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Rock - To be released January 7, 2022 | Parlophone UK

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R&B - To be released January 12, 2022 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released November 30, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released November 26, 2021 | Parlophone UK

The fifth in a series of box sets that break down David Bowie's discography into cohesively thematic eras, Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001) covers the most years of any of the sets to date: nearly a full decade, almost twice as long as the period chronicled on 2018's Loving the Alien (1983-1988). Eagle-eyed observers will note that there's a gap of four years separating the material on Loving the Alien and Brilliant Adventure: that would be when Bowie led Tin Machine, the noisy guitar outfit whose discography operates under a different contract than his solo work. That means Brilliant Adventure picks up with Black Tie White Noise, an artful blue-eyed soul excursion from 1993, then runs through The Buddha of Suburbia -- an excellent, adventurous album that flew under the radar in 1993 -- the 1995 Brian Eno reunion 1. Outside, 1997's Earthling, and 1999's Hours, adding an expanded version of the BBC concert from 2000 originally released as part of 2000's Bowie at the Beeb, a three-disc collection of remixes, edits, and B-sides called ReCall 5 and Toy, an unreleased album from 2001. Heavily bootlegged over the years, Toy features Bowie revisiting a bunch of songs he wrote in the '60s, most written and recorded prior to "Space Oddity." Hearing Bowie apply Hours aesthetics to swinging, mod-ish material is odd but mildly appealing; it's a slight record but it's nice to have it as part of the official discography. The rest of the box follows a familiar and comforting pattern, confirming that the '90s were a bit of a creative resurgence for Bowie. The pair of 1993 albums are complementary in their strengths, the period affectations of 1. Outside wind up giving the album complexity that Bowie further explores on Earthling. Given that stretch, it's little wonder that he sounds a bit spent on Hours, but the BBC Live show is quite good and it's fun to sort through the grab-bag of ReCall. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Dance - Released November 26, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 23, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released November 19, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released November 19, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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Electronic - Released November 18, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 18, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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R&B - Released November 10, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 29, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released October 22, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 21, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 15, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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During pandemic lockdown, some people baked bread, others took up fostering kittens. Chris Martin, apparently, watched Star Wars. The Coldplay frontman has said that the band's ninth album was partly inspired by the Mos Eisley cantina band and "wonder[ing] what musicians are like across the universe." And honestly, thank god we have a band big enough to be able to afford to take chances like Music of the Spheres, because the results are thrilling. After the spacy intro "Music of the Spheres," opener "Higher Power" is a flat-out dance track, powered by a punchy electro beat, and joyously uplifting. Martin has said "the song is about trying to find the astronaut in all of us, the person that can do amazing things." (Although, at one point, he sings "Drocer nekorb a ekil mi"—"I'm like a broken record" in reverse.) It's the first example of the album being a family affair, too, as Martin's daughter Apple delivers the opening lilt. She also has a co-write on "Let Somebody Go," a lovely piano ballad that finds Martin duetting with Selena Gomez; it takes a surprising turn on the bridge, slipping into smooth jazz. Apple's brother Moses joins in on the chorus of "Humankind" (with an altered Stephen Fry on the intro), a supercatchy and energetic collection of bleeps and bloops and "alien" voices, '80s synth and strident acoustic guitar that is going to be awesome to work out to. It's a bit of a throwback to the dance-pop sounds of bands like MGMT circa 2008. It won't surprise you here to find out the record is produced by Max Martin, the man behind slick hits from Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and others. His polished style is a surprising complement to Martin's unpolished rasp and a major asset on songs like "My Universe," a collaboration with BTS performed in English and Korean that cruises a funky groove of ’80s FM pop; it's an earworm we'll all be stuck with for months. "People of the Pride" pushes Coldplay in a new, edgier direction—complete with ominous garage-rock guitar and an emo-pop stomp. Curiosity "Biutyful" warps the vocals to sound like a cutesy ET crooning a space-lounge melody. Twinkly "Infinity Sign" incorporates the soccer chant "Ole Ole Ole." The record closes out with one of the most wonderfully grandiose, swing-for-the-stars songs of Coldplay's career. Clocking in at 10 minutes, "Coloratura" is the band's The Dark Side of the Moon moment, weaving in a music box melody, fluttering strings, McCartney piano and spacey Gilmour guitars. It name-checks Galileo's discovery of the Callisto moon and declares,"It's the end of death and doubt and loneliness is out ... Coloratura, the place we dreamed about." (It will be great for planetarium laser shows.) Martin's voice cracks in all the right places, and the idea—"In the end it's all about the love you're sending out—is so elemental but expressed with such a sense of wonder about and gratitude for the universe, you can’t help but feel a sense of hope. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Pop - Released October 15, 2021 | Parlophone UK

Like many pop culture sensations around the turn of the 2020s, PinkPantheress quickly became famous thanks to video-focused social media service TikTok. Initially posting brief loops of songs she worked on after coming home from her classes for the day, the clips went viral, and her audience expanded further after she signed to Parlophone and began releasing singles. Calling her style "new nostalgic," her music borrows heavily from dance and pop music of the '90s and early 2000s, with the ecstatic surge of liquid drum'n'bass and the clipped, staccato beats of U.K. garage and 2-step driving many of her songs. Her intimate vocals disguise lyrics about loneliness, heartache, and desire in sugary melodies, helping them resonate in the same bittersweet manner as past U.K. dance hits like T2 and Jodie Aysha's 2007 smash "Heartbroken." There's parallels between PinkPantheress's style and some of the more dance-adjacent indie R&B artists of the 2010s, like Kelela and Abra, but her sincere lyrics and intricate melodies, which make the best of her limited vocal range, put her closer to the league of bedroom pop and the less garish corners of the PC Music world. To Hell with It, PinkPantheress's debut mixtape, gathers most of her previously issued singles, several of which became charting pop hits in the U.K. and New Zealand. She's even found success stateside, where U.K. garage and drum'n'bass are beloved by certain anglophiles, ravers, and music journalists, but largely remain obscure to the general public. The entire release clocks in at under 20 minutes, with the ten tracks initially feeling more like preview clips rather than full songs. The brisk tempos and urgent lyrics beg for repeated listens, however, and the mixtape quickly becomes addictive. Her interpolation of familiar but not overused samples (including the keyboards from Crystal Waters' "Gypsy Woman" and the Satie-mirroring chord sequence of Sweet Female Attitude's "Flowers") transcends clever gimmickry, and she brilliantly snakes her delicate voice around the kinetic, tightly wound beats in such an unforced, carefree way, yet there's still plenty of emotional weight to what she's saying. There's such a grin-inducing rush to the way her shouted "Hey!" or "Yeah!" ad libs echo from the speakers. The acoustic guitar-based "Just for Me" is a teenage confession of an intense crush set to a 2-step shuffle ("I'm obsessed with you in a way I can't believe/When you wipe your tears, do you wipe them just for me?"), and the drum'n'bass tracks, particularly the slamming "Noticed I Cried" and the sly "Break It Off" (based on Adam F's classic "Circles," originally released six years before PinkPantheress was born), match the exhilarating beats with direct lyrics that aim straight for the heart. A pair of mellower tracks near the end, the dembow-inspired "All My Friends Know" and the lush, string-laden "Nineteen," are more restrained yet just as considered and affectionate, pointing to a potential direction for an artist whose emergence was one of the most welcome left-field surprises of 2021. © Paul Simpson /TiVo

Rock - Released October 15, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 13, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 11, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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Dance - Released October 8, 2021 | Parlophone UK

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