Jack Harlow Goes Deep on Race and Rap, and 8 More New Songs

On his third major label album, “Jackman,” Jack Harlow leans away from the lithe boasts that shaped “Come Home the Kids Miss You,” his 2022 breakthrough LP. Instead, he pivots to issues — specifically, on the opening track “Common Ground,” the issue of whiteness. It’s a fleet, acute look at the ways white participants in hip-hop cloak themselves, to be present but not quite seen (or maybe vice versa): “Reciting rap lyrics about murder and cash profit/Get to feel like a thug but don’t have to act on it.” White rappers rapping about the condition of whiteness in hip-hop isn’t new, and Harlow has addressed these themes on earlier releases; he raps about these topics with self-awareness and skepticism (though not quite self-indictment). But as he is beginning to become a bigger mainstream rap star, he’s not shrugging off the conversation as if it doesn’t apply to him anymore. JON CARAMANICA

Miguel returns to one of his favorite modes — the flirt — in “Give It to Me,” which is blunt: “I like what you got,” he repeats. He has plenty of blandishments, among them “I’ll be your doctor, let me operate.” But he surrounds them with a production, credited to Scoop DeVille, that keeps melting down and reshaping itself around him: with synthesizers and handclaps, with hard-rock guitars, with echoey backup voices. It’s as if he wants to try every possible seduction strategy, all at once. JON PARELES

The guitarist Bill Orcutt has recorded in all sorts of configurations, from raucous punk to acoustic ruminations to tautly composed minimalistic electric ensembles. His new album, “Jump on It,” returns to solo acoustic guitar, a format in which he can be pristinely meditative or wildly eruptive at any moment. “The Life of Jesus” promises stability at first, steadily tolling a major chord. But midway through, breakneck dissonant lines burst out; when consonance returns, it seems far more fragile. PARELES

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