Gang Starr: Bad Name

Unlike many posthumous releases—particularly those within the hip-hop genre—Gang Starr’s One of the Best Yet neither stretches the late Guru’s raps too thinly, nor gives in to sentimentality. The duo (Guru aka Keith Elam, and DJ Premier aka Christopher Martin) was founded in the late ’80s and is widely considered one of the most influential rap groups ever (despite lack of broad commercial success). From the record, “Bad Name” blends Premier’s signature style (using short samples and plenty of boom-bap) with Guru’s effortless vocals. Premier started working on the album (apparently with Guru’s urn in the studio) in 2017, some 14 years after the duo disbanded and seven years after the rapper passed away. The 16-track album is officially released tomorrow.

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Leonard Cohen: Happens To The Heart

The first single from Leonard Cohen’s posthumous album, Thanks for the Dance, “Happens To The Heart” is gentle, mesmerizing and a somber reminder that the beloved artist is gone. On the contemplative song that dissects our universal outcome, Cohen sing-speaks, “I’ve broken every window / But the house, the house is dark / I care but very little / What happens to the heart.” The …

Rex Orange County: Face To Face

From Rex Orange County’s forthcoming album Pony (out 25 October) comes “Face to Face,” a winding combination of verses, bridges, and hooks that swell into a cheerful pop tune. The crescendo occurs slowly, but picks up as the track’s pace does. The British artist (aka Alexander O’Connor) speeds up his vocals as drums and synths kick in, along with a resonator and O’Connor’s ad-libs.