New Music Mondays UPDATED

"New Music Mondays" is a column that highlights recently dropped from prominent artists.

This week’s New Music Monday features heavily-anticipated albums from Missy Elliott, Jeezy and Taylor Swift. Although the albums aren’t boasting of anything too particularly special, they are strong releases by their respective artists and definitely worth a listen. 

“Iconology” by Missy Elliott

“Iconology” is the first project from Missy Elliott in 14 years. Elliott made the announcement of her new album following the news of her being the long-overdue recipient of the Video Vanguard Award at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Although Elliott didn’t mention there was a connection between her new album and her MTV honor, it’s likely the rapper will perform some of her new songs during her MTV performance. Although “Iconology” is only five songs, it serves its purpose in reminding listeners of Elliott’s iconic status. It has the avant-garde visuals, witty bars, stellar production and a hint of the R&B flavor that’s inherent in Elliott’s trailblazing style.

“TM104: The Legend of the Snowman” by Jeezy 

While it’s hard to believe “TM104: The Legend of the Snowman” could potentially be Jeezy’s final record, the album certainly sounds like one. In an interview on Sway in the Morning, Jeezy mentioned the album was the last installment for his “Thug Motivation” series, along with it being his last album for Def Jam, a label he’s been with since 2004.

With its mixture of mellow beats and songs on which Jeezy expresses his greatest life lessons, the 18-track album sounds like the finale to Jeezy’s decorated career. He adopts the role as rap’s elder statesman as he reflects on the trials he’s experienced during his nearly 15-year career. Highlights from the album include “MLK BLVD”, which features Meek Mill; “All Night,” which features Gunna; and “The Real MVP,” which features John Legend. 

“Lover” by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s highly-anticipated seventh album is here. Although “Lover’s” lead single “Me!” wasn’t a promising release and was the textbook definition of a corny pop song, the album boasts other singles that make “Lover” a good album. Swift shares her pain about public controversies and failed relationships throughout the album in a transparent way that makes it sound like a Taylor Swift memoir.

There isn’t anything special about the album, but it does add itself to the list of good Taylor Swift albums. Although Swift makes it easy not to like her as an individual, her music often provides a well-needed refrain from her polarizing brand — and “Lover” is proof of that.