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Meshell Ndegeocello’s Magnificent Mix, and 9 More New Songs

The songs on Meshell Ndegeocello’s magnificent new album, “The Omnichord Real Book,” are always in flux. In its seven-and-half minutes, “ASR” hints at fusion jazz, Funkadelic, Ethiopian pop, reggae and psychedelia; the guitarist Jeff Parker, from Tortoise, teases the music forward. As the song accelerates, Ndegeocello sings about pain, heartbreak, healing and perseverance, and she vows, “We’re here to set the clock to here and now.” JON PARELES

Peggy Gou is a South Korean-born, Berlin-based D.J. and producer with a penchant for dreamy house beats and a velvety touch. Her latest single “(It Goes Like) Nanana” plays out a bit like her own personal reworking of ATC’s ubiquitous 2000 hit “All Around the World,” but with a kinetic energy that’s distinctly her own. “I can’t explain,” Gou sings over a thumping beat and light piano riff, before deciding she can best express the feeling she wants to describe in nonsense words: “I guess it goes like na na na na na na.” LINDSAY ZOLADZ

Doja Cat returns with a vengeance on the menacing “Attention,” a statement record that puts her pop sensibility aside (at least for now) and leans into her ample skills as an M.C. “Look at me, look at me — you lookin’?” she begins, and for the next few minutes commands the floor with charismatic grit. “Baby, if you like it, just reach out and pet it,” she sings on a hook that recalls ’90s R&B, albeit filtered through Doja’s alien sensibility. The verses, though, are pure venom: “Y’all fall into beef, but that’s another conversation,” she spits with that signature fire in her throat. “I’m sorry, but we all find it really entertaining.” ZOLADZ

Ambition and achievement, electronics and exaltation all figure in “Scientists & Engineers” from “Michael,” Killer Mike’s first solo album since he formed Run the Jewels with El-P. “Scientists & Engineers” has five producers including James Blake and No I.D. The track pulsates with keyboard chords under the elusive André 3000 (from Outkast), who insists, “Rebelling is like an itch.” The music switches to silky guitar chords for Future, who sings, “It’s better to be an outcast in a world of envious.” And a beat kicks in with trap drums and blipping synthesizers behind Killer Mike, who boasts in quick triplets: “I’m never chillin’, I gotta make millions.” A multitracked Eryn Allen Kane wafts choirlike harmonies — and gospel-tinged sentiments like “I’mma live forever” — while the rappers redefine themselves. PARELES

None other than Fiona Apple decided to collaborate with Flesh Eater, a Nashville avant-pop group, on the mercurial seven-minute excursion “Komfortzone.” Over a low, sputtering programmed beat and outbursts of noise and electronics, Flesh Eater’s lead singer, Zwil AR, sings hopscotching melodies reminiscent of Dirty Projectors. Apple sprinkles in some piano and eventually adds vocal harmonies on refrains like “A field of sunflowers with their backs toward me/I’m on the train.” It’s as willful as it is arty. PARELES

Mark Linkous was making his fifth album as Sparklehorse when he died by suicide in 2010. Now his family and a handful of collaborators have completed it, due for a September release as “Bird Machine.” A preview single, “Evening Star Supercharger,” tops unhurried folk-rock with the tinkle of a toy piano, as Linkous cryptically but matter-of-factly considers mortality and depression: “Peace without pill, gun or needle or prayer appear/Never found sometimes near but too fleet to be clear.” In the sky, he calmly watches a star going nova: “Even though she’s dying, getting larger.” PARELES

The Nigerian singer Omah Lay has split his songs between partying and self-doubt; he has also been featured by Justin Bieber. “Reason,” from the newly expanded version of his 2022 album, “Boy Alone,” has minor chords and grim scenarios: “I don’t know who to run to right now/Army is opening heavy fire.” The beat is buoyant, but the tone is fraught. PARELES

A low-riding shuffle beat isn’t the Cuban-born pianist, composer and folklorist David Virelles’s most common environment. But “Carta,” Virelles’s new LP, puts him and his longtime first-call bassist, Ben Street, together with Eric McPherson, an innovator and tradition-bearer in today’s jazz drumming. This is the closest Virelles has come to making a standard-format jazz trio album, though it’s still not exactly that. On the opener, “Uncommon Sense,” McPherson’s shuffle kicks in after 25 seconds of solo piano, and Virelles has already led things down a tense path, changing keys capriciously while building up a foundation for the Cubist phrase at the center of the tune. McPherson’s elegantly splattered drum style, using traditional grip to roll his rhythms out as close to the ground as possible, gives solid support to Virelles while he toys with contemporary-side influences: the bodily elocution of Don Pullen’s piano playing, the harmonic splintering and superimpositions of Craig Taborn, the rhythmic restraint of a Gonzalo Rubalcaba. You wouldn’t need to be told this album was recorded at Van Gelder Studio to realize it’s speaking with jazz history — the antique, the modern and what’s barely come into shape. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

“Manifold,” a new album from the rising bandleader Ben van Gelder, celebrates the voice. The voice of his saxophone, the voice of the pipe organ, the human voice, the collective voice of an eight-piece band. Each has its own grain. The organ has its own prominent side-narrative in jazz history, but the Amsterdam-based van Gelder is culling from a different stream, closer to contemporary classical composers like Arvo Pärt and György Ligeti, using dissonance and space. The Veracruz-born vocalist Fuensanta sings no words on “Spectrum,” the album’s rangy centerpiece track; she joins the horns, sounding almost like another reed instrument. Beneath them, Kit Downes toggles between minimalism and high-rising waves on the pipe organ. RUSSONELLO

The composer Elliott Sharp has been devising systems of pitch and structure since the 1970s. His latest album, “Steppe,” is inspired by geography. It’s music for six overdubbed vintage electric steel guitars, microtonally tuned and arrayed in stereo, exploring texture and resonance. “Rosette” is built from quick, cascading, staggered, overlapping little runs. It’s bell-toned and spiky, crumbling and reassembling. PARELES

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