Music summer school: A guide to recent pop releases

Harry Styles' self-titled debut album — Handout via AFP-Relaxnews
Harry Styles' self-titled debut album — Handout via AFP-Relaxnews

LOS ANGLES, Aug 5 — Been too busy to stay up-to-date on the latest music? Now that summer is here, bringing more relaxation time, we’re helping you catch up, suggesting a selection of albums in a handful of genres for your listening pleasure. This time: pop albums you may have missed.

Ed Sheeran, “Divide”
The English pop-rock singer/songwriter’s latest album and its hit singles have been rather ubiquitous this year, but if you have yet to give it a listen, it’s one to know — especially after Sheeran earned a Mercury Prize nomination for he LP.

Lorde, “Melodrama”

Much ado preceded the release of Lorde’s sophomore album, and it didn’t disappoint. The New Zealander tries her hand with new sounds and subject matters, taking inspiration from her time in New York while making the album.

Halsey, “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom”

The rising US singer and songwriter known as Halsey became somewhat of a breakout star via social media. With her second album, she builds on the strengths of her 2015 debut while showing the way toward a promising future.

Harry Styles, “Harry Styles”

The former One Direction member drew critical praise with his debut solo album, whose sound ranges from soft rock to classic rock to folk acoustic.

Paramore, “After Laughter”

Hayley Williams’s powerful vocals anchor this pop-punk album, in which the band’s usual catchy hooks are joined by more existentially searching lyrics than in previous albums.

Charli XCX, “Number 1 Angel”

A “mixtape” rather than a proper album, Number 1 Angel is an alternative-leaning project in which the vibrant pop star is joined by a host of guest artists. — AFP-Relaxnews

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