Prep for Music Midtown with this list of recent releases from some of its headliners like Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age and 2 Chainz.
Latest Album: “AM”
The Arctic Monkeys have grown up. The spastic, high octane, post-punk marking their earliest releases gave way to the sort of brooding, self-examination that typifies adulthood. Of course, this doesn’t mean they don’t make music that makes an audience thrash around like a sea of James Brown wannabees. “AM,” their latest effort, plays a balancing act between a band with one foot in the real world, and the other firmly planted in gleeful fantasy.
Latest Album: “I’m With You”
This is not your father’s Red Hot Chili Peppers. The departure of guitarist and founding member John Frusciante forever altered the fabric of the Chili Peppers. However, as lead singer Anthony Kiedis has noted, this is not the end of an era, but the beginning of a new one. For Chili Peppers purists, their newest sound is blasphemy. For those with open eyes and an open mind, the Chili Peppers’ transition marks an opportunity to witness the rare act of a decades-old band actually taking a chance.
Queens of the Stone Age
Latest Album: “…Like Clockwork”
Josh Homme died and came back to life, literally. The lead singer of Queens of Stone Age briefly died on 2010 due to unexpected asphyxiation during knee surgery. The following years found him navigating through depression and a slow recovery. Their 2013 release “…Like Clockwork” documents Homme’s death and following mental fog and channels it into an album stuffed with mountainous riffs and primal hooks worthy enough to emerge from the stone age.
Latest Album: “B.O.A.T.S II: Me Time”
One wouldn’t expect the artist formerly known as Tity Boi to make a ‘mature’ album, but that’s exactly what 2 Chainz claims to have done. His latest “B.O.A.T.S II: Me Time” finds him (mostly) breaking free from the typical big booty, big money content of his earlier singles and exploring themes inspired by growth and loss. However, his staple of trill hi-hats and deafening bass still define 2 Chainz’s sound, and those expecting a non-stop tirade of club bangers will not be disappointed.
Latest Album: “Mosquito”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs are not content with sitting still. Each of their albums has been a stylistic 180. They have traversed the garage rock spectrum from the angsty fuzz-rock of 2003’s “Fever to Tell,” to the glam synth-sheen of 2009’s “It’s Blitz!” They retired their futuristic instrumentation for “Mosquito” and scaled back to the rock staples of good old guitars, drums and bass. As always, lead singer Karen O’s desperate crooning elevates their sound into a different dimension and ensures for an exhilarating live performance.
Latest Album: “Bankrupt!”
Contrary to the album’s title, Phoenix is hardly bankrupt of new ideas. The worldwide success of 2009’s “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart” gave them the courage to expand their comparably tame sound to the synth-swirling, arena-ready jams of “Bankrupt!” In addition to more recent material, concert-goers should familiarize themselves with their three more obscure records (“United,” “Alphabetical,” “It’s Never Been Like That”) which are sure to comprise a significant portion of their set-list.