Headphones: Yes, Lawd!

This week in music, we welcomed a plethora of big news and big names returning to the spotlight.

The most unexpected news came from Chuck Berry.  The 90-year old rock legend and author of ‘Johnny B. Goode’ announced his first album in nearly 38 years, titled Rock It. Chuck.  The album will be made up songs written during the last three decades and can be expected sometime in 2017. It’s been a long time coming for the Rock N’ Roll hall of famer. 

Also announcing returns to the touring stage were rock legends Roger Waters and Phil Collins.  Waters announced earlier this week that he would be embarking on a new Us +Them tour.  Known for his groundbreaking tour performances, Water’s cryptically told fans while the ‘content is very secret’, that it would be ‘spectacular like all [his] shows have been.’

Phil Collins also pleasantly surprised fans this week when he announced that he would be playing a series of shows in Paris and London.  Collins originally retired in 2002 but then returned briefly in 2007 to perform another short run of dates before again going on a hiatus.  Collins told Billboard that it was at the suggestion of his own children that he return to the road and to that he said, “Why not?”

Continuing the pattern of the return this week was punk rock favorites Green Day.  Last week the punk rock trio released their 12th studio album Revolution Radio. The albums 95,000 record sales were enough to boost it to #1 on Billboard’s 200.  This marks the 3rd time the group has achieved that feat.

Last in our weekly roundup is of course Kanye West, who returned to his Saint Pablo tour after he postponed dates due to his wife Kim Kardashian West getting robbed in Paris.  Not only did he return to touring, he announced a slew of additional dates that will run his schedule up to the new year, ending in Brooklyn at the Barclays arena.

Album of the Week: Yes Lawd! - NxWorries: If you’ve been keeping up with this column, at this point its no secret how much I love Anderson .Paak.  The man has been a lightning bolt in 2016, from his insatiable Malibu album with the Free Nationals, to his many features, opening gigs, and now his latest album Yes, Lawd! with friend and producer Knxwledge.  This album is different than Malibu, as the backing is almost entirely the beats, while Malibu had an exciting and talented band behind it.  The main source of enjoyment here is of course .Paak’s vocal’s, which are on full display throughout the 19-song track list. He is able to express any emotion by flexing his voice in any way he chooses, an art that makes him a standout from any rapper in recent memory.  Yes, Lawd! is probably the lesser of the two when compared to Malibu, but it’s another chance for us to watch the rising star that is Anderson .Paak.

Music Videos

R&B: Love Me Now – John Legend: We finally have a follow up to 2013’s Love in the Future from singer/songwriter John Legend.  Legend is just as intimate as ever in the video ‘Love Me Now.’

EDM: Hold On & Believe – Martin Garrix: The ‘Animals’ singer is back with his latest EDM hit.

Country: Save It For A Rainy Day – Kenny Chesney: Kenny Chesney has made a home for country music on the water.  This time he brings beachy vibes reminiscent of his ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ days.

Notable: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Nominations: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame made their annual announcement of nominees this week, and boy was it chalked full of headliners.  Leading the class were some of rock and roll’s all time favorites, including Pearl Jam, Journey, Yes, Jane’s Addiction, The Zombies and some surprises.  While the hall has been known to induct artists outside the genre, it was still a pleasant surprise to see R&B icon Chaka Khan and Rap legend Tupac Shakur on the list.  Voting for the Hall is open to the public (a trend that started 5 years ago) and will be closed December 6th.  The Hall induction ceremony will take place at Barclays Arena in Brooklyn in April of 2017.  The inductees with the 5 highest total votes will be included in the Class of 201

This Week’s Playlist

1.     You & Me [Flume Remix] – Disclosure: This is one of my favorite EDM songs over the past year, and it’s mixed by our Top DJ of 2016.

2.     The Way feat. Chance the Rapper – Kehlani: Over the past week I had a ‘chance’ to see Chance at his Magnificent Coloring World Tour, and was reminded at how good this track was.  Kehlani is one of the up and coming stars in the hip-hop scene and Chance has emerged as one of the top in the game.  Great combo.

3.     DRIVE ME CRAZY feat. Vic Mensa – KAYTRANADA: In my humble opinion, the second best track on the 99.9% album.  On this one he uses the vocals of Chicago MC Vic Mensa, who absolutely kills it

4.     Friends – Francis and the Lights: Francis and the Lights is a one man show, but by listening to it you’d think it was a trio of people singing and playing instruments.  Chance called his album Farewell, Starlite! His favorite of the year.

5.     Blessings – Chance the Rapper: This week’s playlist certainly has a theme… Chance the Rapper.  This song is one of the more upbeat and positive tunes you will hear in music today.  It’s more spoken word/gospel than it is rap, but it’s catchy all the same.