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.
4/20 Special: Does smoking weed make music better?
Like coffee at a meeting or a beer at your niece’s softball game, weed makes music more enjoyable. Or so the thinking often goes -- it’s subjective and hard to study, though there’s plenty of empirical evidence for it.
Album review: Mac DeMarco, “Salad Days”
Every high school has a Mac DeMarco. He's that kid that's late to class, but never willfully disrespectful. Goofy and well-liked, but clique-less. Like Spicoli at Ridgemont High, but a fathom deeper.
Album review: Future Islands, “Singles”
I'll be the first to admit that I slept on Future Islands. It wasn't just the vocals. Future Island's beating heart Sam Herring has the most embellished timbre this side of a high school opera, but the campy '80s synths were no less damning.
Album review: The War On Drugs, “Lost In The Dream”
The name "The War On Drugs" can evoke the band in two images depending on your emphasis. First, as political musicians, probably critical of how our government allocates its resources.
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: Phantogram, “Voices”
Phantogram's Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter have a specific vision for their music. What it is in particular hard to say, but virtually everything the duo has released exudes a sleek darkness with an ear for the floor.
Album review: Sun Kil Moon, “Benji”
Humans love to be moved -- even if it's to tears. Why else would we watch films starring Daniel Day Lewis, listen to sad songs, or watch children listen to sad songs on Youtube?
Album review: Broken Bells, “After The Disco”
Broken Bells came together in 2009, during a point of seeking in both members' careers. The Shins' frontman James Mercer was finding the indie rock band too "heavy" and craved another creative outlet.
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.
Most anticipated rock, punk and metal albums of 2014: Tool, Foo Fighters and more
There are a lot of dumb New Years resolutions being forgotten already, but if one of yours is to thrash as hard as humanly possible in 2014, you might be in luck.
The 10 best under-the-radar albums of 2013: Lucius, Blood Orange and more
Was 2013 a bad year for music? It all depends who you ask. People who hate indie music mark zeroes for the fact that Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend came back down on them in the span of several months.
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: Childish Gambino, “Because The Internet”
"Who am I?" Childish Gambino starts his sophomore album, "Because The Internet," with that whopper of a question. For him, it's an especially valid one.
Album review: Death Grips, “Government Plates”
In an interview with Pitchfork last year, Death Grips drummer Zach Hill stated their major concern with their music. "We don't want to make anything that supports indifference, Hill said.
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.
Album review: Katy Perry, “Prism”
It's been three years since "Teenage Dream" hit the shelves and solidified Katy Perry as the reigning international superstar that starred in a lucrative film about herself.
Album review: The Avett Brothers, “Magpie and the Dandelion”
Hate him or love him, Rick Rubin may never leave the Avett Brothers. Rubin took hold after the band's strongest outing, the gritty "Emotionalism," and traded their raw energy for a perfectly mixed shimmer that had fans pawing for pitchforks.