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New Music Friday: Alicia Keys, Common, Jim James

New tunes from Common, Alicia Keys, Jim James, Bon Jovi, Tinashe, and more

Updated

C Flanigan/FilmMagic; Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for TIDAL; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Keep a Child Alive

Every Friday, artists drop anticipated albums, surprise singles, and hyped collaborations. As part of New Music Friday, EW’s music team will choose some of the essential new tunes. With new albums from Common, Alicia Keys, Tinashe, The Chainsmokers, and more, here are the most noteworthy new releases this week.

Common, Black America Again

The 44-year-old veteran of Chicago hip-hop returns with a poignant, timely album that tackles pressing issues of police brutality, mass incarceration, and institutionalized racism. On Black America Again, collaborators from Stevie Wonder to John Legend bolster Common’s already-impressive lyricism. —Eric Renner Brown

Alicia Keys, HERE

Alicia Keys’ first album in four years may be her most vital, with songs that tackle social and political issues (racism, violence, the environment). And keeping with her new, minimal-makeup look, Keys’ raw, stripped-down arrangements seem to signal a new, unfiltered star. — Nolan Feeney

The Chainsmokers, Collage EP

Alex Pall and Drew Taggart have minted pop gold all year thanks to their massive singles “Closer,” featuring Halsey, “Don’t Let Me Down,” featuring Daya, and “All We Know,” featuring Phoebe Ryan. They’ve collected those hits on the new Collage “bundle.” But it’s not all retreads: the EP features a new track titled “Setting Fires,” which the Chainsmokers cut with the brother-sister electro-pop duo XYLØ. —Kevin O’Donnell

Bon Jovi, This House Is Not For Sale

Bon Jovi and his band return for their 14th studio album, and the first without longtime guitarist David Sambora. But his departure doesn’t affect the Jersey rockers’ ability to deliver anthemic stadium chants, pop rock guitar riffs, and fist-pumping proclamations. —Jessica Goodman

Tinashe, Nightride

Tinashe has been teasing her sophomore LP, Joyride, for almost a year now. It still hasn’t materialized, but the singer is tiding fans over with Nightride, a full-length companion project that includes songs that were at one point intended for the proper sequel to 2014’s Aquarius. “This is the beginning of the journey, one piece of the puzzle that makes me who I am,” she explained on Twitter. —NF

Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions, Until the Hunter

Hope Sandoval, the seductive singer of the dream-pop outfit Mazzy Star, returns with her current group, featuring My Bloody Valentine’s Colm O’Coisog, for a gorgeous third album: Until the Hunter brims with Sandoval’s honeyed croon and O’Coisog’s mellow acoustic guitar arrangements. It also features a collaboration that should’ve happened years ago: the stoner-rock auteur Kurt Vile drops in on the groovy ballad “Let Me Get There.” —KO

Jim James, Eternally Even

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James takes another break from his regular gig for his second solo album. And it’s a detour you’ll want to take too: Eternally Even is a rush of psychedelic-soul freakouts, ’60s rock and roll songcraft, and inventive studio wizardy (check out those cool, glitchy syncopated cuts that kick in midway through his single, “Here in Spirit”). —KO

Queen, Queen on Air

Classic rock behemoths including Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix have published definitive collections of their BBC Sessions. Queen joins the pack with this set: The basic two-disc collection gathers their BBC recordings from 1973 to 1977 (including an uptempo version of “We Will Rock You”), while the expanded edition tacks on live sets from the ’70s and ’80s, along with band interviews from throughout their career. –ERB

Future feat. Drake, “Used to This”

The two rap powerhouses barnstormed arenas across North America this summer during their Summer Sixteen Tour, and now the prolific MCs have returned with another collaborative track in the vein of last year’s album-length team-up What a Time To Be Alive. And the cut’s title, “Used to This,” is prescient: The song is just another entry in a mammoth year for both artists, in which Future released two projects (January’s Purple Reign and February’s EVOL) and Drake’s album Views proved a commercial juggernaut. —ERB

STRFKR, Being No One, Going Nowhere

With their fifth album, Being No One, Going Nowhere, the Portland band returns with another accomplished batch of psych-inflected synth-pop tunes. STRFKR have come a long way since their 2008 breakout “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second” appeared in a Target commercial, but cuts like “Satellite” and “Open Your Eyes” affirm they can still construct a funky groove as well as any band on the indie-pop circuit. —ERB

Mr. Tophat, “Trust Me (feat. Robyn)”

As Robyn fans desperately await for her to return with a proper follow-up to 2010’s Body Talk, the Swedish pop star is making some of the most adventurous music of her career on the down-low. Last summer, she teamed with La Bagatelle Magique for an excellent experimental-dance workout Love Is Free; this year, she’s asked friends and collaborators to remix songs from throughout her career, a project dubbed RMX / RBN. Now, she’s teaming with her pal, Swedish producer Mr. Tophat, for a three-track EP, due out next January. The lead track is an impossibly cool disco-space jam “Trust Me.” It’s available as a three-minute radio edit — but it’s on the ten-minute extended version where the magic really happens. —KO