Byline: ANDREW GREENHALGH
BEYONCE, LEMONADE/DRAKE - VIEWS (Drake) r (Beyonce) VIEWS and Lemonade - albums by two giants of 2016 R&B - have much in common. Both are guaranteed to sell millions, both extraordinarily introspective and both feature more collaborations than you can shake a stick at - but Queen Bey's sixth LP puts Aubrey "Drake" Graham's fourth well in the shade.
When the Canadian rapper fancies it - as he does on Hotline Bling and the Rihanna-featuring Too Good - he can create a killer slice of pop that cuts through genres like a knife.
But by the time of the 20th track focusing almost exclusively on Drake's favourite subject - himself - it's hard not to yearn for a little variety.
Lemonade, meanwhile, is anything but dull. The world knows by now that it allegedly concerns husband Jay Z's alleged infidelity with "Becky with the good hair", but country excursion Daddy Lessons is a tribute to her Texas home and father Mathew Knowles. It's brilliant.
Taking in hip-hop, pop, alt-rock, r&b, blues, gospel and soul, no two tracks sound alike and when it's finished you immediately want to put it on again. One of the records of the year, without question.
Download these: Hotline Bling, Fire and Desire (Drake); Hold Up, Sandcastles, Formation (Beyonce) ANOHNI - HOPELESSNESS THE first solo album by the transgender artist formerly Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons) since adopting the name Anohni and beginning to use female pronouns, Hopelessness is an astounding record.
Marrying occasionally harsh, always powerful and sometimes joyous electronica with Anohni's still astonishing voice, Hopelessness is modern soul in a way so much modern r&b just isn't. From the brilliant Crisis to the moving I Don't Love You Anymore and the unsettling Obama, Anohni always sounds as if she means it even when it's not entirely clear what 'it' is.
Download these: Hopelessness, Drone Bomb Me, Why Did You Separate Me From The Earth? KATY B, A HONEY A RETURN to her clubbing roots following the more commercial Little Red, when Honey's good it's very good indeed.
Veering from slinky r&b to Rudimentalstyle jungle and infectious party grooves, if it suffers from the star's apparent reluctance to cut a record's running length, discerning use of the skip button and/or the iTunes playlist function will create a 40 minute marvel of 2016 pop.
Download these: Honey, Turn The Music Louder
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|Publication:||South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Article Type:||Sound recording review|
|Date:||May 6, 2016|
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