There are the various crimes committed against artistic originality on the much-heralded album from the much-hyped New Jersey singer Charlie Puth (pronounced Pooth), yet let's focus on one.
It might be his 33rd album, but Elton John's latest offered plenty: another record with producer T Bone Burnett, with whom he has worked since the strong 2010 Leon Russell collaboration, The Union; a hook-up with old guitarist mate Davey Johnstone; and, of course, that mix of delicate and muscular keyboard playing.
The Brit band that arrived in the early '90s yet managed to avoid a Britpop classification despite possessing more than enough credentials, juggles narcissism and neurotic parental concerns in a 12-song release that is oh-so-close to "concept album'' territory.
From the opening Middle Eastern chant, you kind of hope Megadeth's new album won't be marred by Dave Mustaine's world-view.
The fact Londoner Archy Marshall is a fan of hardcore ’90s New York hip-hop might not be immediately obvious in A New Place To Drown, yet within the darkness of his lyrical approach and his meticulous attention to detail, both of which build to an almost oppressive sonic fog, he does offer an intriguing bridge across genres.
In the decade since emo-cabaret extravaganza A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, Panic! At the Disco has pinballed between '60s pop and moody electronica, although its latest sees the most marked change.
The sophomore album from Auckland-based Sunken Seas is a bristling, brooding nine-track offering that continues the heavy momentum of 2013 EP Cataclysm, as well as the more spacious approach of 2012 debut Null Hour (nominated for the 2013 Taite Prize).
The second album by French-British four-piece Savages, the title and, indeed, content of Adore Life seem both celebration and ironic challenge.
American singer-songwriter Elle King ties together classic country, dirty blues and vintage rock 'n' roll with her powerful rasp-ridden vocals and huge fast-talking Midwest personality in Love Stuff.
In equal measures simple, silly and seductive, the debut album by Madrid-based quartet Hinds seems infused by both the fierce heat and urban cool of the Spanish capital.
With the 'Mac hangover still hanging thick in the southern air, it's time for the lush reissue of 1979 epic Tusk.
If 2012's Visions made her the darling of the digital underground, then Claire Boucher's fourth LP is her popstar coming-out party.
Mixing home studio grit, attention to detail and a touch of electronic sheen, this Auckland trio's debut full-length effort is fuelled by former Pumpkinhead drummer Jason Peters' love for old-school funk and soul.
They may be 16 years into a career that has taken them to festival slots around the globe, yet Wellington outfit Fat Freddy's Drop show no hint of flabby complacency.
Heartache, despair, regret, the hope of reconciliation ... yes, it's the new album by British songstress Adele.
Finger-clicks, clarinet, trumpet and plenty of sax and sass equals an album that aims for the heart via its swing-infused grooves and the head via its understated jazz complexity.
Clearly tired of tantrums, monkey business and speed-freakery, Purpose sees the sixth-greatest living Canadian emerge from a turbulent (and prolonged) adolescence refreshed and focused.