Monday, May 14, 2012

Free Album Streaming: New CDs from Willie Nelson, Kimbra, Santana, Meiko, & More

From the 79-year-old Willie Nelson to the 21-year-old Kimbra (who's become an internationally known for being the female vocalist on Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know"), there are plenty of interesting new albums for you to stream online this week.

Above: Willie Nelson singing with two of his sons. 

"Heroes," Willie Nelson's latest, features classic country tunes as well as new songs from the Red-Headed Stranger. (One of the non-country selections is Nelson's version of Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe.") The album features new songs as well as country classics, and includes guest vocalists such as Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver, Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, and Snoop Dogg (yes, you read that correctly), and two of Willie's sons, Lukas and Micah.

(Update: See Willie Nelson & band perform "Just Breathe" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.)

Most people who've heard Gotye's ubiquitous, infectious hit have been wondering: Who is Kimbra, the female singer on the track, and what else can she do? You can find out by listening to her debut album "Vows" at NPR Music below. Stephen Thompson of NPR Music calls the collection "a huge, brash showcase for Kimbra's voice, which soars, squeals and coos over whiz-bang arrangements that fuse modern pop, old-school soul and slick R&B." But he adds that the native New Zealander "hasn't yet perfected the art of nuance, which can make "Vows' exhausting in large doses."

Kimbra will be playing three shows in New York in the coming weeks, all on a bill with Foster the People, all in Central Park, and all sold out (May 29th and 30th, and June 11th).

Also this week: the new albums by Santana, Meiko, Cornershop, and Tenacious D, as well as second chances to preview the well-reviewed new releases from Best Coast, Garbage, and Beach House, which were streaming elsewhere last week.

NPR First Listen:
"Vows" by Kimbra
"Clear Moon" by Mount Eerie's Listening Party:
"Heroes" by Willie Nelson
"The Only Place" by Best Coast
"Bloom" by Beach House
"Not Your Kind of People" by Garbage
"Rize of the Fenix" by Tenacious D
"The Bright Side" by Meiko
"Night and Day" by Andre Williams and the Sadies
"Urban Turban" by Cornershop

AOL Music Listening Party: 
"Shape Shifter" by Santana
"Perlas" by Josephine Foster & the Victor Herrero Band
"Pins and Narwhals" by Little, Big
"Jail House Bound: John Lomax's First Southern Prison Recordings, 1933" by Various Artists

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