Album Reviews

RELEASE DATE: May 20, 2016 | DURATION: 51:05

Chris Martin‘s divorce — er, “conscious uncoupling” — with Gwyneth Paltrow appears to have made Coldplay more productive. Ever since the band’s international stardom truly lifted off with 2002‘s A Rush of Blood to the Head, Coldplay has been reliably consistent in delivering a new record precisely every three years along with an accompanying worldwide tour...

For years in the music industry, artists either were stars or were just making a living in search of stardom. (Or failing entirely.) Tuesdays, in the music industry of old, were home to big releases by major artists — even if you had no interest in buying a new release every week, you at least were aware of what was hitting the stores. Things couldn’t be more different now: for one, Tu...

The chances of me eventually becoming a country music expert are certainly slim to none, but I am enjoying becoming acquainted with some of the best of what the genre’s contemporary artists have to offer. For some reason, I have always found male country singers less than pleasing to the ear, so it’s not a coincidence all of the country albums I have reviewed since I started writing re...

I haven’t reviewed any live albums since I began reviewing albums in 2013, so I figured Adrenalin Baby: Johnny Marr Live is as good a place as any to start. And it’s not because this is an album on everyone’s radar — Johnny Marr isn’t much of a known quantity outside of Smiths fans and the Rockcrit establishment — but because the vast majority of the tracks on A...

I’m afraid Avicii‘s game has slipped a bit. His first album, 2013‘s True, was a refreshing take on EDM, revealing Avicii as a pop craftsman in his own right. In other words, the album consisted of actual songs, and not the endless, high-sugar DJ performances found at EDM shows all over the country right now. It signaled Avicii was serious, or perhaps more accurately at least want...

While it wouldn’t quite be accurate to say Disclosure hit the big time in 2013 with their debut album Settle, the record did go platinum in the electronic duo’s native UK and they do seem to be a popular live act. In early 2016, it was revealed they would play on Saturday, April 16 & 23 during the Coachella festival in Indio, and they are the third artist listed on the bill, undern...

Kurt Vile is truly one of my favorite discoveries of the past few years. I first uncovered the lo-fi rocker when I mined 2013 year-end lists and found his pretty great Wakin On a Pretty Daze — which cracked the top 5 of my own year-end list. Two and a half years later, Vile is back with an album that’s more refined, featuring music that’s been distilled into something more digest...

When I first heard that Don Henley was taking another stab at a solo album with Cass County, his first in 15 years and his first country album overall, my feelings were mixed. I had given Henley’s last effort, 2000‘s Inside Job, a listen maybe 10 years ago after checking out the CD from the library and could not find a single song to like on it, so my expectations weren’t exactly...

When I first heard of Ryan Adams‘ preposterous song-for-song cover album of Taylor Swift’s 2014 bestseller 1989, I thought it was some kind of joke. Adams is famously prolific, having recorded many entire albums that have never seen the light of day, but the decision to cover 1989 in full was a move that made no sense on any level (other than to ride the coattails of the album’s ...

Despite the fact that Chris Cornell is my favorite male vocalist of all time — the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan is my favorite female vocalist, in case you’re wondering — I have never paid any attention to his entirely unremarkable solo career. Although his first post-Soundgarden album, 1999‘s Euphoria Morning, is supposed to be pretty good, his post-Audioslav...

Honestly, I wasn’t even that familiar with The Weeknd until his performance at the 2016 Grammys, which was pretty good — even without Lauryn Hill. He wasn’t as natural at performing as, say, Bruno Mars, but Bruno Mars isn’t exactly performing great songs. What struck me more about The Weeknd’s performance — other than his atrocious haircut, which really does def...

I was aware of the smash success of Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe,” which conquered the international pop music world back in 2012, but I paid no attention to it (or her debut album Kiss). To be frank, I try to ignore whatever is playing on Top 40 radio, since that has become an almost entirely closed system where it’s increasingly difficult for good music to find its w...

Bob Dylan‘s influence on popular music is said to be incalculable — in fact, much of what I just wrote comprises the first line of his AllMusic biography. I would argue the same is true of Dr. Dre and hip-hop, though, interestingly, his influence is entirely opposite of Dylan’s from a certain perspective. Whereas Dylan gave shape to what a song could be — and what it could ...

28 years after the release of Public Enemy‘s 1987 debut album Yo! Bum Rush the Show on Def Jam, the seminal rap group releases Man Plan God Laughs via their own label, Enemy Records. Despite the band’s reputation — virtually everyone is familiar with them, or has at least heard of them — they never had a #1 album (or a #2 or #3 album either), and not one of their albums has...

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