It’s a week for deeper listeners, with albums from a number of newcomers or below-the-radar-regulars hitting shelves. We chose a few of the more notable records to spin though, and here’s what we thought.

T.I. – “Paperwork”
I may never get over the fact that T.I. recruited Rihanna to do a hip-hop version of the “Numa Numa” song and people didn’t seem to think twice about it before eating it up, but I’ve always been impressed by the Atlanta rapper’s ability to stay afloat in the radio-rap game, album after album. It could be his perfectly marketable balance (that “convincing Snoop to apologize” debacle conveniently occurred one week prior to this album release, didn’t it?) or the fact that he doesn’t toy much with the stuntin’ “About the Money” formula, but he always finds a way to stay on regular rotation with at least one good single per record. On “Paperwork,” T.I. welcomes contributions from heavy hitters like Pharrell and Usher, while showcasing deserving relative rookies like Young Thug. He’s not gaining himself any indie credibility with it, but he makes even a minimal effort to toy with flows and keep his hip-hop credibility strong. At the very least, it’s a reminder that, while heavy hitters like Jay-Z and Kanye are getting a bit too big for their britches, T.I. can keep in mind what made him famous and not stray too far from that.

Sounds like: The mid-’00s in hip-hop form

-Perry Eaton

Jessie Ware – “Tough Love”
For her second studio album, Jessie Ware is reaching for the mainstream with a potential crossover hit. “Tough Love” is a 40-minute rumination on love and loss, dealing with messy feelings in a way that is never truly melodramatic. The musical styles at play (from R&B and disco to UK dance and mainstream pop) shift from track to track and, in turn, so does the quality. When she appears to be actively attempting to create a mainstream pop song (as on the Ed Sheeran-assisted “Say You Love Me”), the results can feel somewhat generic. The standout moments are when she sticks to her more (relatively) “experimental” guns, particularly on the title track, which finds her in perfectly restrained form. While “Tough Love” hits a few speed bumps along the way, Ware’s astounding voice keeps the entire album anchored, conveying big-screen emotions with both power and control.

Sounds like: a scorched, UK-inflected mix of Whitney Houston, Prince, and others.

-Tyler Cumella

Nude Beach – “77”
The sophomore effort from Long Island garage rock revivalists Nude Beach is indeed sophomoric – delightfully so. Though there’s always the worry that the Other Music trio is just making dad rock for a rising generation of dads, Nude Beach lets that criticism get drowned out by their steely riffs and snare fills. The cascading harmonies on “Yesterday” give nods to Big Star and maybe The Who with a ringing that’s pissed off parents of teens since the album’s titular decade, while “I Can’t Keep the Tears from Falling” has that big-truckin’ American classic rock pulse so many have failed trying to emulate. Sure, the mutton chops could use a trim on the whole thing, but “77” is a lean homage that practically drinks the Budweiser for you. Mark Kozelek probably wouldn’t approve, but hey who gives a shit what that guy says.

Sounds like: Jakob Dylan’s teenage basement band, your cousin’s blown-out Behringer 125 watt he let you borrow and forgot to take back, Tom Petty with sand between his toes

-Jerard Fagerberg

Thurston Moore – “The Best Day”
Despite his typically quiet demeanor off the mic, the microscope on Thurston Moore’s personal life in recent years has overshadowed his post-Sonic Youth work, which included, among other projects, a terrific 2013 album from a Western Mass side project that he fronted called Chelsea Light Moving. Returning to the studio to record a new solo album, a watchful eye continues to be on No Wave hero, but instead of being a stranger, he hides less behind the noise than ever before. “The Best Day” is a product of songwriter Thurston Moore, not distorted punk Thurston Moore. While his lyrics don’t necessarily scream redemption, nor will they ever, he writes with clearheadedness, using swirling, ominous grooves as vehicles for his every line. Sometimes this translates to eight-and-a-half minute lead tunes, and other times, it is twisted nicely into a skewed bit of intellectual pop, such as with the title track.

Sounds like: A heavy head outweighing a heavy heart, Sonic Youth opting for tea over PBR

-Perry Eaton