New Music Alert: Shawn Mendes & More


It’s that time folks! The intensity has begun to pick up as we are entrenched in the fourth quarter of 2016.  This week – release date September 23, 2016 – there are many new album releases.  That said, it’s a top-heavy week, with Shawn Mendes clearly leading the charge with his highly anticipated sophomore album, Illuminate.

1. Shawn Mendes, Illuminate


Shawn Mendes, Illuminate © Island

Canadian Heartthrob Shawn Mendes releases highly anticipated sophomore album, Illuminate.  Illuminate follows Mendes’ platinum-certified, no. 1 debut, Handwritten.  One this is for sure, Mendes has “put in work” promoting Illuminate, releasing five singles prior to the album’s release.  Mendes has a potential blockbuster on his hands.

2. Ty Dolla $ign, Campaign 


Ty Dolla Sign, Campaign © Atlantic

Where Shawn Mendes was early promoting his new LP, Ty Dolla $ign announced late, but released a slew of new singles.  Campaign amazingly arrives less than a year after the singer/rapper’s debut album, Free TC (it arrived in November 2015).  Free TC debuted at no. 14 on the Billboard 200.

  • Tracks16
  • Featured GuestsFuture, Travis Scott & Big TC
  • Pre-Release Singles“Campaign” (ft. Future), “3 Wayz” (ft. Travis Scott), “Zaddy” & “Stealing

3. Idina Menzel, Idina. 

[Warner Bros.]

Idina Menzel, Idina. © Warner Bros.

Idina Menzel’s profile was elevated with the release of Disney’s Frozen, in which she performed the signature, Academy Award-winning original song, “Let It Go.”  After releasing a holiday album in 2014 (Holiday Wishes), she returns with a pop album of originals, simply entitled Idina.  Prior to the album, she released four singles, with “Perfect Story” arriving most recently.

  • Tracks12
  • Featured GuestsNone
  • Pre-Release SinglesSmall World,” “Queen of Swords,” “I See You” & “Perfect Story”

4. Luke Bryan, Farm Tour…Here’s to the Farmer (EP) 

[Row Crop / Capitol Nashville]

Luke Bryan, Here's to the Farmer EP © Capitol Nashville

Country superstar Luke Bryan returns with a five-song EP, Farm Tour…Here’s to the Farmer.  Bryan has been notorious for releasing EPs throughout his career, most of which previously revolved around spring break.  Apparently, someone told Mr. Bryan he was 40 and no longer 21 this go-round.  Regardless, Bryan is literally touring farms…check out his tour schedule on his site.

  • Tracks5
  • Featured Guestsnone
  • Pre-release singles“Here’s to the Farmer” & “Love Me in a Field

5. Trolls (Soundtrack) 


Trolls © RCA

Justin Timberlake released the promo single for the Trolls soundtrack ages ago, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” ended up giving the pop star another no. 1 hit and built up some anticipation for the soundtrack itself.  Only two singles were released prior to the effort, with the second being Justin Timberlake/Anna Kendrick duet, “True Colors.”

  • Tracks13
  • Featured ArtistsJustin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, Ron Funches, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Anna Kendrick, Ariana Grande, Earth Wind & Fire
  • Pre-release singles“Can’t Stop The Feeling!” & “True Colors”

6. Skylar Grey, Natural Causes 


 Skylar Grey, Natural Causes © Interscope

At one time, Skylar Grey was once a popular collaborative artist.  Like so many hot commodities that “blow up,” she had a run.  Upon releasing her debut album Don’t Look Down (2013), not a lot of folks showed up.  Natural Causes arrives three years later and despite being on a major label, it’s had a very understated roll out.  Once more, Eminem guests, serving as the sole guest feature.  

  • Tracks13
  • Featured GuestsEminem
  • Pre-Release singles“Lemonade,” “Come up for Air,” “Off Road” & “Moving Mountains”

7. My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade / Living with Ghosts (The 10th Anniversary) 


My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade / Living with Ghosts (The 10th Anniversary) © Reprise

My Chemical Romance disbanded in 2013. Emo hearts were broken everywhere, but Gerard Way and company left a savvy discography that will live on forever.  No album was bigger for the collective than 2006 effort, The Black Parade.  Now 10 years old, the band commemorates their crowning achievement by rereleasing it with demos.

  • Tracks25
  • Featured GuestsN/A
  • Pre-Release singles“The Five of Us Are Dying (Rough Mix)”

8. Passenger, Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea 

[Black Crow / Nettwerk]

Passenger, Young as the Morning Old as the Sea © Black Crow

Singer/songwriter Passenger returns with new album Young as the Morning, Old as the SeaYoung follows 2014 effort, Whispers.  Passenger received the most attention back in 2012 when he had hit single “Let Her Go” on his hands (All the Little Lights).  Since then, it’s been “all quiet on the western front.”

  • Tracks16
  • Featured GuestsBirdy
  • Pre-Release singlesAnywhere” & “Somebody’s Love”

9. How to Dress Well, Care


How to Dress Well, Care © Domino

Alternative musician Tom Krell (How to Dress Well) returns with his fourth album, CareCare follows the critically acclaimed effort, What Is This Heart? (2014).  All Music currently considers What Is This Heart? to be How to Dress Well’s best album.  Interestingly on Metacritic, the effort received a slightly less glowing score of 69.

  • Tracks12
  • Featured Guestsnone
  • Pre-Release Singles“What’s Up” & “Lost Youth / Lost You”

Also Released:

Bruce Springsteen, Chapter and Verse [Bruce Springsteen]; Crowder, American Prodigal [sixsteprecords/Sparrow]; Devendra Banhart, Ape in Pink Marble [Nonesuch]; Dwight Yoakam, Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars… [Via Records]; Every Time I Die, Low Teens [Epitaph]; Greensky Bluegrass, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted [Big Blue Zoo]; GRiZ, Good Will Prevail [All Good Records]; Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine [Glassnote]; Joe Bonamassa, Live at the Greek Theatre [J&R Adventures, LLC]; Kristin Chenoweth, The Art of Elegance [Concord]; MUTEMATH, Changes [Wojtek]; Warpaint, Heads Up [Rough Trade]

Originally published on Music Shopping List: Shawn Mendes (Illuminate) Highlights on The Musical Hype on September 19, 2016.

Photo Credit: Island, Atlantic, Warner Bros., Capitol Nashville, RCA, Interscope, Reprise, Black Crow / Nettwerk, Domino

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