Best New Music: November
Let's be honest. This is basically the only thing that mattered in November. In case you somehow missed it (but literally HOW could you have), Taylor Swift's highly anticipated sixth studio album, reputation, finally arrived this month and I am still recovering. This album is flawless, start to finish. Swift further establishes her place as a pop superstar with a collection of crisp, hard-hitting pop songs with classic Taylor lyricism and imagery. While some may have tuned out after hearing lead single "Look What You Made Me Do," (haters gonna hate hate hate) even the most skeptical listeners have found that this LP brings a whole new side and sound for Taylor that's hard to resist.
For a further review of the album and ranking of the tracklist, check out my post Reputation: Ranked.
Taking a page from Taylor Swift's book, Kelsea Ballerini's sophomore album Unapologetically blurs genre lines, creating a beautiful blend of country pop that could launch the country starlet to mainstream success. Playing with similar themes and sounds as Taylor's third album, Speak Now, Kelsea explores love, loss, and growing up in a way that's poetic yet relatable. From the electronic-tinged "Miss Me More" to the tender "I Hate Love Songs," Ballerini's second LP is full of potential crossover hits ready to solidify her mark on the industry.
Aly & AJ
After a ten year hiatus (hence the title), Aly & AJ are back with a brand new EP. Taking a page from Carly Rae Jepsen's E•MO•TION, Ten Years debuts a brand new sound for the sisters, a well-rounded blend of simple, beautiful pop music. Each song is perfectly crafted, presenting some of the girls' best work yet and proving that sometimes good things are worth waiting for. I'm sure that we can expect to hear even more from the duo very soon, and I am HERE for this comeback.
Tove Lo is totally unique, and honestly that's all I need to say about this. I already loved her music before seeing her perform at Music Midtown in September, but seeing the way that she commands and energizes a crowd turned me into a true fan. This album came as a complete surprise to me when it dropped, and it certainly did not disappoint. She's the weird girl who's cool without trying to be, and she oozes with sexuality, both of which are prevalent themes in her music. "Disco Tits" is honestly a party anthem and the rest of the album follows suit. Hands down, Blue Lips is Tove's best album yet and is arguably one of the best pop albums this year.
Perfect (Duet feat. Beyoncé)
When Ed Sheeran released his album Divide earlier this year, this was instantly one of my favorite tracks. Now that it's enjoying the single treatment, Ed has re-released it as a duet with none other than queen Beyoncé. I know this pairing may seem unlikely, but I am absolutely HERE for it. I never knew I needed this, but now I can't stop listening. Somehow their voices blend beautifully, and if you don't feel like you've been punched in the gut (in the best way) after listening to Bey's voice soar through this ballad, then I don't know how to help you.
The Thrill Of It All
The saddest boy in pop music is back with another emotional rollercoaster to give you all of the feels. Even more emotionally charged than his debut LP, The Thrill Of It All sees Sam exploring those same themes of love and heartbreak, but diving even further into the depth of emotions these bring. Say what you want about him or his music, but you can't deny that he has one of the best voices on pop radio today, and if you haven't cried to one of his songs at 3 a.m. then you're lying.