Album Reviews

Album review: Lykke Li, “I Never Learn”

For all intents and purposes, Swedish-born chanteuse Lykke Li broke from obscurity with her last album, 2011’s “Wounded Rhymes.” That album had four or so major pop head-turners, the kind that spawn gobs of remixes (from the more and less likely) and are rightfully snapped up for product placement.

Album review: Wye Oak, “Shriek”

Wye Oak only has so many hands. Four, to be exact. Though their sound betrays it, the Maryland-based band are only two people. Jenn Wasner has traditionally handled the vocals and guitar duties while Andy Stack kept the beat on the drums.

Album review: Pharrell, “G I R L”

Even if the masses didn't know him until last year, Pharrell has been a tacit force in popular music for over a decade. As half of the production duo the Neptunes, he produced records for virtually every big name in hip-hop and R&B from the late nineties to today.

Album review: Beck, “Morning Phase”

Over the course of his 21-year career, Beck has slipped into the garb of several different genres—some all his own making. "Midnite Vultures" marked his foray into funk; "Odelay" established the sample-based pop amalgams he'd then become known for.

Album review: Ryanhood, “Start Somewhere”

Today's plaintive acoustic singer-songwriter is faced with a difficult task: How do you make songs about love and longing fresh? Every minor chord and clever progression has been plundered since the days of the lutist and sonnet, every conceptual angle approached and re-recorded.

Album review: Warpaint, “Warpaint”

If we've learned anything about Warpaint in the last ten years, it's that they take their time. Since forming in 2004, Warpaint  has only released one EP and one LP, 2010's "The Fool," an enigmatic debut that merited countless melancholic music fans to set Google alerts for the band.

Album review: R. Kelly, “Black Panties”

R. Kelly could never release another album for the rest of his days and his legacy would be secure. Not only does he have a plethora of certified hits—most essentially "Ignition Remix," "Bump And Grind," "I'm A Flirt" and "I Believe I Can Fly"—but his obscurer works have made him a favorite for irony aficionados.

Album review: Lady Gaga, “ARTPOP”

No one expected "ARTPOP" to be anything more than another Lady Gaga album, did they? The artist had made claims that her new album would try and pull off a reverse Warhol: using a mass-produced medium—pop music—to distribute art, instead of art as a means to examine the mass-produced.

Album review: M.I.A., “Matangi”

It's been six long years since M.I.A.'s massive hit "Paper Planes" reared its head on the rapper's sophomore LP, "Kala." The second-to-last song on the album and third single, it was as unassuming of smash hit could be.