New albums: Beck, Robert Plant, Wu-Tang Clan
New recordings available this week:
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile, “Lotta Sea Lice”: Folk rock for low-pulse people. Early sample “Over Everything” sounds like mumbly Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra, but the detachment has a sprightly zeal.
Beck, “Colors”: He went for hazy folk last time. This one is a kitchen-sink counterpart with ’70s disco-funk (“Dreams”) and syrupy hip-hop (“Wow”). “Lamborghini Shih Tzu” suggests he’s still all for word scrambles.
Robert Plant, “Carry Fire”: For 15 years, the Zep frontman has been perfecting his own permutation of grandiose global folk rock. He revamps an early rock ‘n’ roll song here with “Bluebirds Over the Mountain.”
St. Vincent, “MASSEDUCTION”: Disco pulses, passionless vocal recitations and guitar shredding that sounds super synthy. Annie Clark’s fifth record sounds like the work of a spirited Replicant.
Squeeze, “The Knowledge”: Glenn Tillbrook’s power-pop propensity kept these guys from being new wave casualties. This and 2015′s “Cradle to the Grave” hold up nicely against the 1979-1981 hot years.
Wu-Tang Clan, “Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues”: The hip-hop ensemble’s output has been hit and miss since “The W,” but single “Lesson Learn’d” - which name checks notorious pharma-bro and Wu patron/nemesis Martin Shkreli - was a promising return to scrappy form.