It’s New Music Friday once again, and with it, a slew of releases from your favorite musicians. This week, a viral pop star returns with her second album offering, a BTS member shows off his darker side, and an alt-R&B darling makes his comeback with glimmering collection of songs. But which release is your favorite?
It’s “About Damn Time” Lizzo‘s album Special arrived. The new collection of tracks sees the superstar leaning into a variety of genres, despite the successful formula found in “Time” and career hits “Truth Hurts” and “Good As Hell.” Reflecting heavily on all the trappings of love, Special further explores the vocalist’s modern R&B sound while showing hints of what’s to come from her in the future on “2 Be Loved (Am I Ready).”
J-Hope, meanwhile, is the first BTS member to release solo material in light of the group’s temporary break, and released his debut studio album, Jack in the Box. Gone is the poppy, radio-friendly sounds of BTS. Instead, the rapper goes fast paced and leans into the ’90s on tracks such as “Arson” and “Pandora’s Box,” highlighting his ability to create magic outside of the group.
Steve Lacy‘s Gemini Rights also arrived on Friday. After years of building his unique brand of alt-R&B — with some help from group collective The Internet in his early days — the musician is now dabbling in psych-rock, bossa nova and jazz on the 10-track LP, and shines as a multi-instrumentalist. “Bad Habit” also lends the singer his first hit on the Billboard Hot 100.