The best new music of the week: Ron Sexsmith, Ringo Starr, Kendrick Lamar and more

The best new music of the week: Ron Sexsmith, Ringo Starr, Kendrick Lamar and more

By Nicholas Jennings

As music columnist for, each week I’ll bring you my selections for the best and most notable new music, albums you’re going to want to add to your collection plus a five-song playlist to try out. Happy listening!


Ron SexsmithCarousel One
Songwriter par excellence, Sexsmith forgoes his usual melancholia here, a refreshing collection featuring upbeat numbers like “Saint Bernard” and “Sun’s Coming Out.” There’s also some welcome humour on the bluesy “Getaway Car” and the self-deprecating “Can’t Get My Act Together.”

Ringo StarrPostcards from Paradise
Ringo, the final Beatle to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist, is in good form on his latest album. Whether it’s singing about his early Liverpool days in “Rory and the Hurricanes” or preaching his peace-and-love message on “Let Love Lead,” the Loveable One hasn’t lost his knack for making shamelessly feel-good music.

Kendrick LamarTo Pimp a Butterfly
For all its throwback soul and funk, including appearances by Ronald Isley and George Clinton, Lamar’s third album is an angry, immediate, post-Ferguson statement. Tracks like “The Blacker the Berry” bristle with palpable rage, while “For Free” and the equally wild, extemporizing “i” sound like pirate radio transmissions straight from the street.

The CribsFor All My Sisters
Produced by the Cars’ frontman Ric Ocasek, the latest from the garage-rock trio from Yorkshire, England is easily the band’s poppiest album to date. “Burning for No One” has new-wave shades of early Joe Jackson, while “Feeling Free” bears an unmistakable resemblance to Weezer, a group that Ocasek also produced.


Foo FightersSonic Highways
Fans of the Foos’ TV show will devour this DVD, featuring additional footage and extended interviews with Barack Obama, Joan Jett, Dolly Parton and others.

Various artistsA MusiCares Tribute to Paul McCartney
The star-studded cast performs McCartney’s best, including “I Saw Her Standing There” by Neil Young, “Blackbird” by Alicia Keys and “We Can Work It Out” by Coldplay.

Miley CyrusBangerz Tour
Filmed in Spain and Portugal, Cyrus’ concert DVD captures all of her tour’s controversy, from the singer’s phallic mask to her suggestively riding a giant hot dog.


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