Featuring collaborations with Sa-Ra, Madlib, 9th Wonder, Karriem Riggins, James Poyser, and Ahmir Thompson, this is the most hip-hop and most out-there release from Badu thus far. Lyrically, it's grounded in stark reality, alluding to the various failures of the U.S. health, education, and prison systems, and the negative and cyclical effects they've had on Badu's people. The masterpiece is capped with a tribute to J Dilla, written the day after the ceremony of the beloved producer's death.
A decade after its release, the Breeders' fourth album sounds as fresh and eclectic as ever. Kim and Kelley Deal spend Mountain Battles making whatever kind of music they want, whether it's slow-dance Latin pop, stark country ballads, or towering psych-rock. Even if many of its songs feel open-ended and sometimes downright elusive, the album's ebb and flow remains fascinating.