Jeremih- Late Nights
It’s been five years since you released a studio album Jeremih, what’s good? Unfortunately, not enough. Jeremih’s 3rd album is, for the most part, boring. Many of the tracks simply do not distinguish themselves from one another. As with any Jeremih joint, there are a couple of highlights (3rd single “Oui” is a fabulous, glistening slow jam and the mournfully beautiful “Remember Me”). Some critics have pointed out that Jeremih’s 2012 mixtape Late Nights with Jeremy was inconsistent but it was also a damn thrill (“773 Love”, slicker than a BP spill). Late Nights will be a commercial success but as a spiritual successor to Late Nights with Jeremy and as a standalone album, it is a disappointment.
Pope Francis- Wake Up!
The debut album was a long time in the making (78 years? Really??? Such a tease!) but the man they call Il Papa has not disappointed. Wake Up! is a strong debut for the artist formerly known as Jorge Maria Bergoglio, and the album is sure to please his 1.25 billion strong fanbase. Equally drawing from prog rock and what might be Vangelis scores, Wake Up! has reinvigorated the genre of papacy rock for an entirely new generation, and one can only hope his next album doesn’t suffer the sophomore slump.
Shakira- Sale El Sol (2010)
Sometimes, it’s hilarious as to what extent you’ll go to procrastinate on your work. Sometimes, you go so far down the rabbit hole that you end up asking yourself “Hey, you know what I should do now? Listen to Shakira”. So you get some “Hips Don’t Lie” and “La Tortura” going (maybe “She Wolf” if you’re inclined, but I’m not)And then you find Sale El Sol. Some of us may remember when first single “Loca” became a dance hit in late 2010 but I sure as hell didn’t remember this album. But besides the Silly Bands on Shakira’s wrist, the album is aging well 5 years on. Particularly, the two songs with El Cata, “Loca” and “Rabiosa”, are absolute standouts. Throughout the entirety of the album, the merengue influence and Shakira’s well-known sex appeal and flirtations shine through. However, there are some Clayton Kershaw-level curveballs that aren’t expected at all but oh so welcome (“Devocion”, a rock en Español song influenced by American indie rock and a cover of the xx’s “Islands”) to complement the experience.