On the Record

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Miguel's provocative Wildheart might make you blush

The Grammy-winning R&B artist takes the stage at the Observatory on Tuesday, September 1

Warning: listening to Miguel’s Wildheart in mixed company might make you blush. On his third album, the R&B raconteur advances from 2012’s sultry, Grammy-winning “Adorn” to “the valley,” a triple-X homage to SoCal’s porn capital. ...

Dr. Dre is still in the game

Is Compton the comeback record of the year?

You may wonder, What does a 50-year-old millionaire have to write and rap about? On his first album in 16 years, Compton, Dr. Dre realizes youth is behind him and doesn’t try to portray himself ...

Bingo Ringo, by Half Japanese

Jad Fair's back with more of the lo-fi irreverence he's famous for

When noise-punk band Half Japanese formed in a Maryland bedroom in 1975, Kurt Cobain was just a kid. But by Nirvana’s In Utero tour in 1993, Cobain had sought Half Japanese as openers. Since its ...

Kate Pierson's Guitars and Microphones

B-52s singer's new solo record revolves around positive activism

“Mister Sister,” hymn to a cross-dressing or possibly transgendered “you” who escapes to “everyone’s party wish list,” makes even more sense in the wake of the Surpreme Court decision in June, which applied specifically to ...

Another One by Mac DeMarco

Indie hit's mini-LP burbles with drowning keys

Short and sweet is Mac Demarco’s Another One. Recorded in his New York apartment, you feel at home with melodic songwriting and romantic forget-me-nots. The eight-song “mini-LP” owns the typical joyful quirkiness of its predecessors, ...

Pageant Material by Kacey Musgraves

Country singer follows up her Grammy winning debut with wit and wisdom

Despite her sweet melodies, Kacey Musgraves wrote about one bleak way of life on her 2013 record Same Trailer, Different Park. The record brought her Grammy awards and with them the pressure to be the ...

Tame Impala's new Currents

Australian psych-rockers squeeze fresh juice from synths

Back with John Lennon-esque vocals and dreamy, psychedelic overtones, Tame Impala returns with their third LP, Currents. The Australian natives have a knack for creating music that is both retro and remarkably modern and relevant. ...

Wild Nights by Pins

British female band Pins pines for love lost by rocking a second solid studio effort

The British band Pins works the smooth and jagged angles that intersect dream-pop, shoegaze, and garage punk to create a stylized sophomore record. Wild Nights thematically glorifies universal moments of lust and danger; later, when ...

Ladies and gentlemen, Leon Bridges

Debut Coming Home is a triumph of Soul

Soul to soothe the soul. That’s what Coming Home, the debut album of 25-year-old Leon Bridges, is and does. When you listen to this album you can appreciate the sound of actual instruments being keenly ...

Drones, by Muse

Heady, heavy trio try their hands at concept rock

This is the album Muse was built to make. Bombastic, hard-hitting, and pretentious (in a good way), Drones takes the trio’s brand of paranoid space rock and brings it to an all-new level of science-fiction ...

The Ting Tings' Super Critical

Not too critical...it is disco

Disco! Disco! Disco! Okay, provisional disco. With Andy (of all people) Taylor of Duran Duran at the board and onboard with song scribbling, the world’s two most creatively obnoxious long-in-the-tooth juvenile miscreants spend a half-hour ...

A Space Modyssey

Paul Weller's latest finds the Modfather on a rock-and-roll rocket ride

Most artists 38 years into their career have long slipped into something more comfortable — classic album tours. Not Paul Weller, since 2008’s 22 Dreams he’s shown he doesn’t know what laurels are, never mind ...

Born Under Saturn by Django Django

British indie-pop four-piece does Beach Boys under black light

Django Django’s Born Under Saturn revels in the beauty of tranquil harmonies as it envelops new art-pop territory for the British quartet. The collection lands mostly in the realm of synthy dance music, but the ...

Bryan Ferry's Avonmore

Just for fun, try singing this set’s “Send in the Clowns” along with Paul Simon’s “Late in the Evening,” or versa vice. Pretty much the same song, yeah? Gets me each time around. Ferry, of ...

The Desired Effect, by Brandon Flowers

The Killers frontman's new solo set looks for love in '80s dance pop

The second solo record by the Killers frontman Brandon Flowers is a revival of the sounds and sentiments behind the 1980s dance-pop genre. Inspired by the music of his adolescence, Flowers’s The Desired Effect bounces ...

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