Christmas is just around the corner and people are busy looking for the perfect gift, making it the perfect time to release an album. It comes as no surprise that there has been a deluge of new albums released this month and plenty of well established artists have been making their come back.
This is our last opportunity to talk about new music before we delve into the Christmas number one debate and start looking back at the year’s music as a whole. Here’s a guide to November’s biggest releases by female artists:
Christina Aguilera: Lotus
In a blast from the relative past, Christina Aguilera returns with her seventh album Lotus. This album screams (in places quite literally) of both a return to form and a sense of rebirth after what has been a period of huge change for Aguilera. Christina’s last album, Bionic, was attempt to move in a new direction, which did not go down well with fans or critics. The resulting dramatic lack of sales has clearly influenced a return to a sound that we are all far more familiar with. Despite the calming album cover, Christina has always been a ‘fighter’ and Lotus is her way of fighting back from recent troubles and failures. Her experiences of parenthood, divorce and constant criticism make this album possibly one of her most interesting to date.
Favourite track: ‘Sing For Me’
Girls Aloud: Ten
The latest Girls Aloud tour sold out in minutes, suggesting that this will be a very welcome return for the five first ladies of pop. The reunion album offers the best of their ten-year back catalogue, plus a smattering of new songs to justify a release so close to their last ‘best of’ album. The imaginatively named Ten is released on the 26th of November. The first EP from the album ‘Something New’ comes out the week before. Whilst there is very little ‘new’ in terms of style or sound, the single track indicates that the girls are back at their loud and proud best.
Crystal Castles: III
I was given the Crystal Castle’s first two LPs by a friend and they sat in my car for weeks. At first, I wasn’t sure about the group’s distinctive sound but it gradually grew on me. After seeing them live I fell for their massive bass, synth and the haunting vocals of lead singer, Alice Glass. If you are already a fan then the third LP III will not disappoint. If you are new to the group - stick with it and you will be rewarded. The album (available now) is, if possible, darker than earlier offerings but it creates unique physical and emotional sensations that I’ve never before experienced.
Favourite track: ‘Wrath of God’
Alicia Keys: Girl On Fire
With the album released on the 26th of November, the recently released title track is exactly what you would expect from Alicia Keys. Her smooth R&B vocals, heavy beats and classical piano have always been a winning formula. Fans will doubtless look forward to hearing what the rest of the new album brings.