Album Reviews

Future evolves further on lean-drenched “Evol”

Here’s the thing about Future: you either see the growth in his rhymes, albums, beat selection and concepts, or you don’t. On “Purple Reign” we heard his continued struggles with the love and allure of dirty money and fast women over beats from frequent collaborators Metro Boomin, Zaytoven and others.

DIIV’s “Is the Is Are” tries to resurrect the guitar

[caption id="attachment_113155" align="alignnone" width="384"] DIIV, "Is the Is Are"[/caption] Not long before he put the finishing touches on a new DIIV record, Zachary Cole Smith told Pitchfork, “We’re trying to extend the life of guitar music.” That’s a hell of a goal for an band, including a controversial and critically beloved shoegaze band like DIIV.

Trip-hop pioneer Tricky finds power in numbers on “Skilled Mechanics”

Collaboration is in Tricky’s blood. The trip-hop pioneer from Bristol, England, got his start with Massive Attack before launching his solo career in 1995 with his groundbreaking and critically acclaimed debut album, “Maxinquaye.” He became known for creating complex electronic soundscapes while contrasting his own scratchy raps with the sultry vocals of Martina Topley-Bird.

Hinds plug sunny garage rock on “Leave Me Alone”

[caption id="attachment_112027" align="alignnone" width="300"] Hinds, "Leave Me Alone"[/caption] It’s somewhat improbable that Hinds, the Madrid garage-pop band formerly known as Deers, is still here. The foursome began as a duo with a single, and quickly went from playing house parties to a Black Lips tour and a main stage at Glastonbury.

Warpaint bassist jennylee shows solo promise with “Right On!”

[caption id="attachment_111137" align="alignnone" width="384"] jennylee, "Right On!"[/caption] Jenny Lee Lindberg's bass work has always done more than act as a backbone for Warpaint. In her first solo record as jennylee, she shows her strength not just as a bassist, but a songwriter, too, laying down thick and sturdy lines as a guide through the deep, dark pool of a record.

Lil Wayne is loose and limber on “No Ceilings 2”

Lil Wayne’s “No Ceilings” mixtape series is proof that when it comes to rap calisthenics, he’s got more stamina than Richard Simmons. Related: Watch Lil Wayne play as himself on Tony Hawks Pro Skater 5 “No Ceilings 2” isn’t even close to his finest work but it’s where we see Weezy get loose, live out some of favorite gangster fantasy and rap over his favorite production of the year.

Dweezil Zappa channels Frank on new album

[caption id="attachment_110727" align="aligncenter" width="512"] This cover image released by Fantom Records shows "Via Zammata," by Dweezil Zappa. (Fantom Records via AP)[/caption] By: The Associated Press Dweezil Zappa's new album is top-heavy with the influence of father Frank and bottom-loaded with harmony-drenched pop songs.