Eminem Loses the Magic, and 10 More New Songs


Eminem attempts to recapture past glories on his exhausting new song “Houdini,” the first single from his upcoming 12th album, “The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grâce).” Atop a garish, carnivalesque beat that interpolates a sample of the Steve Miller Band’s “Abracadabra,” the M.C.’s crass alter ego Slim Shady surveys the current cultural moment and strings together some stiltedly rapped jokes, desperate to offend at every turn. Oldest trick in the book. LINDSAY ZOLADZ

“Clancy,” the new album by the two-man band Twenty One Pilots, is the fourth installment in a series of concept albums. But “Navigating” doesn’t necessarily need a back story. It’s a psychological crisis, as Tyler Joseph sings about feeling dazed and disassociated, unable to speak but desperate for connection: “Pardon my delay — I’m navigating my head” is his closest explanation. The track is a buzzing, galloping, pumping merger of punk-pop and electro, opening with an arena-sized “Hey-oh” chant and trying to get through the crisis on sheer momentum. JON PARELES

Emma Jansson, Girl Scout’s singer and guitarist, fights back against the useless complacency of the familiar phrase “It is what it is.” A hopping guitar riff grows into a motoric drone and a hurtling, layered, full-band assault as she seethes and then wails, “I don’t know what it is/I wanna make it better,” going on to demand, “Is that too much to ask?” PARELES

The alt-pop star Clairo yearns to be the object of just one person’s affection — “nothing more, nothing less,” she sings — on the pensive but bouncy lead single from her forthcoming album “Charm,” out July 12. Breezier and more upbeat than her brooding sophomore effort, “Sling,” “Sexy to Someone” pairs Clairo’s breathily muttered vocals with a persistent groove, resulting in a kind of strutting summer anthem for introverts. ZOLADZ

“Feeling low, getting high, where did everything go wrong?” Shaboozey sings with Noah Cyrus. “My Fault” is a minor-key country duet set to fingerpicked guitars, recognizing the grip of additions. They sing together even as, paradoxically, they make an irreparable separation. PARELES

The Beninese songwriter Ayra Starr delivers a clear ultimatum in “Last Heartbreak Song” from her new album, “The Year I Turned 21.” Over echoey chords and a subdued Afrobeats rhythm, Starr tells her partner, “You don’t have to pretend about it ’cause it’s crystal clear now,” and decides, “I’ll be gone by the sunrise.” That spurs Giveon to apologize and promise, “I’ll be here for a lifetime” in his best croon. She’s unconvinced. “I’ll be better on my own,” she announces, and in the end he sings it with her. PARELES

“La Presa” (“The Prisoner”) is an outlier on “Grasa” (“Vulgar”), the new album by the Argentine songwriter Nathy Peluso. Amid electronics-driven songs that celebrate her ambition and push back on haters, “La Presa” is a hard-charging, horn-driven salsa track. Peluso plays a woman accused of murder, telling the police that her man died because “I denied him my kisses”; she’d rather be behind bars than with him. “When love does not give you freedom, it is a prison,” she declares. PARELES

Nick Cave has reconvened the Bad Seeds for a new album due in August, “Wild God.” The band is no longer its old noisy and assaultive self in “Frogs” — it’s stately and disembodied, surrounding Cave’s voice with processional drums, sustained orchestral tones, backup-choir vocals and a twinkling, glockenspiel-like loop. Cave brings David Bowie-style drama to lyrics that teeter between non sequiturs and glimmers of revelation: “Leaping to God, amazed of love and amazed of pain,” he sings. PARELES

Natasha Khan, who records as Bat for Lashes, was a new mother when she made her latest album, “The Dream of Delphi.” Its finale, an extended reprise of its title track, is a meditation that seeks and summons hope: “Breathing a new transmission, falling from the sky/Deeper my love is soaring, soaring so very high,” Khan sings in a weightless soprano. A rising modal scale circles throughout the track, drawing in orchestral strings and swirls of harp, contemplating possibilities. PARELES

Blick Bassy sings in Bassa, one of the local languages in his native Cameroon. But he’s far from provincial; he’s also drawn to the electronic experiments and the intricately layered sounds of musicians like Bon Iver. “Mbondi” is a recent addition to his 2023 album “Mádibá,” now renamed “Mádibá Ni Mbondi.” It’s a collaboration with the Australian songwriter Ry X, whose gentle, smoky voice is close to Bassy’s own. The track is both folky and futuristic, juxtaposing acoustic guitar, orchestral richness and surreal vocal harmonies. Bassy’s lyrics celebrate the way water brings life; then Ry X switches it to an English-language love song, moving from fond memories to loneliness and need. PARELES

For decades Hermeto Pascoal, now 87, has been one of Brazil’s most puckishly ingenious composers, melding Brazilian rhythms with the musicianly gamesmanship of jazz. “Conversação” (“Conversation”) is from his new album, “Para Você, Ilza” (“For You, Ilza”), recorded this year with a Brazilian quintet; pays tribute to his wife, Ilza da Silva, who died in 2000. “Conversação” is a breezy, asymmetrical, meter-shifting tune that keeps zigzagging in unexpected directions. A midsection of dissonant three-note jabs makes the melody sound even more congenial when it returns. PARELES.



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