Editors' Choice for September 2021

Def Jam
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On what could be titled The Even Greater Pains of Being Grown, the singer/songwriter balances personal turmoil with heightened melodicism.
- Andy Kellman
ATO
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The thrilling sophomore LP from the Aussie punks adds maturity and focus to the mix without sacrificing their rabid, defiant sound.
- Neil Z. Yeung
Felte
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Highlighted by a duet with Bonnie "Prince" Billy, a second album of touching, reverb-washed reflections from Vancouver's Ashley Webber.
- Marcy Donelson
Sony Music
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On album number six the Colombians invite a host of international guest artists to deliver their lushest, most elegantly detailed set to date.
- Thom Jurek
Like
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Hannah Lew and company muse on humankind's ability to both grieve and thrive during difficult times with vaporous yet resilient synth pop.
- Heather Phares
Morr Music
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Two decades after Dntel's breakthrough, Jimmy Tamborello proves he's still on the vanguard of combining uncannily pristine synth pop with real, imperfect emotions.
- Heather Phares
Provogue
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The artist offers a tender, poignant manifesto of love and empathy to a land, history, and people that haven't always loved him back.
- Thom Jurek
Concord
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The acclaimed bassist/singer continues to explore a far-reaching and experimental blend of avant-garde jazz, art rock, R&B, and beyond.
- Matt Collar
Pi Recordings
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Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Henry Threadgill's longest-standing band delivers a playful, adventurous, idiosyncratic brand of modern jazz.
- Thom Jurek
Universal
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In contrast to last year's concise and isolated Colores, the Colombian superstar's sixth LP embraces a bright smattering of styles across a lengthy, collaborative track list.
- David Crone
Empress Legacy Records
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A transcendent big band album from the Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, songwriter, and arranger.
- Matt Collar
Last Music Co. / The Last Music Company
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A handsomely designed five-disc box traces the influential guitarist's career for over five decades, and offers a wealth of unissued material.
- Thom Jurek
Reprise / Rhino
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The former Fleetwood Mac vocalist/guitarist makes the most Fleetwood Mac-sounding solo album of his career.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Stones Throw
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The third album from this warped soft rock project dissects straightforward soul, lounge, and tropical jazz styles with confusing, wonderful results.
- Fred Thomas
Anti-
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Flowing through mellow R&B and jazz-rap vibes, Camae Ayewa takes her fearless, revolutionary music in a more accessible direction.
- Paul Simpson
Bobo Integral
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The debut full-length from this Canadian trio finds a sweet spot between jangly college rock and energetic post-punk.
- Fred Thomas
Modern / Modern Recordings
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This live trio outing with Marcus Gilmore and James Francies offers older material and new work played with elasticity, adventure, and warmth.
- Thom Jurek
Chandos
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Vigorous, lively Busoni with some unusual items from pianist Donohoe.
- James Manheim
Heavenly
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The long-running group abandon song structures in favor of impressionistic, sample-based pieces that sound like dub versions of imagined late-'90s pop ballads.
- Tim Sendra
Joyful Noise
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The fifth album from Montreal experimental rock trio is an immersive, metered listening experience made up of constant understated movement.
- Fred Thomas
Tender Loving Empire
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The Portland garage psych band explores self-reflective songwriting without losing any of the passion or drive of their earlier work.
- Fred Thomas
SoulMusic
R&B
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Diligent boxed set containing the first five albums, and more, from one of the all-time great vocal groups.
- Andy Kellman
Masterworks
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The trumpeter crafts another uplifting blend of funky jazz, hip-hop, and R&B.
- Matt Collar
Harmonia Mundi
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Marvelous "generations" of Baroque music performance, with fascinating sonatas of little-known composer Senaillé.
- James Manheim
Various Artists
Robinsongs
R&B
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Three diverse discs of 1974 and 1975 body-movers sourced from contemporaneous disco charts published by Billboard, Record World, and Blues & Soul.
- Andy Kellman
Interscope
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A quirky, theatrical concept album that balances stadium-sized pop hooks with anti-war/anti-corporate greed sentiments.
- Matt Collar