Music Picks: New albums from Dua Lipa, The Weeknd and more; Earth Hour and Youth Music Awards livestreams

(Clockwise from top left)  Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Singapore rappers Fariz Jabba (pink, sitting) and Yung Raja (in black, standing), and Singapore R&B band brb.
(Clockwise from top left) Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Singapore rappers Fariz Jabba (pink, sitting) and Yung Raja (in black, standing), and Singapore R&B band brb.PHOTOS: WARNER MUSIC, UNIVERSAL MUSIC, WWF SINGAPORE, UMAMI RECORDS

DANCE POP

FUTURE NOSTALGIA

Dua Lipa

3.5 stars

Can't go out to party now that the clubs are closed because of the Covid-19 outbreak?

You can still put on some party music at home, like blasting and dancing along to British breakout pop star Dua Lipa's sophomore album Future Nostalgia.

The album title is almost literal - a collection of contemporary takes on dance-pop genres that date all the way back to 1970s disco.

The mirror-ball vibes of the hit pre-album single, Don't Start Now, was just a teaser. Physical is an aerobics class romp, Levitating is a feel-good funk escapade, and Hallucinate is an electronic dance music festival banger.

R&B/ELECTRONIC

AFTER HOURS

The Weeknd

4 stars

On his fourth album, After Hours, Canadian dark pop prince The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, blurs the line between hedonism and regret.

 
 

Amidst a captivating blend of R&B and electronic sub-genres like synthwave, UK garage electropop, tracks like Snowchild and Heartless are vivid references to his infamous penchant for substance abuse, the fallout from his sudden rise to fame and his careless attitude to relationships.

Yet album opener Alone Again sees him seeking solace from his lover to draw him out of his problem, while Too Late and the title track read like songs of contrition for past wrongs.

ELECTRONIC/SOUL/HIP-HOP

3.15.20

Childish Gambino

4 stars

Trust multi-hyphenate Donald Glover to not play it straight for his fourth and latest album under his musical nom de plume Childish Gambino. On March 15, the singer, actor, rapper and musician mysteriously streamed the new songs on a website, donaldgloverpresents.com, before taking it down after 12 hours.

 
 

The album has now been officially released on streaming sites, titled after its original release date. The fixation with numbers continue throughout most of the songs, which are namedaccording to the time they play in the album's duration.

It is Glover's most experimental, and enthralling, work to date. The genre-hopping tunes celebrate life in all its complexities - 53.49 is joyously exuberant, 19.10 explores racial identity, and 47.48 is all about being mindful.

An elegant and finely crafted album that serves as a balm in these uncertain times.

EARTH HOUR 2020

WWF Singapore's Earth Hour concert moves online this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Home-grown artists set to perform unplugged sets in the three-hour livestream on YouTube include singer-songwriter Benjamin Kheng and pop singer Rriley, both from The Sam Willows; Inch Chua and Nathan Hartono; rapper and social media personality Preetipls; Singapore Idol winner Sezairi; and rappers Yung Raja, Fariz Jabba and Subhas.

All the acts performing are known for raising awareness and taking action on environmental issues such as sustainable consumption and reducing the use of plastics.

WHERE: www.earthhour.sg

WHEN: March 28, 5.30pm

YOUTH MUSIC AWARDS 2020

The second edition of the annual Youth Music Awards by *SCAPE and Invasion Singapore, whichcelebrates young home-grown musicians, is back.

Unlike last year's ceremony at *Scape, which saw rising names such as rapper Yung Raja perform and win prizes, this year's event has been moved online due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The nominees include acts such as electronic/pop band brb., math rock/emo band Forests and rapper Abangsapau.

WHERE: www.facebook.com/scapeinvasion

WHEN: March 30, 9pm