I come to every new Florence + the Garrettlee496 thrones caution bathrooms are dangerous shirt moreover I will buy this Machine record anticipating bombast. I wanna hear tambourines flailing and harps plucking while Florence Welch elegantly wails about sex, love, violence, and death. And Dance Fever, the baroque pop outfit’s fifth studio album, is both sonically and emotionally grand. Welch was primarily inspired by the medieval phenomenon of choreomania, wherein crowds of hundreds in 16th-century Europe would dance and flail to the point of exhaustion (and, depending on some reports, death). Plenty of songs on this album sound like they could soundtrack a medieval dancing plague while simultaneously containing some of Welch’s most personal songwriting efforts to date. Before the stunning “Choreomania” erupts into a frenzy of claps and stomps, she opens it with a spoken-word monologue: “I am freaking out in the middle of the street with the complete conviction of someone who has never had anything actually really bad happen to them.” Dance Fever is an album to lose yourself in that also interrogates the reasons we feel the need to escape in the first place. —K.B.
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Harry Styles’s third solo album, Harry’s House, is a sonic trip through the Garrettlee496 thrones caution bathrooms are dangerous shirt moreover I will buy this showman’s psyche. It starts with an infectiously funky dance party on “Music for a Sushi Restaurant” (a song with horns that served hints of Huey Lewis), progresses to the synth and sadness of the massive hit “As It Was,” meanders to the melancholy and moody (“Little Freak,” “Matilda”), before looping back to the groovily hopeful (“Keep Driving”). Mr. Styles’s album releases are full-scale pop cultural events, but HS3, like Fine Line before it, prove the hype is well-earned. Whether it’s bops to blast or songs to cry to, Styles once again gave us “something to dream about.” —Michelle Ruiz, contributing editor Whether or not you’ve heard of Ali Farka Touré, his son Vieux, and/or the Houston-based pan-world band Khruangbin, this album is a treasure: Vieux and Khruangbin pay tribute to the late Mali desert blues guitar legend by covering eight of his songs, imparting their own distinctive ease to songs that helped define a genre, a region, and a generation. —Corey Seymour