BP Recommends

Paul McCartney, Florence and the Machine, Nick Cave and more!
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Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney

PAUL MCCARTNEY
EGYPT STATION
[Capitol]

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At this point in his career, need it be said? From the Beatles to Wings to his lauded 2005 solo outing Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, Sir Paul has established a sound on bass that’s utterly particular to him. You can hear the lefty’s quirky whole-note choices on the rocked-up “Come on to Me” and his muddy, Hofner-toned runs on the dreamy, Wings-ish “Dominoes”—two of the standout cuts from Egypt Station, semi-offcially his 17th studio album. It’s a multi-layered, kaleidoscopic journey that encompasses the full breadth of McCartney’s songwriting genius. With all the uncertainty in the world right now, it’s a comfort to know that some things remain as authentic and accessible as a simple day in the life. — BILL MURPHY

FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
HIGH AS HOPE [Virgin EMI]

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Florence + The Machine have achieved great success with their stoic brand of theatric art pop. But the indie rockers’ have increased the tempo for their fourth studio album, packing in plenty upbeat moments. Mark Saunders utilizes the space within these instances with eighth-note grooves and deep bass charges on songs like “Hunger,” “Patricia,” “100 Years,” and the acoustic-laden “Grace.” While Saunders is a master of subtlety, it’s great to hear him step out and power alongside Florence’s booming voice. —JON D’AURIA

NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS
DISTANT SKY: LIVE IN COPEN-HAGEN [Bad Seed Ltd]

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Anyone who knows what Nick Cave went through to make his most recent album, Skeleton Tree (a grueling trial chronicled in Andrew Dominik’s outstanding film One More Time With Feeling), will find remarkably joyful energy in this four-song EP, recorded live with the Bad Seeds at the venerable Copenhagen Royal Arena in October 2017. From the quiet opening strains of “Jubilee Street” the band is unremittingly on fire, with Martyn P. Casey locking in with signature sensitivity on his Fender P-Bass — whether it’s in the elegiac pace of “Distant Sky” or the hard-rocking punches of the Cave classic “From Her to Eternity.” It’s a brief but emphatic statement of just how well the Bad Seeds perform as a live unit. — BILL MURPHY

GORILLAZ
THE NOW NOW
[Parlaphone]

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It’s hard to pigeonhole Brit rockers Gorillaz, as every one of their songs have a tendency to jump genres and shift stylistically. But the outfit’s dedication to bass is eminent regardless of the vibe of the tune. On The Now Now, producer and multi-instrumentalist James Ford works his 4-string magic throughout the funk, techno, and alt dance party, with a little help from reggae ace Junior Dan on track “Sorcererz.” Thanks to the top-notch production, this album will properly rattle your earbuds from front to back. —JON D’AURIA

AMY HELM
THIS TOO SHALL LIGHT [Yep Roc]

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A seam of vintage American soul and gospel runs through Amy Helm’s music, perhaps partly inherited from drummer dad Levon, functioning as a powerfully natural expression of her restless creativity. Helm’s second album is grounded by the bass work of session and touring vet Jennifer Condos, who swings between heartfelt country (“Mandolin Wind”), mystical folk (“Odetta”), and Memphis-style soul balladry (“Freedom for the Stallion”) with ease and sophistication. With guitarist Doyle Bramhall II and drummer Jay Bellerose along for the ride, This Too Shall Light is a luminous, deep and moving slice of Americana, wrought with love and emotion. —BILL MURPHY

KAMASI WASHINGTON
HEAVEN AND EARTH AND THE CHOICE [Young Turks]

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If it wasn’t prolific enough for Kamasi Washington to drop a double album just a year after his last release, he decided to put an extra feather in his cap by unveiling an additional EP only a week later. And because one innovative bass player isn’t enough, Washington enlisted his two longstanding collaborators, Miles Mosley and Thundercat, to bring the rumble on his epic journey. The contrast of T-Cat’s 6-string electric and Mosley’s upright polarizes both records in a harmonious way that somehow still makes you want more, even after 21 songs. —JON D’AURIA

PANTERA
LIVE AT DYNAMO OPEN AIR 1998 [Dynamo Concerts]

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With the recent loss of drummer Vinny Paul, there couldn’t be a better time for Pantera’s 1998 festival performance to be released. The concert captures the thrash metal pioneers in top form, as Rex Brown and company rip through a powerful and nearly flawless set that features all the Pantera classics. We could definitely use a little more bass in the mix, but between Dimebag Darrell’s massive guitar tone and Vinny’s booming drums, we’ll take what we can get. —JON D’AURIA

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