This month in music: 'Cry Pretty,' Prince and Avril Lavigne |

This month in music: ‘Cry Pretty,’ Prince and Avril Lavigne

"Piano & a Microphone 1983" is the first posthumously released Prince album.

Not a month goes by without noteworthy music being released. Here’s the best of September:




“Raise Vibration” – Lenny Kravitz (released: 9/7)

Lenny Kravitz returned for the first time in four years for his 11th studio album. Kravitz lets contemporary social issues influence his music in the vein of Edwin Starr, Don McLean and Marvin Gaye. We also get “Ride” and “Low,” two of Kravitz’s best songs yet.


“Cry Pretty” – Carrie Underwood (released: 9/14)

Country crooner and “American Idol” champion Carrie Underwood.

Her first album since her terrible tumble, Underwood returns without a stumble. Chock full of her usual brassy, empowered country jams, but it also has more vulnerable songs. The title track and “Drinking Alone,” for example, gives glimpses of just who Underwood really is, and “Love Wins” takes a political turn that she usually avoids entirely.


“Piano & a Microphone 1983” – Prince (released: 9/14)

On the first album with material from Prince’s notorious “vault,” Prince—with only a piano and a microphone surprisingly—takes on acoustic versions of some of his own hits, songs that have yet to be released, and even a Joni Mitchell classic, reminding us of just how multitalented and eclectic he truly was.




“I Love it” – Kanye West and Lil Pump feat. Adele Givins (released: 9/6)

Kanye West and Lil Pump in the music video for “I Love it.”

Whether you follow Kanye or not, you’ve at least seen the outrageous costumes used in this video that spurred parodies for weeks. West and Lil Pump donned massively oversized clothing seemingly stretched over an equally oversized and square-shaped frame for this short hip-hop number.


“Head Above Water” – Avril Lavigne (released: 9/19)

Avril is the subject of some controversy since fans started speculating that she died and was replaced with a lookalike, and their biggest piece of evidence: her music changed. While the rumor is preposterous, Lavigne’s newest song strays from her classics quite a bit, offering a grunge-less ballad about overcoming struggles. Even stronger: it charted on Christian and gospel charts.

Lady Gaga will perform “Shallow” with Bradley Cooper in “A Star is Born.”

“Shallow” – A Star is Born (Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper) (released: 9/27)

The upcoming remake of the Hollywood classic “A Star is Born” is a bigger deal than you may realize—all of the movie’s music was written and performed live on set by stars Lady Gaga and should-have-been-a-rock-star Bradley Cooper. “Shallow” gives listeners an idea of what to expect from the film’s massive soundtrack, due in early October.

Support Local Journalism