Album Reviews

Album review: Arctic Monkeys, “AM”

On Arctic Monkeys’ last four albums, they’ve wandered through personas and sounds in a way that recalls the identity crisis they battled with in the title of their debut “Whatever People Say I am, That’s what I’m not.” With “AM” the band has filled in some of those gaps of character.

Album review: Delorean, “Apar”

Basque club-rockers Delorean have made a name for themselves as dealers of a good times sound. You could fire up a random track from either of their best-known works, the 2009 EP "Aryton Senna" or 2010's "Subiza" on your headphones in any Podunk locale and be whisked far away, suddenly sipping kalimotxos at some Ibizan beach party.

Album review: Volcano Choir, “Repave”

"Wake up," intones Justin Vernon at the start of "Repave." Not in a yell—he's no Jim Morrison—but that gentle falsetto-whisper of his. It's comforting: the sound of indie rock's boyfriend come to tell you he's home again, and just the way he was.

Album review: Earl Sweatshirt, “Doris”

Earl Sweatshirt doesn't make his entrance on "Doris" until more than half way through the first song. His opening verse comes after a little pop in the music about two minuets into "Pre." It's low-key, but memorable and long overdue, much like the buildup and release of "Doris," his first studio album.

Album review: Superchunk, “I Hate Music”

Superchunk, "I Hate Music" (Merge) Indie rock stalwart Superchunk is not known for its stylistic right turns. While the Chapel Hill, N.C., quartet has grown in its signature mix of crunchy guitars, punk melodies and propulsive drumming over its 24 years and 10 studio albums, each new outing finds singer-guitarist Mac McCaughan and company settling deeper into that sound as opposed to tinkering with it.

Album Review: AlunaGeorge, “Body Music”

The Brit electro-pop duo AlunaGeorge has released some incredibly catchy tracks in the months leading up to its debut album. "You Know You Like It," "Attracting Flies" and "Your Drums, Your Love" all had the free and easy feel of good club pop accented by a twinge of '90s R&B. It's a slick combo.

Album Review: AraabMuzik, “The Remixes, Vol. 1″

If Araab Muzik's "The Remixes, Vol. 1" is his first remix volume, what does that make his debut, "Electronic Dreams"? Fun as that album was, each of its tracks was, at its heart, a bit of an obscure dance song laid over with MPC-controlled beats from AraabMuzik's unfathomably quick hands.

Album review: Mark Mulcahy, “Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You”

Mark Mulcahy "Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You" (Fire Records) Evoking the soul of Americana, folk, alt-country, indie rock, and other currently ubiquitously genres seems to be the Holy Grail of many freshly-minted bands, as if making a definitive musical statement somehow also involves sampling the full spectrum and pretending it adds up to something more than a cheap buffet.

Album review: Camera Obscura, “Desire Lines”

Camera Obscura’s joy is always filtered through a smudged, foggy lens. It’s not that the Glaswegian indie-pop band is ashamed of the infectious melodies and girl-group harmonies that define its songs, or that they’re afraid to slather their compositions with rich string flourishes or upbeat percussion.

Album review: Jimmy Eat World, “Damage”

While listening to “I Will Steal You Back,” the lead single on Jimmy Eat World’s latest full-length “Damage” (out June 11), you might think you’ve been transported back to that late-’90s/early-’00s playground that was home to the band’s “Clarity” and “Bleed American.” The new single’s classic pop hook and heart-on-sleeve lyrics are reminiscent of the band’s most popular work, an in-the-pocket subgenre that was once (ridiculously) nicknamed emo.

Album review: Sigur Rós, “Kveikur”

Back in January Sigur Rós announced its new album, “Kveikur,” due out on June 18 and called it “more aggressive.” Maybe they were just talking about the album’s first track, “Brenninsteinn.” It starts out with a hulking, crunching bass line and ominous synths, until Sigur Rós’ singer Jónsi comes comes in all light, beautiful and like some sort of mythical creature.