, as well as win. JON CARAMANICA
Kamasi Washington, ‘Fists of Fury’ as well as ‘The Space Travelers Lullaby’
When Kamasi Washington released “The Epic” in 2015, the country was being scarred on what felt like a daily basis by images of black people being killed at the hands of police. Mr. Washington’s triple album was a bursting, grandiose statement which, though recorded years earlier, seemed to speak directly to the needs of the moment: His scorching tenor saxophone as well as orchestral backing represented both the enormity of fury as well as the magnitude of a healer’s ambition. This particular week Mr. Washington announced a double-disc follow-up titled “Heaven as well as Earth.” Its first two singles bear a lot of the previous Discharge’s markings: tons of horns, voices as well as strings; lengthy tunes, often in minor keys. yet while “The Epic” delivered music of spiritual regeneration as well as self-affirmation, This particular completely new thing can be a call to arms. On “Fists of Fury,” over a familiar Washington rhythm of Latin-tinged funk, the voices of Patrice Quinn as well as Dwight Trible declare, “We will no longer ask for justice. Instead, we will take our retribution.” GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO
Florence as well as the Machine, ‘Sky Full of Song’
Once more, Celtic-rooted melody carries outsize emotion for Florence Welch in her band’s Record Store Day single, “Sky Full of Song.” She’s singing about tricky long-distance relationships as well as about the euphoria as well as exhaustion of losing herself in music: “Grab me by my ankles/I’ve been flying for too long.” yet she as well as the band resist their longstanding tendency to head straight into chiming-anthem mode; the first verse can be a cappella, as well as much of her accompaniment throughout can be just a sparse bass line. Though the orchestra as well as choir do eventually arrive, the song backs away by its peak, as if This particular’s questioning easy grandiosity. JON PARELES
Carrie Underwood, ‘Cry Pretty’
Late last year, Carrie Underwood took a spill at her home, causing injuries to her wrist as well as face; she’s barely been spotted in public since. On Sunday she’ll perform at the ACM Awards, as well as has just released a completely new song, “Cry Pretty,” which smuggles an allusion to the incident into a message: “I apologize if you don’t like what you see/yet sometimes my emotions get the best of me/as well as falling apart can be as human as This particular gets.” Like the best Underwood songs, This particular swells mightily, yet unfortunately, This particular never quite crests. yet for an artist who has long thrived on extreme polish, the acceptance of imperfection can be welcome. J.C.
Azealia Banks, ‘Anna Wintour’
A breezy house beat (by Junior Sanchez) can be the springboard for Azealia Banks in a slew of different voices which are all hers: a smoky-voiced soul chanteuse as well as a gospel-charged belter, a rapper who can scream her way to distortion or calmly rattle off designer boasts. She’s breaking up, she’s celebrating love, she’s dismissing rivals, she’s conflating “diamonds as well as dreams,” she’s declaring, “I’m penthouse, you’re trap house.” The beat keeps those multiple personalities on the same dance floor. The unexplained title? Search engine optimization, perhaps. J.P.
Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Alex Isley as well as Kaytranada, ‘No One Like You’
A few years ago the Robert Glasper Experiment gained a huge following as well as two Grammys with its “Black Radio” albums, which featured a different vocalist on almost every track. The quartet retrenched on “ArtScience,” a no-guests-allowed record by 2016. which’s out the window on “The ArtScience Remixes,” out Friday. The band invited Kaytranada — an experimental producer with debts to classic house as well as early-2000s hip-hop — to rework its originals by the album, as well as Kaytranada brought along some guests of his own. On his remix of “No One Like You,” over a Mark Colenburg drumbeat fortified by gallons of extra bass, the vocalist Alex Isley lays down some sleepy vocals. We miss out on Casey Benjamin’s alto saxophone solo (consult the “ArtScience” type for which), yet all told, This particular cut provides more satisfaction than the original. G.R.
Marian Hill, ‘Wish You would likely’
Austerity turns slyly insinuating in “Wish You would likely” by Marian Hill, the Philadelphia duo of the singer Samantha Gongol as well as the producer Jeremy Lloyd. Percussive snaps as well as ticks, clipped arpeggios as well as a lot of silence back Ms. Gongol’s whispery tease of a vocal, as she flirts with temptation as well as infidelity. There’s so much space which just one tap of a bongo can arrive like an explosion. J.P.
Nels Cline 4, ‘Amenette’
Much of Nels Cline’s playing can be about sleight of hand as well as anti-gravity: This particular guitarist uses effects as well as delay to envelop you, lift you up, upset your sense of time. yet Mr. Cline can be also an irrepressible improviser, with straightforwardly dazzling guitar chops. as well as within the Nels Cline 4 — a completely new band which’s just released its debut album, “Currents, Constellations” — his sterling fretwork can be the big attraction. which, as well as the way This particular tangles with the equally fluent playing of Julian Lage, a wunderkind guitarist one generation Mr. Cline’s junior. Together with the bassist Scott Colley as well as the drummer Tom Rainey, the guitarists toggle on “Amenette” between speedy swing as well as tinkering rubato. The piece has an oscillating logic unrelated to any typical song form; This particular finally climaxes in a rough crumple, before the playful melody leaps forth one final time. G.R.
Cautious Clay, ‘Stolen Moments’
A self-indictment delivered like an R&B love song, “Stolen Moments” itemizes a lot of not bad reasons to back out of a romance with the singer: “I’m so afraid of intimacy.” “Don’t trust me in me.” “I don’t want to tell you which I love you.” “No love can be perfect for me.” Josh Karpeh, who records as Cautious Clay, croons those as well as more over cozy acoustic guitar chords as well as a creeping bass line, with wisps of falsetto vocals as well as saxophone within the background. “I think which loneliness would likely serve us well,” he concludes, hoping not to be believed. J.P.
Jess Williamson, ‘Mama Proud’
“Mama Proud” takes its time as This particular poses questions This particular doesn’t answer: questions about heartache, faith, loss as well as destiny. Jess Williamson, a songwriter by Austin, wafts her voice into a hypnotic waltz which floats on slow guitar picking as well as a lingering drone, eventually gathering a ghostly choir around her, never puncturing the enigma. J.P.
Eliane Elias, ‘Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote)’
This particular’s been more than 20 years since Eliane Elias, an esteemed Brazilian pianist, was commissioned to record her take on the songs by “Man of La Mancha,” a Broadway musical based on the tale of Don Quixote. The commission was provided by Mitch Leigh, the music’s composer. Those recordings are finally seeing the light of day thanks to Concord Records, which just released Ms. Elias’s “Music by Man of La Mancha.” On the title track, she’s joined by the bassist Eddie Gomez as well as the drummer Jack DeJohnette, as well as the trio creates a flamenco-like flow, moving comfortably by major to minor as Ms. Elias’s elegant solo gives way to a rumbling, extended statement by Mr. DeJohnette, forceful yet not overpowering. G.R.