Khalid / Free Spirit
Khalid, an American singer-songwriter, has released his third studio album under RCA records with the title “Free Spirit.” Khalid first gained recognition after his first single, titled “Location”, which reached number 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and was later certified quadruple platinum. Many have highly anticipated his new album, which finally released on the fifth of April.
Khalid’s music has a very specific feeling; he mixes modern pop-influenced hip-hop with older, lo-fi 80’s synths to create a very groovy yet calm vibe. Additionally, John Mayer is featured on the album in a song titled Outta My Head. The two singer-songwriters worked really well on this track, even though from the outside it may seem like their styles would have clashed.
Khalid’s strengths in his soft yet powerful vocals and ability to craft airy, transcendental instrumentals definitely show off his talents as a musician. This soft, groovy album has many great songs featured on it as Khalid continues on his journey as a singer-songwriter.
PUP / Morbid Stuff
Canadian punk rock band PUP (short for Pathetic Use of Potential) has released their third studio album under the title of “Morbid Stuff”. PUP is one of the newer punk rock bands on the scene, as their first album had only come out in 2013. However, they are slowly becoming one of the more well-known bands in this genre due to their talents.
The high energy of PUP is definitely kept throughout this whole album. Loud, disconnected vocals paired with fast, chaotic instrumentals create a sound that any punk band would strive to sound like. The introductory track sets the tone for the rest of the album in the best way possible. However, many of the songs do blend together in a mesh of similar-sounding beats, tones, and vocals. The vocal variation on this album is a little lacking, but the lead vocalist has the most authentic pop punk vocals that make up for that lack. The last track on the album does a great job of wrapping everything together nicely in a carefully crafted cacophony.
Morbid Stuff highlights PUP’s biggest strengths as one of the newer punk rock bands on the scene. Their ability to create that chaotic yet well-fabricated noise that many punk bands lack definitely proves their power in the music world.
Amidst the Chaos / Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles may be a memory of late 2000’s singer-songwriter music for some, with hits like “Love Song” and “King of Anything” playing on the radio nonstop through the time period. However, Bareilles recently released her sixth studio album, “Amidst the Chaos.” Since her opening hits, she has worked on musical theatre albums, her own albums, and much more.
Since her beginnings as an artist, her style has definitely developed in a way that creates a different sound overall. The song “If I Can’t Have You” heavily stands out, as Bareilles’ newer influences from jazz can be clearly observed. However, there are some songs on the album that lack depth or variation within the instrumentals; they seem fairly simple and less thought-out than some other songs on the album.
Although there are some less impactful songs on this album, Sara Bareilles started out her career with more soft, cutesy music, but her evolution as an artist is clearly recognizable in this new album. Her hard-hitting lyrics in her powerful vocals definitely create an impact that is fresh and new.