Music Updates

First Stream: New Music From Coldplay & BTS, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Giveon and More

When a stadium-conquering rock band and globe-trotting pop group join forces, the result deserves a title as ostentatious as “My Universe” — and while the highly anticipated team-up between Coldplay and BTS does sound designed for bellowing toward the heavens, it’s a surprisingly tender love song, an ode to a loved one and “that bright infinity inside your eyes.” Could the pairing be portrayed as a contrivance? Maybe, but with the way Chris Martin’s voice is buoyed by a top-notch performance from the BTS boys, “My Universe” is too satisfying to scoff at.

YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Sincerely, Kentrell 

Waiting at least a year between full-length releases might be standard practice for most popular recording artists, but for YoungBoy Never Broke Again, one of the most prolific artists in modern hip-hop, 12 months feels like a lifetime. The follow-up to 2020’s Top is finally here, and it’s predictably sprawling: with 21 guest-free tracks, Sincerely, Kentrell allows YoungBoy to spend time sinking into his haunting memories and powerful flexes, his voice floating into a croon on his hooks and then spinning down into a possessed flow on most verses.

Giveon, “For Tonight” 

Two of the reasons why Giveon has become one of the breakout R&B stars of the year: his deep, tranquil voice, and the expressive way in which he deploys it. New single “For Tonight” focuses on a forbidden romance — “We’ve become numb to what we know is wrong,” Giveon sings, “but no one knows but us” — and the song’s main attraction is the pain he imbues into each syllable, as if even recounting his impulses represents emotional torture. “For Tonight” eschews the crossover fodder of “Peaches,” his recent No. 1 single with Justin Bieber and Daniel Caesar, in favor of wrenching, spectacular soul.

Karol G, “Sejodioto” 

This weekend marks six months since the release of Karol G’s KG0516 album, as well as one month until her U.S. headlining tour kicks off. In between, the Colombian star is giving fans some intriguing new looks — first with her English-language collaboration with Tiësto, “Don’t Be Shy,” and now with “Sejodioto,” a slinky pop track that shrugs off relationships and lets Karol G continue demonstrating her growing vocal confidence.

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