Album Reviews

Album review: Karen O, “Crush Songs”

The default way to knock most modern art is to say, “I could have done that.” The standard defense is, “But you didn’t.” Unspoken in that retort is the bit about how most people aren’t talented, respected artists who get to do it.

Album review: Rustie, “Green Language”

When you think of Scotland, you probably think of the old and the natural—fog, bogs and castles. Steeped in the sounds of U.K. electronic tradition, new hip-hop and video games, Glasgow producer Rustie, AKA Russell Whyte, has been working to change that.

Album review: Spoon, “They Want My Soul”

Austin, TX has produced a long list of great rock outfits over the last 20 years. Preeminent among them sits Spoon. Led by frontman Britt Daniel’s born-to-rock rasp and deceptively complex riffs, Spoon has been essential listening for blossoming indie nerds and rock veterans alike, forging an easy coalition between the two factions, if only for a show’s length.

Album review: Trampled by Turtles, “Wild Animals”

Though its carrying capacity has seen a bump in the last decade or so, popular music can only support so many banjo bands. Duluth, Minnesota’s Trampled By Turtles began making a case for one more in earnest in 2010 with their crossover album, “Palomino,” a worthy introduction to the band’s two lone modes: speed picking and plaintive alt-folk.

Album review: Poli High, “Poli High”

Poli High is the newest side-project from established Denver indie-pop songwriter Mike Marchant. The EP and project itself might come as a surprise to fans, who have been patiently awaiting another album from Widowers, Marchant's main musical squeeze as of late.

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.