5 Albums to Stream for Free This Week: Beyoncé, Patrick Wolf

If it’s Monday, it must be time for our roundup of what you can listen to for free on the web this week. The biggest streaming release of the moment is 4, Beyoncé’s new album, which has been leaking like a battered sieve over the last couple of weeks but is now available for legal listening online. Or, at least, some of it is. There’s also new music from a couple of artists who are hugely underrated in our book — namely Patrick Wolf and John Maus — plus Digitalism, Gomez, and a bit of bonus action. It’s all there for your listening pleasure after the jump.

Beyoncé — 4

The new album by globe-bestriding commercial force of nature Beyoncé Knowles is out next week, and is streaming progressively via AOL Music — a new track is being released every day, and appropriately enough, there are four to be had at the moment: a Chad Hugo-penned power ballad (“I Care”), a cod philosophy-drenched breakup anthem (“Best Thing I Never Had”), another power ballad (the Supremes-aping “Rather Die Young,” which was written by Luke Steele, remarkably), and “Love On Top,” which is thankfully not a power ballad but still contains plentiful vocal gymnastics etc. etc. The album was apparently inspired by Fela Kuti, sounds absolutely nothing like Fela Kuti, and will no doubt sell gazillions of copies. Listen here.

John Maus — We Must Become Pitiless Censors of Ourselves

An album that will not sell gazillions of copies but is substantially more exciting — from our point of view, at least — is the new one by Ariel Pink affiliate and philosophy PhD candidate John Maus. Maus makes reverb-laden lo-fi synth goodness — his last couple of albums have been amongst our favorites of recent years, and We Must Become Pitiless Censors of Ourselves maintains the standard. Excellent. Listen here.

Patrick Wolf — Lupercalia

If grand theatrical gestures and flamboyance are more to your taste, you’ll be delighted to know that the new Patrick Wolf album Lupercalia is still streaming via the Guardian. As writer Tim Jonze points out, “Wolf should be a globe-straddling pop star — fact is, he has a knack of writing huge, soaring pop tunes.” Very true. Listen here.

Digitalism — I Love You, Dude

Digitalism’s new amusingly titled album I Love You, Dude is streaming via Some Kind of Awesome. The album is suitably squelch-laden four-to-the-floor action and would probably make for excellent driving music. Among other things, it features a collaboration with Julian Casablancas, whose guest appearances seem to be far better than his own work these days. Click here to check it out.

Gomez — Whatever’s On Your Mind

And finally, old favorites Gomez are still around, and still making pleasantly gravelly neo-blues stuff without a skerrick of regard for musical fashion or trend. Whatever’s On Your Mind is their seventh album, sounds pretty much exactly like their first, and it’s streaming via Spinner.

Bonus link: If our retrospective of Weird Al Yankovic‘s polkas has got you in the mood for a bit of Weird Al action, then click here to stream his new album at Spinner.

Bonus bonus link: And, yes, if you care about American Idol, you’d no doubt be delighted to know that David Cook‘s album is streaming here.