A&L Tunesday: Nov. 28

Illustration courtesy of Olivia Havre

By Emma Weidmann | Arts and Life Editor

If you put your life on pause during Thanksgiving break like the rest of us, it’s time to press play on some of the new releases you may have missed during the week of rest and relaxation. Get ready for this one.

I’m not going to lie, there were pretty slim pickings when it came to new releases this week. From radio-pop disasters to rap tragedies, there isn’t a whole lot of necessarily good new music to listen to this week. But there was a lot of … whatever this is. Whatever you do this week, please listen to these.

“Free Bird” by Dolly Parton and Lynyrd Skynyrd (Nov. 17)

Yes, you read that correctly. If you have ever wondered to yourself, “Hmm, what would it sound like if ‘Free Bird’ was sung by iconic queen of the Smoky Mountains, Dolly Parton?” your prayers have been answered.

I can’t say that this tops the original — like, at all — but the sheer absurdity of it warrants a listen. In fact, the entirety of Parton’s “Rockstar” album is a rollercoaster on par with any ride at Dollywood. Full of covers of iconic rock anthems, “Rockstar” is Parton’s response to her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which she fought off for a long time. But the rumors are true: Dolly’s gone rock.

“That Night in Hawaii When I Turned Into A Panther And Started Making These Low Register Purring Tones That I Couldn’t Control” by André 3000 (Nov. 17)

Once again, I’m not making this up. Yes, the dude from Outkast, the mastermind behind “Hey Ya,” is now onto bigger things — esoteric flute music intermixed with panther noises, snake rattles and tribal drums. If you were wondering how long the album “New Blue Sun” is, there are eight tracks, clocking in at just under an hour and a half.

Not exactly music for your walk to class, but if you’re feeling ethereal and mysterious, go for it, I guess.

Now onto some music that’s actually good.

“Red Flags” by Brittany Howard (Nov. 17)

Fans of rock-soul band Alabama Shakes will recognize front-woman Brittany Howard’s powerful voice and eclectic tastes. “Red Flags” is a great example of how songs can be percussive and strange and unique and not have panther noises in them.

“exes” by Tate McRae (Nov. 17)

Rising pop star Tate McRae is bringing back pop in a really fun way. On “exes,” she’s not concerned with deep lyrics or anything, but who says she has to be? She’s only 20. McRae represents the revival of good pop music, and she went to the Pinkpantheress school of making the radio listenable again.

Emma Weidmann is a junior English major from San Antonio, with minors in News-Editorial and French. She loves writing about new albums and listening to live music. After graduating, she hopes to work as an arts and culture reporter.