Brian Raftery

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Prince: The Oral History of ‘Purple Rain’

This article was originally published in the July 2009 issue of SPIN, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Purple Rain. In the wake of Prince’s death,…
Brian Raftery / April 22, 2016

Eleanor Friedberger, ‘Last Summer’ (Merge)

The solo debut from the ?Fiery Furnaces' singer is a beguiling and byzantine New York-centric travelogue: "Owl's Head Park" uses an airy sax to portray…
Brian Raftery / July 12, 2011

Army Navy, ‘The Last Place’ (eMusic Selects)

The second album from this jangle-drunk Los Angeles quartet is pure pop for now people: Underneath Last Place's aerial guitar riffs and chipper choruses lies…
Brian Raftery / July 12, 2011

Review: Ty Segall, ‘Goodbye Bread’

After several albums of caustic, cryptic scuzz-punk, San Francisco's Ty Segall finally cleans up his act -- or, at the very least, dustbusts it around…
Brian Raftery / June 28, 2011

Fucked Up, ‘David Comes to Life’

Toronto's Fucked Up possess quite a few barriers to entry. There's the fitting yet unfit-for-print name, for starters. Then there are the band's chaotic live…
Brian Raftery / June 7, 2011

Breaking Out: The Henry Clay People

In the last year, the members of the Henry Clay People have played Lollapalooza, toured the West Coast with Drive-by Truckers, and signed to the…
Brian Raftery / July 14, 2010

The Besnard Lakes, ‘The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night’ (Jagjaguwar)

This Montreal orchestral rock combo's previous efforts were lush and woozy, like a half-remembered dream, but Roaring Night is the stuff of nightmares. The guitars…
Brian Raftery / March 8, 2010

The Wildhearts, ‘Chutzpah!’ (Backstage Alliance)

Over eight studio albums, the Wildhearts have flaunted smash-and-grab riffs and airborne choruses with such certitude that it's easy to take the U.K. outfit for…
Brian Raftery / September 15, 2009

Franz Ferdinand, ‘Tonight: Franz Ferdinand’ (Domino/Epic)

How did Scottish people ever have sex before the existence of Franz Ferdinand? No offense to the Highlands' cozy twee-pop lineage, but until this Glasgow…
Brian Raftery / December 22, 2008

Album of the Year: TV on the Radio

"Do the butt dance. Do the butt dance!"
Brian Raftery / December 15, 2008

Fucked Up: Crazy/Beautiful

Damian Abraham is a formidable­looking dude -- he describes himself, accurately, as "a 300­pound balding lead singer, covered in hair in all the wrong places"
Brian Raftery / November 20, 2008

Tom Gabel, ‘Heart Burns’ (Sire)

On this mostly acoustic seven-song EP, the politically minded Against Me! frontman finds himself torn between we-can-do-this optimism (the nearly new-wave "Random Hearts") and shit's-going-down…
Brian Raftery / October 27, 2008

Led Astray

Ifyou were to examine my video-rental records from the summer of 1991 --and you can now do so, thanks to the Patriot Act -- you'd…
Brian Raftery / December 13, 2007

Led Astray

Brian Raftery / November 15, 2007

Microphone Fiends

The karaoke gods are not smiling on Carl Newman.
Brian Raftery / August 23, 2007

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