Album Reviews

In her Seventies, gospel-R&B legend Mavis Staples has emerged as perhaps the hardest working singer of her generation, releasing more albums of original material over the past decade (five, and counting) than even her famously prolific contemporary Willie Nelson. Beginning with the rebirth of 2010’s You Are Not Alone, Staples has cycled through a series […]

On their third LP, this trio of brothers build on the commercial success of 2017’s The Click, with bubbly tracks steeped in light orchestration, crisp hooks and even a little social commentary. Earlier this year, their single “Burn the House Down” became a semi-official anthem against gun violence by the March For Our Lives. They […]

“Be eternal.” That’s the advice Lizzo got from one of her firsthigh-profile fans, Prince. And she lives up to the Purple One’s wordson her legend-making Cuz I Love You, the breakthrough album where shefinally claims her baby-I’m-a-star crown as a mega-pop queen. MelissaJefferson can do it all: she sings, she raps, she plays the flute, […]

Warmer is the Amnesiac-like companion album to Tweedy’s 2018 solo LP Warm, recorded during the same Chicago session and released in a limited run of 5000 vinyl copies for Record Store Day. If you liked Warm, you’ll like Warmer. It’s Tweedy at his most self-findingly laid back, low-key and ruminative, leavening intimate recreational folk-rock with […]

During the mid Eighties, the relationship between Keith Richards and Mick Jagger hit a historic low, as Jagger tested solo waters. “Mick started to become unbearable.” Richards wrote in his 2010 memoir Life. You could hear the rift: 1983’s Undercover and 1986’s Dirty Work often sounded like lackluster attempts at keeping up with the times. […]

Karen O and Danger Mouse have described their first-ever collaborative album Lux Prima as a “shared destination,” and by the sounds of it, space is their place. The nine-song LP is a lush journey down the milky way of their rock ’n’ roll sensibilities, meaning a bit of the signature rough-around-the-edges heaviness in Karen O’s voice converging […]

Perhaps the best, and certainly the most weirdly-grooving of the four tracks Vampire Weekend have trickled out in advance of their forthcoming Father Of The Bride LP, “Sunflower” opens up with a swirl of tag-teaming guitar and bass runs, which are soon mirrored by wordless vocals. Internet guitarist-vocalist Steve Lacy helps out, as Ezra Koenig […]

Solange carries her history like a talisman. It’s there to remind her — and us — how to remain grounded while moving forward. With When I Get Home, she pays tribute to her roots in Houston by presenting a therapeutic and transfixing scrapbook that seamlessly brings together the past and the future of her home. With […]

Gary Clark Jr. has spent the better part of a decade figuring out how to translate his guitar wizardry into compelling album-length statements. His first two offerings — 2012’s Blak and Blu and 2015’s The Story of Sonny Boy Slim — were steeped in a sleek, modern blues-rock production style that mostly failed to capture the thrilling dynamics […]

Avril Lavigne’s first record since the beginning of Barack Obama’s second term (in other words, seemingly centuries ago) finds everyone’s favorite arrested-development case emerging from a physically and emotionally debilitating time. She divorced husband number two, Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, and was diagnosed with Lyme disease so severe that she was bed-ridden for a period. Alas, […]


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