Album Reviews

Album review: Dr. Dog, “B-Room”

Fan or not, no one is confusing Philadelphia's indie-folk outfit Dr. Dog as an adventurous band. They saddled into their sound early on with their "Takers and Leavers" EP, a 5-song collection of dusty little indie pop gems that'd serve as the sonic template for their breakout LP, "We All Belong"—and each album after.

Album review: MGMT, “MGMT”

MGMT's post-"Oracular Spectacular" career has in many ways been like watching a melodrama unfold. First there was the Spin article that featured frontman Andrew VanWyngaarden getting 86'd from a homeless shelter; then the alleged piss bottle hurled at them during their set at Glastonbury.

Album review: The Weeknd, “Kiss Land”

In 2011, the Weeknd was born in a name drop. Drake tweeted a lyric from "Wicked Games" and voila, he had arrived. Two weeks later, he'd drop his debut "House of Balloons," an intoxicating nine-track narco haze of a mixtape, to widespread acclaim.

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.