This is the final Music Monday of 2014, and it includes both this week's and next week's releases. Look for our weekly Music Monday column to resume in mid-January.
This week's new album releases
Each title listed below will go on sale beginning Tuesday, December 9 unless otherwise indicated.
Sucker OUT 16 DEC
Already named the 6th best album of 2014 by Rolling Stone (though, it should be said, the publication did rank U2's Songs of Innocence at #1), Sucker is Charli's follow-up to last year's major-label debut True Romance. Though the new LP isn't the "punk" album she was originally working on (that one could still surface in the future), Sucker does borrow some collaborators from the alt-rock world, including Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij and Weezer's Rivers Cuomo.
2014 Forest Hills Drive
Very little was known about the rapper's third studio album, which follows last year's Born Sinner, until last week, when it leaked in advance of this week's official release. The new 13-track LP (whose title is the actual address of Cole's boyhood home in Fayetteville, North Carolina) was announced just a few weeks ago with no advance warning and—more importantly—no advance singles. There are also no guests on the album; it's all Cole throughout.
The Pinkprint OUT 15 DEC
Minaj's long-awaited follow-up to her Pink Friday series is intended to be more rap-focused (and less pop) than her most recent releases. Beyoncé, Meek Mill, Skylar Grey, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, and Ariana Grande guest.
The Smashing Pumpkins
Monuments To An Elegy LISTEN (iTunes Radio)
Billy Corgan's first new Smashing Pumpkins album since 2012's Oceania features Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee on drums throughout. It may not be the band at its peak, but Monuments is earning fairly good reviews so far.
- 5 Seconds of Summer LIVESOS OUT 15 DEC
- Live album
- Angels & Airwaves The Dream Walker
- Band Practice Make Nice
- Marco Beltrami The Homesman OST
- Blut Aus Nord Memoria Vestusa III: Saturnian Poetry
- Canopies Maximize Your Faith LISTEN (Spin)
- Cave People Older EP LISTEN (Stereogum)
- Cracker Berkeley to Bakersfield 2xCD
- Cult of Fire Čtvrtá Symfonie Ohně
- Ex Cops Daggers
- Ben Frost V A R I A N T EP LISTEN (Pitchfork)
- Remixes of tracks originally found on Frost's recent album A U R O R A
- Ghostface Killah 36 Seasons LISTEN (NPR)
- Concept album about a hip-hop superhero features Pharoahe Monch, The Revelations, Kool G Rap, and other guests
- Johnny Gill Game Changer
- Githead Waiting for a Sign LISTEN (The Quietus)
- Fourth album (and first in five years) for the Wire side project led by Colin Newman
- Gov't Mule Dark Side of the Mule 3xCD+DVD
- Live album consists entirely of Pink Floyd covers; also available in a single-disc version
- JMSN JMSN LISTEN (CoS)
- The Kinks The Anthology 1964-1971 5xCD OUT 15 DEC
- New compilation features over 100 tracks, including 25 previously unreleased demos, outtakes, and other rarities
- Los Campesinos! A Los Campesinos! Christmas EP LISTEN (Pitchfork)
- Six-song set features five original holiday tunes and one cover
- Lynch Mob Sun Red Sun
- Manic Street Preachers The Holy Bible 20 4xCD+LP
- Deluxe package includes a remastered reissue of the 20-year-old album (in both UK and US mixes), a live concert, and a disc of rarities, plus the album again on vinyl
- The Pass High Road EP LISTEN (CoS)
- PRhyme PRhyme LISTEN (NPR)
- Nine-track set from the duo of DJ Premier and Royce Da 5' 9
- R.E.M. 7IN - 83-88 Box set
- Vinyl collector's edition set includes all of the band's 7-inch singles from their I.R.S. years (including 2 that were previously released only in the UK)
- Howard Shore The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies OST OUT 15 DEC
- Howard Shore Rosewater OST
- Alan Silvestri Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb OST OUT 15 DEC
- Frank Sinatra London 3xCD+DVD
- Box set includes a remastered version of the 1962 album Sinatra Sings Great Songs From Great Britain and adds other London-recorded material (both in concert and in the studio) from throughout Sinatra's career
- Taake Stridens Hus
- Take That III
- Tegan and Sara So Jealous X 2xCD+DVD OUT 23 DEC
- Deluxe reissue of So Jealous that adds previously unreleased tracks, covers, remixes, a book, and more
- Carrie Underwood Greatest Hits: Decade #1 2xCD
- Contains 2 new songs and four alternate, previously unreleased versions among its 25-song tracklist
- Various Inherent Vice OST OUT 15 DEC
- Soundtrack to Paul Thomas Anderson's film includes part of the score by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood as well as a mix of new and old songs (including a previously unreleased Radiohead track, "Spooks," performed by Greenwood with Supergrass)
- Various Into the Woods OST OUT 15 DEC
- Various Laggies OST
- Various The Last Ship Original Broadway Cast Recording OUT 16 DEC
- Various The Music of Grand Theft Auto V 3xCD
- Limited edition box set (also available in vinyl format) includes 59 songs featured in the game, including all of the new music written specifically for the game
- YG Blame It on the Streets OST OUT 15 DEC
- Gary Yershon Mr. Turner OST
- Yes Like It Is - YES At The Bristol Hippodrome 2xCD+DVD
Stream upcoming albums and new tracks
- The Decemberists
- TRACK "Lake Song" streaming at YouTube (lyric video).
- Lana Del Rey
- TRACK "Big Eyes" streaming at YouTube.
TRACK "I Can Fly" streaming at YouTube.
- The Dodos
- TRACK "Goodbyes and Endings" streaming at SoundCloud.
- Dum Dum Girls
- TRACK "On Christmas" streaming at SoundCloud.
- Empire Of The Sun
- TRACK "Wandering Star" streaming at SoundCloud.
- Peter Gabriel
- TRACK “Why Don’t You Show Yourself” downloadable from Stereogum.
- Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice
- TRACK "In April" streaming at SoundCloud.
- Moon Duo
- TRACK "Animal" streaming at SoundCloud.
- Purity Ring
- TRACK "Push Pull" streaming at YouTube.
- Screaming Females
- TRACK "Empty Head" streaming at YouTube.
- Shabazz Palaces
- TRACK "#CAKE (Animal Collective Premature Deflirt Mix)" streaming at YouTube.
- TRACK "Surface Envy" streaming at SoundCloud.
- A Sunny Day in Glasgow
- TRACK "Saturn Pulls Me Apart (Death of the Unconquerable Night)" streaming at SoundCloud.
- TRACK "Minions" streaming at YouTube.
- Twin Shadow
- TRACK "Turn Me Up" streaming at SoundCloud.
On TV this week (new episodes only)
- Monday: Jackson Browne (Conan), Al Green (Letterman), Bob Mould (Meyers), Bobby Shmurda (Kimmel), Carrie Underwood (Fallon)
- Tuesday: iLoveMakonnen (Fallon), LaLa Brooks (Letterman), Priory (Kimmel), Sturgill Simpson (Meyers), tUnE-yArDs (Conan)
- Wednesday: J. Cole (Letterman), The Smashing Pumpkins (Kimmel)
- Thursday: Bahamas (Conan), Rick Ross (Fallon), Blake Shelton (Kimmel), Sting (Letterman)
- Friday: Dan Penn (Letterman)
- Saturday: Charli XCX (Saturday Night Live)
Recent artist and industry news
- What are the best albums of 2014? We're currently compiling dozens of music critic year-end top 10 lists, and we also have a list of the 15 best debut albums of the year. Look for more Best of 2014 coverage later this week and next.
- The 2015 Grammy nominations were announced last week. Album of the year nominees include Beyoncé by Beyoncé, Morning Phase by Beck, G I R L by Pharrell Williams, X by Ed Sheeran, and In the Lonely Hour by Sam Smith. (Beyoncé, in fact, has now become the most-nominated female in Grammy history, passing Dolly Parton.)
- DJ Earworm's annual mashup of the year's top pop hits is up at YouTube.
- Spotify's most-streamed act of 2014 (worldwide) is Ed Sheeran, though Eminem was the most-streamed artist in the United States. - Billboard
- Nick Talbot, the Warp Records artist who recorded under the name Gravenhurst, died last week at the age of 37. - Warp
- Ian McLagan, pianist and songwriter for both The Faces and Small Faces, died last week at the age of 69. - Billboard
The latest music videos
OFF!, "Over Our Heads" [starring Jack Black]:
Charli XCX, "Breaking Up":
Run The Jewels, "Oh My Darling (Don't Cry)" [NSFW]:
Jessie Ware, "You & I":
Gwen Stefani, "Spark The Fire":
Mary J. Blige, "Whole Damn Year":
Blonde Redhead, "Dripping":
Perfume Genius, "Fool":
Johnny Marr, "Dynamo":
Wu-Tang Clan, "A Better Tomorrow":
Paul McCartney, "Hope for the Future":
In the studio / coming soon
- Coldplay is already at work on their next (and possibly final) album, to be titled A Head Full of Dreams. - CoS
- Chromatics will release a new album, Dear Tommy, in early 2015. - Pitchfork
- That hypothetical Wrens album that the New Jersey band has been working on for the past decade is now hypothetically complete, with a release almost certainly set for 2015. That's progress! - Official Wrens site
- Dan Deacon will release a new album in February; watch a teaser.
- Recorded in Brooklyn in late 2013, a Phosphorescent live album, Live At The Music Hall, arrives on February 17 via Dead Oceans.
- The Libertines' comeback is one step closer to reality. The Pete Doherty- and Carl Barat-led project just signed a new deal with label Virgin EMI Records. Expect their first album in over a decade to arrive next year. - Billboard
- Rolling Stone has details on two new albums from My Morning Jacket, arriving in 2015 and 2016.
- Expecting to see Lil Wayne's Tha Carter V on our list of this week's new releases above? Yeah ... that's not happening. And Wayne's not too happy with label Cash Money as a result. Stereogum recaps the latest back-and-forth.
Visit Metacritic's Album Release Calendar for a full listing of upcoming release dates, updated daily.