Prince’s Unearthed, Disillusioned Funk, and 10 Extra New Songs

Prince recorded an album entitled “Welcome 2 America” ​​in 2010, but postponed it before his death in 2016. his estate will publish it in July. Perhaps Prince decided the album was too bleak. Its theme song is ominous, funky, seemingly improvisational, and deeply cynical about an era of misinformation, exploitation, and distraction. A pithy stop-start bass line leaves room for dissonant little solos, while Prince’s vocals are expressionless words: “The truth is a new minority.” It is answered by women who sing precise, jazzy harmonies and superimpose further messages: “ Land of the Free, Home of the Brave ”, they sing with a vibrating voice. “Oops, I mean, land of the free, home of the slave.” JON PARELES

The first single from the upcoming Doja Cat album “Planet Her” contains SZA and mixes the breeze of the light funk of the 1980s with the rudeness of hip-hop of the 2020s, a juggling act that Doja Cat has since pioneered, if not even as a trademark. JON CARAMANICA

Crisp, ecstatic new wave R&B by Toronto duo Majid Jordan. The most impressive thing about “Waves of Blue” besides its texture is its modesty – the singer Majid Al Maskati doesn’t sing too much to emphasize his point of view, and the producer Jordan Ullman builds synthesizers like pillars and unobtrusively builds a whole on the world. CARAMANICA

“Shy Away,” the first song from a May album called “Scaled and Icy” by the genre-independent Ohio duo Twenty One Pilots, starts out as nervous electro before expanding into dreamy, arms outstretched pop, arenas and Keeps heart full. There is a Strokesian energy to the track, but the lyrics aren’t brimming with fear. You (not so gently) nudge a loved one to start a new path. CARYN WHOLE

For the past decade, Miguel has included his darkest thoughts and most experimental pieces of music in his series of EPs called “Art Dealer Chic”. he published “Art Dealer Chic Vol. 4” on Friday. In “So I Lie” he sings in a soulful falsetto about fear, pressure and alienation from himself: “I can hardly breathe, tread water / smile on my face while I turn blue / nobody cares, just work harder / I do what I can to avoid the truth. “The chorus that repeated“ lie, lie, lie ”would be almost lighthearted if it wasn’t surrounded by swampy rhythms, wordless voices and hollow echoes, like all the fears that it cannot escape. PARELES

Aaron Michael Frison, a St. Louis-born singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, has been making music as a coultrain for more than a decade, summing up a mix of the early 2000s soulquarian scene, Lonnie Liston Smith’s spiritual jazz, and the Kind of dusty old southern soul records that would be hiding in the dollar bin. On “The Essentials” from his new album “Phantasmagoria” he acknowledges his commitment (“Because there is no other for me / It is no coincidence that there is no other”) you reflect my eyes “) before you in Dip in a cunning rap verse and close things off with a mystical choral passage that sounds a touch of uncertainty: “I wish I could promise forever / If I could promise forever / I would promise you forever he sings who have layers of his voice all in a conversation with each other. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

Impending mortality becomes a haven in Calling Me Home, written by famed ancient singer Alice Gerrard. It’s the feeling of a man on his deathbed: “I miss my friends from yesterday.” The song contains the title for “Theyre Calling Me Home,” the new album by opera-trained singer, violinist, banjo player, and traditional music explorer (and MacArthur recipient of “Genius Grant”) Rhiannon Giddens with her partner, the Early Music Expert Francesco Turrisi. She sings it in lengthy lines that sometimes end in Appalachian yips, accompanied by stark, unyielding drones, as if she were a lonely voice that makes itself heard before eternity. PARELES

“Heartbreak Tour” is a serious power country slow-burner from the new duo Kat & Alex, who performed on “American Idol” last year and sings just the right note of melodrama in both Spanish and English (though not here) . CARAMANICA

The Chilean singer Mon Laferte gives vintage styles a current feeling and a wild demeanor. Her new album “Seis” deals with Mexican music and she shares “La Mujer” (“The Woman”) with one of her idols: the Mexican singer and songwriter Gloria Trevi. They exchange verses and share choirs in a bolero with expressive organ chords and loud horns that escalate from sultry self-confidence to unbridled anger at a man who is resolutely dismissed: “Goodbye, sad coward,” is Lafeerte’s last grin. PARELES

With a slow motion pursuit of a bass line and a glass of Chardonnay in the lyrics, Queen Naija and Ari Lennox intertwine their voices in a sweet way, enjoying each other’s explicit details about their latest connections. Then they discover it’s the same guy – and the conversation turns into a conspiracy to set him up. There is female solidarity. PARELES

With a sophisticated Whipsaw groove, “We Release” is reminiscent of a mainstream jazz sound from the 1970s and also serves as the proud opening recording for saxophonist Steve Slagle’s new album, “Nascentia”. The 69-year-old composed and recorded all of the material during the coronavirus pandemic, offering him a project and a boost of energy during difficult times. An infallible optimism of the spirit can be felt throughout, as it is accompanied by a number of other jazz veterans: Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, Clark Gayton on trombone, Bruce Barth on piano, Ugonna Okegwo on bass and Jason Tiemann on drums. RUSSONELLO

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