New Recommended Music, October 22. 4 album covers are featured.

Recommended Music – October 2022

Check out what’s new in our Music CD Collection.

This Is A Photograph / Kevin Morby 

Kevin Morby presents his Memphis album, his seventh overall. Stemming from a few weeks spent in the iconic city during the pandemic, it addresses thanatophobia—death-related anxiety (which appears to stem from a serious medical scare involving his father), the loss of innocence and the journey of adulthood, and more. Morby masterfully utilizes folk, gospel, rock and blues, all colored with his pain, joy, pathos, and Dylan-like tone. It is a beautiful set of images. Features “A Coat of Butterflies,” “Random Acts of Kindness” and “Stop Before I Cry.” 

Renaissance / Beyoncé 

“Renaissance” (Act 1 of a three-act project) is Beyoncé’s first solo studio album in six years, and fans immediately rejoiced in the album’s smorgasbord of upbeat, danceable styles as they transition from song to song. She describes her intentions for this project: “(To) create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to scream, release, feel freedom.” What results is some of Beyoncé’s most blissfully indulgent and fun, traversing decades of history and genre to center itself inside a Venn diagram of Black dance music, LBGTQ+ culture, and feminist thought. Highlights include lead single “Break My Soul,” “Church Girl,” “Virgo’s Groove” and the Donna Summer homage which closes this “act,” “Summer Renaissance.” 

Leap / James Bay 

UK Singer-songwriter James Bay’s third album is a return to what fans expect from him, in comparison to 2018’s more experimental (and not-as-impactful) “Electric Light.” Listeners are treated to Bay’s soulful, stunning vocals, which tell more direct and impactful stories than before (which may have resulted from a decidedly more collaborative approach this time around, coupled with new personal experiences—Bay and his longtime partner, now-wife had their first child in 2021). Throughout, listeners are treated to some of Bay’s most earnest and honest lyrics, and as a reward, he should receive a host of new fans, especially here in the states. Standout tracks: “Love Don’t Hate Me,” One Life,” “Give Me the Reason” and “Brilliant Still.” 

Cheat Codes / Danger Mouse & Black Thought 

The long-gestating project from Danger Mouse and the ever-impressive MC Black Thought (of The Roots) has arrived. This pairing instantly reminds us that their collaboration was needed: Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) has long been thought of and lovingly regarded as a producer’s producer, working nimbly across genre since 1998, while Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) has consistently brought a journeyman’s mentality to hip-hop, truly only getting better—and seemingly, hungrier, with age (50!) since his debut with the Roots crew in the early 90’s. We are treated to more excellence on tracks such as “Aquamarine,” “Strangers,” and “No Gold Teeth.” 

DF-October 2022