Weezer’s Rock ’n’ Roll Nostalgia Trip, and 10 More New Songs

Weezer’s Rock ’n’ Roll Nostalgia Trip, and 10 More New Songs


Unheroic 1970s and 1980s nostalgia fills “I Need Some of That,” Weezer’s remembrance of growing up suburban and finding music as rebellion: “I was in my hatchback ragin’,” Rivers Cuomo sings. It’s part of the band’s pointedly titled pop-metal album, “Van Weezer.” The proudly multilayered guitars and vocals invoke Boston and the Cars as well as the band the song mentions, Aerosmith. “Even when we blow up, we’re never gonna grow up,” the song insists. But the track’s last spoken-word postscripts are grown-up and businesslike; they involve copyrights. JON PARELES

“Na Kazonga,” the new album by the Congolese band Jupiter & Okwess, opens with a blast of international funk: “Telejayi,” a mesh of rich Congolese vocal harmonies, Fela-style Nigerian Afrobeat and vehement guest verses from — why not? — a Brazilian rapper, Marcelo D2. PARELES

The music in “Diamond Studded Shoes” radiates optimism. It’s an upbeat soul-gospel shuffle, filled with little flashes of exuberance from a frisky studio band: a quick bass run, an organ burble, a slide-guitar swoop, a ripple of honky-tonk piano. But Yola’s lyrics are far more skeptical; she’s warning that the rich and privileged still have everything rigged in their favor. “Don’t you tell me it’ll be all right/When we know it isn’t,” she insists. “And that’s why we gots to fight.” PARELES

Cordae is a dexterous and thoughtful rapper, but at times in the past he’s sounded constrained by his own perfectionism. On the earnest, calm “More Life” — from a between-albums place-holder EP, “Just Until….” — he sounds relaxed and assured, with slow-trot wisdom (“Laid my life over these lucrative scores/Document struggles that we choose to endure”) over a bright beat with a bit of citrusy tang. At the hook, Q-Tip plays the beneficent elder, offering guru-like wisdom to a rapper who’s a clear inheritor of his. CARAMANICA

“I got love for the ghetto, love for the hood/Love for the people that turn the bad into good,” Morray insists in “Trenches.” Morray, a songwriter from Fayetteville, N.C., sings and raps with a fervent, church-rooted voice. “Trenches,” from an album due next week titled “Street Sermons,” rides the minor chords and trap beats that often accompany antisocial boasts. But while “Trenches” doesn’t ignore gangs, drugs or poverty, Morray also recognizes a community that holds families, neighbors and friends: “They don’t see the good times that outweigh the bad days/In the hood we still smile to lighten up them dark caves.” PARELES

Just another starkly beautiful, emotionally scarred, cathartic purge from the most quietly influential rapper of the last few years. CARAMANICA

The production is basic: a programmed beat, a cycle of electric-keyboard chords, increments of bass and backup voices. But Jorja Smith’s words and voice sketch a world of loss: “Tell me what to do when the ones you loved have gone missing.`PARELES

Sasha Sloan begins this song detailing a laundry list of misbehaviors and irritations, a knowing confession of failure to rise to the responsibilities of a relationship. It’s an icy start to a moody country-pop duet. When Sam Hunt arrives, he sounds wet with anguish — his misdeeds are giving him agita. By the end of the song, they’re groaning in harmony, the only thing left they have in common. CARAMANICA

Writers, this one’s for us. Open a dictionary for the obscure but clearly defined literary devices that John Grant riffles through in “Rhetorical Figure” — yes, “epizeuxis” and “paraprosodokians” mean something. And stick around for the pumping electronics that merge prog-rock and post-punk. PARELES

Alfa Mist is a London-based producer, multi-instrumentalist and M.C. with an ever-deepening — and increasingly rewarding — engagement with jazz. He composed and arranged all eight tracks on “Bring Backs”; to make them come alive he assembled a chamber ensemble of brass, woodwinds, strings and rhythm section. “Last Card (Bumper Cars)” opens with the poet Hilary Thomas calling up wispy memories of a distant past “back home,” over Alfa Mist’s lightly tolling Rhodes and rustling atmospheric percussion. Later on, a verse from Thomas marks a transition (“Friday was payday, and glory comes Sunday,” she says); the band kicks into a coda of proud horn declarations, over strutting rhythms that toggle abruptly. Then Alfa Mist cuts it off, as if ripping a needle off a record. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

Arooj Aftab, who was born in Pakistan and now lives in Brooklyn, carries an ancient verse form, the ghazal, toward the West on her serenely innovative album released on Friday, “Vulture Prince.” Written by the Indian poet Hafeez Hoshiarpuri, “Mohabbat” declares, ambiguously, that “the number of people who love will never decrease,” and it has been recorded many times in traditional South Asian styles. Aftab, who attended the Berklee College of Music, transforms it. Her voice is contemplative, breathy and relaxed, with the intimacy of indie-pop and jazz though she occasionally uses the microtonal embellishments of classical South Asian singing. She’s accompanied by intricate plucked patterns on harp, guitar and bass fiddle, sustained tones from brass and electronics and quiet metallic percussion. The song doesn’t bridge two worlds; it creates its own. PARELES



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