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Billy Joel’s Long-Awaited Return to Pop, and 8 More New Songs

In his first new rock song in nearly two decades, Billy Joel sings about striving to rekindle a romance that has faded to indifference or worse. He blames himself; he longs for forgiveness; he wonders if there’s a second chance; he vows not to give up on “trying to find the magic that we lost somehow.” It’s a stately piano ballad, an heir to “Piano Man,” with Joel’s forthright, unmistakable voice and an orchestral buildup to match the narrator’s rising heartache. JON PARELES

“It was a big love, she said,” Tracyanne Campbell sings on Camera Obscura’s new single. “That’s why it took 10 years to get her out of your head.” It’s been 11 years, actually, since the beloved Scottish indie-pop band released its last album, “Desire Lines,” but Camera Obscura is back in fine form here, combining foot-stomping percussion, electric guitar embroidery, and the clarion tone of Campbell’s voice into a lightly country-tinged sound. A new album, “Look to the East, Look to the West,” will follow on May 3. LINDSAY ZOLADZ

Paramore’s reverent but spirited take on “Burning Down the House” is the first single released from the upcoming covers album “Everyone’s Getting Involved: A Tribute to Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense,” which will also feature Lorde, the National, Miley Cyrus and more. Instrumentally, Paramore’s rendition sticks close to the original — which admittedly doesn’t leave much room for improvement — but Hayley Williams makes the song her own with an impressive vocal performance that finds her yelping and growling with a ragged intensity. ZOLADZ

“I wasn’t with anyone, I swear to God,” Enrique Iglesias sings in Spanish, immediately raising suspicions. In “Fría” (“A Cold One”) the denials and excuses keep coming from Iglesias, singing, and Yotuel, rapping, over three chords and a perfectly infectious beat set up by lean percussion and rhythm guitar. “I only went out for a cold one,” Iglesias insists. “Your friends lied to you.” It’s so upbeat, they might get away with it. PARELES

On May 10, the incisive, New York-based R&B singer-songwriter Yaya Bey will release “Ten Fold,” the follow-up to her excellent 2022 full-length, “Remember Your North Star.” The first single, “Chasing the Bus,” is a lush, slow-pulsed ballad that twinkles with alluring sonic details and finds Bey chastising a lover who’s taken her for granted: “You gonna feel it in your body,” she sings, with attitude to spare, “when I leave you behind to go an party.” ZOLADZ

Usher embraces South African amapiano, with a tinge of Nigerian Afrobeats, in “Ruin,” a glimpse of the album he’ll release just before his Super Bowl performances this month. Produced by Pheelz, a Nigerian songwriter who adds a rap verse, “Ruin” deploys the shakers, deep log drums, soothing keyboard chords and open spaces of amapiano as Usher mixes accusation, plaint and humblebrag. “You broke me and took your time with it/you gave me all these memories that I regret,” he croons. “All I can do is congratulate/’cause you ruined me for everybody.” For the moment, he’s too scarred to move on, he claims. But he also makes clear it’s not for lack of options. “A different girl be on my line/Constantly be calling, every day I still decline,” he sings, suave as ever. PARELES

Holly Macve and Lana Del Rey share a musical comfort zone in “Suburban House,” from Macve’s new EP, “Time Is Forever.” In a slow piano waltz with strings — a modern parlor song — they sing about how “love comes and goes,” and how that can be a loss or a chance to move ahead. PARELES

“Saviour” breezily toys with styles and expectations. At first it seems to summon Elliott Smith melancholy, with acoustic strumming and lyrics like “Is there anyone else here?” But it soon perks up with not-so-exotic percussion and panpipe sounds, and a production that goes skipping through upbeat yacht-rock, hints of Stereolab, synthesizer swoops, a skeletal indie-pop interlude and bits of vocal manipulation. Put-on or not, it’s full of hooks. PARELES

The Turkish-German singer Alev Lenz and the electronic producer Jas Shaw (from Simian Mobile Disco) have collaborated on an album, “Bring Your Friends,” that’s due Feb. 23. “A World Beyond” is an otherworldly waltz that urges “The future’s here/Dream with me.” Lenz’s voice is multiplied and scattered in overlapping harmonies while the track throbs and blips; the collaborators seem to be working on independent time frames, intersecting just often enough. PARELES

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