On the Record

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 ...

Mark Ronson's Uptown Special

Super-producer can't keep up with that lead single

Rocketed to the top of the charts by the Bruno Mars–piloted hit “Uptown Funk” — with its Princely synths, Towering horns, and sly James Brown-isms (“gotta kiss myself so pretty”) — Mark Ronson’s latest is ...

A Fool to Care, by Boz Scaggs

I first saw Boz Scaggs in 1966 at the Matrix in San Francisco. He was playing in a jazz-rock combo with some cat named Steve Miller. Fast-forward 50 years and they are both award-winning senior-citizen ...

Death Cab for Cutie's latest turns up the synth

With its upbeat melodies buoying angst-filled verses, Kintsugi provides a familiar view.

“How could something so fair be so cruel?” Ben Gibbard asks on the lead single of Death Cab for Cutie's first studio release in nearly four years. With that question, “Black Sun” sets the tone ...

Neil Diamond's Melody Road

"Nobody dies. Nobody takes drugs. No sobs in the darkness."

“Would that make it a better song?” Lou Reed asked a caller into an NYC radio show. Caller wanted to know if the dead girl in “Street Hassle” was real. Lester Bangs didn’t print the ...

Evermotion, by Guster

Boston band drops out of college rock

Continuing to chip away at their college rock roots, Guster's Evermotion further obscures the band's acoustic guitar and bongo-backed beginnings. The opener, “Long Night,” provides an overture of sorts, lulling the listener in with dreamy ...

Noel Gallagher's Chasing Yesterday — to kick its arse

Elder statesman of British rock Noel Gallagher has ignored the speculation of an Oasis reunion to concentrate on making new music rather than backtracking. However, “Riverman,” the opening scene of the cinematographic Chasing Yesterday, is ...

Hozier by Hozier

With a chorus reminiscent of classic Elton John and viral video amassing more than 100 million YouTube views, “Take Me to Church” quickly placed Irish singer-songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne (aka Hozier) on America’s musical pulpit. While ...

Arcade Fired Will Butler has a new Policy

Butler brother's solo debut a whimsical mix of musical styles

On his solo debut, Arcade Fire’s Will Butler attempts to scramble out from the behemoth shadow of his indie-rock super group. But the dreamy rock feeling that flows so freely from his previous band does ...

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