Bob Dylan to Mastodon: What was new in music in March?
Whether you're rocking killer playlists on a streaming service, keeping the vinyl dusted, updating that CD tower, or even reliving the '80s with those cassettes in the basement (yes, we see you), each new month brings scads of new music releases. But with so much new music — and let's face it, a limited budget and only so much time — how do you sift through it all? With that in mind, here's a taste of some new releases you should check out from March, no matter your format of choice.
GRAMMY winner Ed Sheeran returned to the music scene with Divide, which features 12 tracks written or co-written by the pop songster. The album has already topped the Billboard 200. Meanwhile, GRAMMY winner Pitbull released his 10th studio album, Climate Change, which AllMusic.com described as a sequel to his partying "crusade to set the club — and Earth — aflame."
GRAMMY winner Bob Dylan went old school for his triple-disc set of crooner classics, Triplicate. Paste labeled the expansive exploration of the American Songbook as "rough and worn in, scratchy, and diffident."
GRAMMY nominees Depeche Mode let loose their album, Spirit. A take-no-prisoners politically charged album, Consequence of Sound described it as having an "appealing, nasty slap" that took the album to No. 5 on the Billboard 200. GRAMMY winner Nelly Furtado is also back with a new album, The Ride, which Pitchfork said was ripe with "exuberant energy."
GRAMMY-nominated metal band Mastodon crowned Emperor Of Sand ready for release. NME's assessment? "Metal needed this album." Fellow GRAMMY-nominated metal heads Anthrax, who thrash "harder than bands half their age" according to Loudwire, re-released their 2016 album, For All Kings, as a limited-edition 7-inch box set.
John 5, guitarist for GRAMMY nominee Rob Zombie, unleashed his latest solo album, Season Of The Witch. A stylistically varied instrumental tour de force, MetalInjection.net said the 13-song collection is proof of his ability to "take any genre and whoop it's a**."
Body Count, the metal band fronted by GRAMMY-winning rapper Ice-T, released Bloodlust, their first studio album since 2014. The album features recent GRAMMY winner Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, who plays guitar on the opening track, "Civil War."
Is it a playlist? Is it an album? Though the jury is still out, Drake's release of More Life gave fans 22 new tracks while it skyrocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The GRAMMY winner broke records when he claimed 24 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 following More Life's release, the record for most simultaneous hits on the chart.
GRAMMY nominee Rick Ross released Rather You Than Me, which Rolling Stone hailed as "speaking truth to power with remarkable clarity." GRAMMY-nominated producer/songwriter Mike Will Made-It dropped his second solo mixtape, Ransom 2. Features from artists such as Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Lil Yachty, Kendrick Lamar, and Big Sean add extra star power. Also, Trey Songz delivered Tremaine The Album, his 15-track follow-up to 2014's Trigga.
GRAMMY winners the Mavericks uncorked their latest country soundscape, Brand New Day. While the flavor may be classic Mavericks, Brand New Day is the band's first release on their own imprint, Mono Mundo, which frontman Raul Molo told Billboard was named to remind listeners that "music is a very powerful equalizer and unites us."
GRAMMY nominee Trace Adkins' new set, Something's Going On, was described by AZ Central as "more about reflection that revelry." Fellow country GRAMMY nominee Josh Turner reflected on the Deep South for his new album, which reached the Top 20 on the Billboard 200. Taking an innovative approach to bluegrass/classical fusion, GRAMMY winner Béla Fleck's new release, Juno Concerto, features a concerto and string quartets with banjo.
Bill Evans, GRAMMY winner and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, posthumously released On A Monday Evening, a series of lost Bill Evans Trio recordings from Nov. 15, 1976.
Brazilian pianist Elaine Elias issued Dance Of Time, a series of tunes that include GRAMMY-winning guest artists such as Take 6's Mark Kibble and saxophonist Randy Brecker. GRAMMY-winning jazz pianist/arranger/band leader Billy Childs — who has performed with jazz giants such as trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and trombonist J.J. Johnson — stepped back to the keys for Rebirth, which AllAboutJazz.com heralds as "punctilious and unpredictably powerful all at once."
GRAMMY-nominated jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco, as part of his People quartet, released 11 new tracks titled Project Freedom, which, according to his record label, spark a "tale of love and peace worth hearing." GRAMMY winner Oscar Hernandez teamed with Alma Libre to pen an album of originals, The Art Of Latin Jazz, which debuted March 17.
GRAMMY winner Lorde made her long-anticipated return to the music scene with the singles "Green Light" and "Liability," the former debuting in the Top 20. Issuing a charged challenge to hip-hop, GRAMMY winner Kendrick Lamar brought it all to the mic with two new tracks, "The Heart Part 4" and "Humble.". Fellow GRAMMY winner Amy Lee dropped "Speak To Me," a song featured in the new film Voice From The Stone. And GRAMMY nominee Nicki Minaj had a busy month, dropping a trio of new singles: "Regret In Your Tears," "Changed It," featuring Lil Wayne, and "No Frauds," featuring Lil Wayne and Drake.
What was your favorite new music release in March? Tell us in the comments.