Album Reviews

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, […]

DNA is the first Backstreet Boys album to hit Number One in nearly 20 years, quite a moment for a group that’s spent the lion’s share of those two decades wandering the pop wilderness. Of course, if the BSB who sold somewhere in the neighborhood of eleventy skadillion records between 1997 and 2001 were to […]

When the Specials’ Jerry Dammers’ launched the 2 Tone label in Britain in 1979, his group was more than just a ska revival band with good taste in covers — they were a multi-racial spearhead of a post-punk movement combatting skinhead racism (fueled by far-right groups like the National Front) and the craven business-first classism […]

What is it about dashed expectations that breed singer-songwriters? As the Sixties dream cratered, a golden era peaked in Laurel Canyon — think Joni, Jackson, Sweet Baby James — with a tendency towards wistful solipsism. Now, a new one is blooming as the American experiment contemplates its doom. Father John Misty’s cosmic snark, Mitski’s aching […]

Has there ever been an artist who needed to release an album less than Bad Bunny? For three years now, this Puerto Rican star, born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, has been gushing hit singles like a broken fire hydrant. His voice, low and droning, is inimitable and absurdly adaptable, equally at home in stadium-ready trap […]

When the story of a desultorily opportunist era in mainstream rap is finally written, 6ix9ine will undoubtedly land a starring role. But give the Brooklyn hip-hop troll credit: he’s critic-proof. Even as he languishes in a New York detention center on federal charges due to his alleged association with the Nine Trey Gangsters, his second […]

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