New Music From Blink-182, the 1975 and Queen’s Unheard Song With Freddie Mercury – The New York Times

Freddie Mercury packed drama into every syllable when he sang “Face It Alone,” a track Queen rediscovered in 1988 session archives while preparing a much-expanded reissue of its 1989 album, “The Miracle,” and has now rebuilt. It’s a dirge about inevitable, existential loneliness, set to slow, bare-bones arpeggios and funereal drum thuds, and Mercury’s voice expands it to arena scale as he moves between confidential croon and balcony-rattling rasp. JON PARELES

The 1975 regularly goes roving through rock and pop’s back catalog, trying on styles. “Oh Caroline” doesn’t go for the obvious musical reference — the incomparably vulnerable “Caroline, No” by the Beach Boys — but instead to the era when Michael McDonald led the Doobie Brothers, with electronic percussion, scrubbing guitars and burbling keyboard chords. “Caroline, I want to get it right this time,” Matty Healy sings, making abundant romantic promises, as he travels among eras with the freedom of the internet. PARELES

Nessa Barrett, 20, established herself on TikTok with songs about pain, self-doubt and thoughts of death. The comic relief on her new debut album, “Young Forever,” is “Tired of California,” a sweet-voiced summation of the attractions, superficiality and ennui of aspiring to stardom in Los Angeles. “I get sick of sunshine on my perfect skin,” she lilts, to a tune reminiscent of “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega; then she contemplates death as a career move that would leave her “young forever”: “You get more famous when you die.” The production riffles through Los Angeles specialties: crunching EDM, orchestral bombast, hair-metal guitars and confessional piano chords. It’s supremely self-conscious. PARELES

As Lil Baby eases into rap superstardom, he tends to lean on his melodic side, a combination of savvy and conciliation. But “Back and Forth,” from his new album “It’s Only Me,” is something slightly more pure — just a pair of icy verses from Lil Baby and the Kentucky firebrand EST Gee about all the various sorts of conquest. JON CARAMANICA

The pop-punk-reunion Mount Rushmore is finally complete — the essential (but not original) lineup of Blink-182 has reunited (again). Tom DeLonge is rejoining Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker for a tour next year; the announcement came with a new song, “Edging,” which marks the first time this lineup has been in the studio together in a decade. It’s familiar but uncanny, Botoxed tight but with none of the puerile joy that marked the group’s breakout hits. Part of Blink’s charm was the sense that it might unravel at any moment; this suggests it is content to remain contained. CARAMANICA

Sevdaliza, who was born in Iran and grew up in the Netherlands, confronts the repression of women in “Woman Life Freedom,” a song that begins with stark intimacy — just vocals — and builds into a somberly devastating orchestral march. Sevdaliza sings, “I was taught compliance in the name of the sword/That stabbed every dream I could be.” The title is taken from the watchwords of current women’s protests in Iran, and the track mixes in spoken words calling for an end to Iran’s dictatorship. But the music’s impact and ambition are not only topical. PARELES

“Atemporal” (“Timeless”) is from “Ay!,” the latest high-concept album by Lucrecia Dalt, a Colombian composer and songwriter who has lately moved into film (“The Seed”) and television (“The Baby”) scores. “Ay!” is about an alien entity, Preta, who first experiences linear time and physicality on a visit to Earth; for Dalt, it’s also about memories and warpages — sonic, spatial and durational — of the music she grew up on. “Atemporal” is more or less a bolero, disassembled and rebuilt in ways that can sound vintage or computer-tweaked, with plenty of clanky percussion; it’s wayward with a purpose. PARELES


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