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December Music Preview: 6 albums you need to hear

Judith Lynch

Every month, we look ahead at the albums coming out from across the country that we think you should hear. This month, there are new albums from Elaquent, Neil Young, the Band, Drake and more. Read on for more about each upcoming release.

Who: Elaquent
Worst Case Scenario
Dec. 2

Why you should listen: Elaquent’s low profile, yet prolific output, is deserving of a much wider audience, and the release of Worst Case Scenario may draw more ears to his increasingly layered and inimitable beats. Infused with a contemplative aura, Elaquent combines electronic, hip-hop and jazzy sensibilities for concoctions that push boundaries, but always retain their foundation in knee-deep grooves. — Del Cowie (@vibesandstuff)


Who: deadmau5
Dec. 2

Why you should listen: EDM’s foremost bête noire plays nice on his first new album in two years. As with previous outings, the practically named W:/2016ALBUM/ finds the Campbellville, Ont., native delving into accessible progressive house, a genre that has become inevitably even more popular (see: Justice) since the mau5 first staked claim on it. This time, he’s pulled back on the harsher techno elements, fiddling with groovy trip-hop instead — making W:/2016ALBUM/ his most accessible album to date. — Jon Dekel (@jondekel)

Who: Neil Young
Album: Peace Trail
When: Dec. 9

Why you should listen: Neil Young's 37th studio album, Peace TrailI, comes just six months after the release of his live album, Earth, this past summer. Recorded at Rick Rubin's Shangri-la Studios in Malibu, Peace Trail is a largely acoustic affair, with Young handling the vocals and guitar. Jim Keltner and Paul Bushnell are on drums and bass, respectively. — Judith Lynch (@CBCJudith)


Who: The Band
Album: The Last Waltz: 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
When: Dec. 9

Why you should listen: Considered by some to be the greatest rock concert film ever made, Rhino Records is releasing a 40th anniversary collector's edition of The Last Waltz. Limited to just 2,500 copies, this ultimate bundle includes the complete concert audio on four CDs, a Blu-ray version of the film along with a second Blu-ray disc that will contain a photo gallery, 5.1 audio mix of the original album and a rarely seen interview with Martin Scorsese and Robbie Robertson. There's also a 300-page book with Scorsese's shooting script, three storyboards and rare photos. If there's a Last Waltz fan in your life, this could be the ultimate Christmas gift. — JL

Who: Drake
Album: More Life
When: Dec. 16

Why you should listen: It might be the final days of 2016, but there’s more life yet to the ridiculously record-breaking year for Aubrey "Drake" Graham, who wants everyone to know he’s not finished. More Life, his aptly titled new project, hot off the heels of his undeniably successful Views album, is a controversially curated playlist that features original music from the 6ix gawd himself and the artists on his OVO record label. The infectiously catchy and victim-tinged “Fake Love,” one of the first songs he shared during his birthday episode of OVO Sound Radio, has already climbed into the top 10, in just its second week on the Hot 100. And it’s easy to see why! With any luck, More Life — a Jamaican phrase meaning to wish someone well — will live up to the project title’s expectations. — Alison Copeland (@AlisonCopy)

Who: Rush
Album: 2112 - 40th
When: Dec. 16

Why you should listen: It hasn't been that long since the last time 2112 was reissued. It was remixed in 5.1 surround in 2012, presumably to celebrate the fact that we were still 100 years away from the totalitarian dystopia described in the title track. But 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of an album that brought Rush back from the brink of collapse and made the band a legend. That can't go unheeded. This three-disc set kicks off with the full album, newly remastered (again). But the real selling point here is the unreleased music from Rush's 1976 performances at Massey Hall, which were the source of the band's first live record, All the World's a Stage. Plus, there are a few covers thrown in by artists brave or foolhardy enough to cover iconic music by one of the most notoriously virtuosic bands in rock history. — Matthew Parsons (@MJRParsons)

More to explore:

November Music Preview

October Music Preview

September Music Preview