Billboard’s Friday Music Guide serves as a handy guide to this Friday’s biggest releases – the key music that everyone will be talking about today and that will dominate playlists this weekend and beyond.
This week, Dua Lipa works some magic, The Kid LAROI comes out with a new album, and PinkPantheress continues to evolve their aesthetic. Check out all of this week’s picks below:
Dua Lipa, “Houdini”
While “Houdini,” which kicks off Dua Lipa’s third album era, arrives with much anticipation, Lipa’s Barbie The soundtrack single “Dance The Night” – which has become one of the bigger Top 40 hits of 2023 – gave a subtle hint at the direction the 28-year-old is taking her discography. Future nostalgia is both behind and in front of Lipa: tinkering with the boundaries of popular dance music, refining her pop stylings, doubling down on a successful sound while increasing its pressure points. “Houdini” is a banger you can only listen to once, but it’s also a tightrope act, with every second buzzing with production tidbits that add up to a three-minute wallop.
Click here to read a full review of Dua Lipa’s new single.
The child LAROI, The first time
In the run-up to a new album The first time, The Kid LAROI has struck a variety of sonic poses and demonstrated impressive versatility – his tone can work alongside an artist like Jung Kook on the pop track “Too Much” and feel at home alongside Future on “What’s The Move?” “Or remember the acoustic alternative rock of breakout hit “Without You” on current single “Bleed.” The constant within this artistry, however, remains his melodic instinct: LAROI is one of the most effortless hook users in modern music, and The first time is full of humming moments.
PinkPantheress, Heaven knows
In the middle of PinkPantheress’s new album’s tracklist is a song called “Internet baby (interlude)” – which, at 2 minutes and 11 seconds, is actually longer than the mesmerizing Kelela collaboration “Bury Me” that immediately precedes it. This is the experimental approach to rhythmic pop that the British artist has taken for a long time Heaven knows Playing with time and space, the 34-minute project features PinkPantheress’ most comprehensive vision to date, carefully curated collaborations and solo tracks (particularly on the latter part of the album) full of profound observations.
Chris Stapleton, Higher
Chris Stapleton has been nominated for Entertainer of the Year at the CMA Awards in seven of the last eight years, a statistic that underscores his consistency in country music over the past decade – and beyond Higher While he adds some new tricks to his repertoire, Stapleton’s latest is also sensible enough to highlight the powerful voice and informed storytelling that have been his calling card for years. The strongest moments oscillate between over-the-top energy, like the rollicking lead single “White Horse,” and gently conveyed wisdom, like the gentle, beautiful “Trust.”
Rick Ross & Meek Mill, To be too good to be true
The last song on Rick Ross and Meek Mill’s joint album To be too good to be true is a remix of their single “Shaq & Kobe”, in which Shaquille O’Neal and Damian Lillard rap against each other; Elsewhere, on “Go To Hell,” the pair perform a daring sample of Tears For Fears’ “Shout.” The two songs are a testament to Ross and Meek’s smart attitude on this deeply enjoyable Maybach Music Group production: After more than a decade of crafting anthems separately and together, the two stars still have a sense of urgency to leave but more risks and generally have more fun while crafting.
Editor’s Pick: Jonas Brothers feat. Bailey Zimmerman, “Strong Enough”
“It’s been a hell of a week, but we did it,” sings Bailey Zimmerman in the opening of “Strong Enough,” the rising country star’s new collaboration with the Jonas Brothers. This cocky statement then leads to one of the JoBros’ most compelling genre crossovers to date, with a hook reminiscent of “Waffle House,” the standout track from this year’s album The albumNick, Joe and Kevin conjure up convincing country-pop, with Zimmerman being something of a sonic guide. “Strong Enough” should be your next TGIF anthem and could point to a fruitful detour for the Jonas Brothers’ future output.