On the Record

Rocket From the Tombs reduces "Sonic Reducer" — again

Black Record covers covers

“You’re not my friend/ and that is fine,” croak-warbles David Thomas for starters. Circa 35 years ago, longtime Thomas-watcher Greil Marcus summed up the then-new music of Thomas’s Pere Ubu band, as someone who’d been ...

Yeasayer's latest like abstract art

Amen & Goodbye's an "experimental pop" success

Pink Floyd, is that you? “Daughters of Cain” eases you in to Yeasayer’s latest, with influences from Dark Side of the Moon. The echoing vocal harmonies and atmospheric gentleness morph into the jangling gypsy spirit ...

The Lost Poets do depression right

Insubordian Pt. 11's thick murk is where grunge might have gone

The Lost Poets are a faux-anonymous duo from Sweden consisting of David Rosengren (vocals, guitar) and Petter Ossian Strömberg (drums), and their specialty is striving to make the shriekiest, most downcast, most turgid and grinding ...

Steven Wilson's back with 4 1/2

The "king of prog" drops a B-sides record that bests most proper releases

With over 30 years of relativity, Steven Wilson has become a household name in Progressive Rock world. Quality over quantity is irrelevant when it comes to this UK native because he offers both. Most known ...

Eighties synth Matters

St. Lucia overwhelms on their latest outing

There’s no doubt St. Lucia draws some of their inspiration from ’80s synthpop music we all hate to love, but the genre has worked for a lot of artists. The mastermind behind St. Lucia, Jean-Philip ...

The Jeff Buckley mystique

Long-gone singer resurfaces with You and I

On the night of May 29, 1997, in Memphis, Tennessee, Jeff Buckley was set to begin work on an album of new material. While waiting for his band to arrive from New York, Buckley decided ...

Devil's charms

Coastgaard's Devil on the Balcony surfs the retro wave

Though Brooklyn-based indie rockers Coastgaard build their music on a foundation of surf rock, their approach is some distance from that of surf revivalists like Los Straitjackets. There's an upbeat, playful aesthetic at work on ...

Def Leppard does Def Leppard

...clichés tossed like salad, mixed like milkshakes

“He lost his arm in an arm accident,” as the noted futurist Mike Hamrick noted about Def Leppard’s drummer Rick Allen — but that’s left Allen stronger. Given pedals to cover his missing left appendage, ...

Rihanna's Anti is anti hit singles

Pop singer seems to have outgrown radio play

Listening to Rihanna’s new album, Anti, it’s obvious there’s no mega-smash hit — there’s no eletcro-pop gem like “Diamonds," no “Umbrella”-like anthem. Anti is not a particularly happy or uplifting album either. Rihanna’s emotions shift ...

Loving or hating #KanyeWest is a political act

West's Life of Pablo drops, finally

Just like the soul food on your dinner plate, loving or hating #KanyeWest is a political act. This is the man whose website features solely the-artist-formerly-known-as #MosDef rambling about the “World Passport” on his website ...

If you adore Savages, you might adore this

...otherwise, Adore Life pales in comparison to 2013's Silence Yourself

The sophomore album from London quartet Savages is a dark, powerful, estrogen-infused punk-rock experience. Opener “The Answer” sets the tone — “If you don’t love me, don’t love anybody.” As Jehnny Beth’s ghostly vocals trample ...

HITnRUN or HITSnMISSES

Our funky hero Prince stumbles on his latest

As a Prince devotee, I hold the diminutive artist up to colossal standards. While never losing respect for his creativity or willingness to take risks and push boundaries with each new album, I also recognize ...

Emotional Mugger makes for an unsettling, riveting experience

Ty Segall's latest takes you for a ride on the Big Dipper at Belmont Park

Emotional Mugger paints a picture of menacing clowns thrashing about in semi-trucks, a possible musical score to the demolition-derby video game Twisted Metal. Ty Segall inhabits a new persona on each record, and his latest ...

Are you a Belieber?

Pop star Justin Bieber makes his apology record with Purpose

He’s the bad boy you love to hate. Well, when Chris Brown isn’t around, anyway. And most of the time Justin Bieber easily earns that reputation. With Purpose, his fourth album, he wants to change ...

Bowie's Blackstar closes the curtain

An entrancing final act for the constant chameleon

Ever so strange and always unique is David Bowie. After 26 genre-jumping albums spanning over nearly 50 years, the constant chameleon released his 27th and final album, Blackstar, which landed on his birthday, January 10, ...

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