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New Music Friday: Bruno Mars, Miranda Lambert, Metallica, and more

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Taylor Hill/Getty Images; Dave Hogan/MTV 2016/Getty Images for MTV; Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

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 Miranda Lambert, Bruno Mars, Metallica, Highly Suspect, DAWN, and more.

Miranda Lambert, The Weight of These Wings

Blake Shelton may have beaten former wife Miranda Lambert to the record store shelves when he released his post-divorce collection If I’m Honest this past May, less than a year after the couple split, but country music’s Queen of Kerosene proves the wait is worth it with this stunning double-album. The liquor-soaked, 24-song set — Lambert has a byline on 20 tracks — ruminates on love lost and won in exceptionally knowing and moving ways. As she sings on lead since “Vice,” “When it hurts this good, you gotta play it twice.” — Madison Vain

Bruno Mars, 24K Magic

Four years since releasing Unorthodox Jukebox — plus that little-heard tune “Uptown Funk” with Mark Ronson — pop’s suavest, swaggiest star returns with another album of meticulously-crafted tunes destined for Top 40 domination. 24K Magic brims with synthed-out ’80s tunes, ’90s R&B, and killer James Brown-biting workouts like “Perm.” Check out EW’s review here. — Kevin O’Donnell

Metallica, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct

The metal legends haven’t released an album since 2008’s Death Magnetic, but Hardwired finds them in top form — it’s “a little leaner and tighter and slightly more urgent” than their last record, drummer Lars Ulrich told EW earlier this year. “On the last record, some of the stuff got overly progressive,” he said. “For the first 25 years [of the band], there was this peculiar paranoia about not repeating ourselves. Since then, we’ve been feeling more at ease with what’s in our DNA.” —Eric Renner Brown

DNCE, DNCE

There’s still plenty more cake by the ocean — Joe Jonas’ band, along with a team of top-notch Swedish songwriters and producers, stack this self-titled debut with enough hand claps and funky bass lines to bring out your best body moves. Check out EW’s review here. — Nolan Feeney

D∆WN, Redemption

Former Danity Kane member Dawn Richard, a.k.a. D∆WN, is back with the final album in her Heart trilogy. Called Redemption, the collection is her smartest, most revolutionary effort yet. Freaky, spacey pop meets rushing electronica and moving R&B grooves, helped along by artists like PJ Morton and Trombone Shorty. “[This album] is supposed to heal you,” Richard told EW. —Jessica Goodman

Justice, Woman

The third album from electronic duo Justice, who made their name with 2007’s infectious “D.A.N.C.E.,” is another kinetic offering of sleek French house. “Alakazam!” sounds like Daft Punk by way of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” while whimsical “Randy” throws Electric Light Orchestra’s lighthearted spirit under the disco ball. —ERB

Highly Suspect, The Boy Who Died Wolf

This Brooklyn-based trio surprised everyone — themselves included! — last year when their high-octane debut, Mister Asylum, nabbed two nominations at the 2015 Grammy Awards. Thrillingly, their follow up has bigger ambitions as it folds desert rock, punk, blues garage rock, prog-rock, and even electro-pop into its fray. It doesn’t just work, it flat out cooks. — MV

R.E.M., Out of Time (25th Anniversary Edition)

The alt-rock group’s first No. 1 album also features two of their biggest hits — “Losing My Religion” and “Shiny Happy People” — but this 25th anniversary edition digs deeper, with a second disc devoted entirely to unreleased demos from the Out of Time era. —ERB

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