Weezer, Everything Will be Alright in the End
In some ways, time has been pretty unkind to Rivers Cuomo & Co. The band’s recent releases haven’t been total trainwrecks, but between collaborations with rappers like Chamillionaire and album titles like Hurley (after the “Lost” castaway) and Raditude, the group has burned through whatever brainy cachet they once had. This record, branded as a return to form, isn’t another Blue Album or Pinkerton—but it does take cues from those works, reinserting blown-out guitars, knotty song structures and the occasional ripping lead guitar into band’s latter day, good-time approach. (Out now.)
Essential track: “Lonely Girl”


Christopher Owens

Christopher Owens, A New Testament
Since the 2009 debut of his indie-rock duo, Girls, Christopher Owens’s back story—a childhood in a cult-like religious community and subsequent struggles with drug use—has had a tendency to overwhelm his output. With this second solo album, Owens approaches those subjects head on, and as a result sounds more in control of his talents than ever, demonstrating his skill as an astute bandleader, delicate singer and raw-nerve romantic. (Out now.)
Essential track: “Never Wanna See That Look Again”


Prince, PLECTRUMELECTRUM / Art Official Age
The Purple One started making rumblings in 2013 with a series of mysterious online pronouncements and a killer, guitar smashing TV appearance on Jimmy Fallon. This month he emerged from his Minneapolis studio with two albums: one with his three-piece band, 3RDEYEGIRL, and another artier, more sprawling LP with members of the New Power Generation. The results are uneven and lyrically disappointing, but the moments where Princes approaches P-Funk grooviness, indulges in “Maggot Brain”–level shredding and unleashes his wilder impulses are pure, ecstatic fun. (Out now.)
Essential track: “Clouds”


Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus, You’re Dead!
Producer/multi-instumentalist Steven Ellison, who goes by Flying Lotus, traverses an intergalactic path on his fifth studio album, “You’re Dead!” Channeling the far reaches of funk, hip-hop and acid jazz, FlyLo picks up where travelers like jazz outlier Sun Ra departed, connecting the dots between free-flowing rhythms and lava-like basslines. The guest list attests to his world-making ambitions, with contributions from jazz legend Herbie Hancock, bass virtuoso Thundercat, former Dirty Projector Angel Deradoorian, and rappers Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg. (Out Oct 7.)
Essential track: “Coronus, the Terminator”



Thurston Moore

Thurston Moore, The Best Day
The Sonic Youth frontman gets reacquainted with his former drummer, expert stickman Steve Shelley, for the first time since the group’s disbanding in 2011. That’s a very good thing, as Shelley’s nuanced backbone adds a shimmering texture to the proceedings. On top, Moore stretches out on gothy acoustic explorations, noodle-laden krautrock jams and hypnotic tunes that can only really be described as Sonic Youthy. (Out Oct 12.)
Essential track: “The Best Day”