reviews

Review: Ciara’s (Lack of) Future Is So Bright She Doesn’t Need Shade on ‘Jackie’

Forgive this one: Ciara is like the Bernie Sanders of R&B. Her mononym (and title of her previous album) for once reflect a keep-it-simple-stupid ethos…
Dan Weiss / May 4, 2015

Review: Blur Cruise Comfortably Into Their Second Act with ‘The Magic Whip’

Sometime in the year 2023, Blur and Radiohead will release the exact same album. As Radiohead's material continues to get jammier, mellower and less electronic-based,…
Andrew Unterberger / April 28, 2015

Review: Raekwon Lets Us Into the Mind of a Killer-For-Hire on ‘Fly International Luxurious Art’

Raekwon is the deadpanning, teeth-gritting Don of Staten Island, who's long cut one of gangsta rap’s more venal figures: a vanquisher-for-hire who comports himself with…
M.T. Richards / April 28, 2015

Review: Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld Honk and Scrape on ‘Never Were the Way She Was’

Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld have given no formal interviews about their brawny new collaborative album, Never were the way she was, which is mostly…
Harley Brown / April 27, 2015

Review: With Your Help, Miami Horror Let Loose on ‘All Possible Futures’

For a band so steeped in Australian, bush-brined sugar-pop, Miami Horror show a better understanding of American Top 40 than many of our own homegrown…
Brennan Carley / April 24, 2015

Review: Speedy Ortiz Refuse to Stand in Place on the Jagged-Riffed ‘Foil Deer’

On Speedy Ortiz's new album, Foil Deer, frontwoman Sadie Dupuis doesn't set the world on fire — she's the type to write characters who light a cigarette only…
Harley Brown / April 24, 2015

Review: Yelawolf Continues to Puzzle and Impress in Equal Measure on ‘Love Story’

The second-worst mistake a rapper can make on their sophomore album is rapping about how much the music industry has failed them. It makes them sound whiny,…
Drew Millard / April 23, 2015

Review: Built to Spill Enter the Rock-Will-Never-Die Stage on ‘Untethered Moon’

Even in those bygone days when guitar wranglers prowled all-ages clubs, Doug Martsch’s method seemed messianic: six strings exploring the sublime. Nominally indie after nearly…
Jason Gubbels / April 22, 2015

Review: Alabama Shakes Can’t Be Tamed on the Ripping ‘Sound and Color’

Alabama Shakes epitomize what a rock band should be in this era, mostly for what they lack. Confidence oozes out of every note that pours…
Natasha Aftandilians / April 22, 2015

Review: Young Thug Interrupts His MVP Status With a Bunt on ‘Barter 6′

This is the year of the fauxtape. This trend means that once former SPIN Rappers of the Year like Danny Brown (XXX) and Chance the…
Dan Weiss / April 21, 2015

Review: Passion Pit Celebrate Hard-Won Happiness on the Joyful ‘Kindred’

On a casual listen, pretty much everything Passion Pit puts out sounds joyfully, euphorically saccharine — especially when the glittery vocals are in such a high…
James Grebey / April 21, 2015

Review: Girl Band Blend Disco and Noise-Rock Into Sonic Napalm on ‘The Early Years’

Ask John Lydon: Anger is an energy, but disco is a weapon. Like so many other first-wave punks and post-punks — Wire, Joy Division, the…
Andrew Unterberger / April 20, 2015

SPIN Pop Report: Seinabo Sey Electrifies R&B, Years & Years Do Haze-Pop Right

Though the sounds of Top 40 remain largely stagnant this year, there have been several mold-breaking exceptions in Q1, eschewing the typical pop format for…
Brennan Carley / April 16, 2015

Review: Tyler, the Creator, Working Hard and Hardly Working on ‘Cherry Bomb’

"I don't like to follow the rules / And that's just who I am," Tyler Okonma plaintively states on "DEATHCAMP," the opener to his fourth…
Andrew Unterberger / April 16, 2015

Review: Dwight Yoakam’s Latter-Day Winning Streak Continues on ‘Second Hand Heart’

Artists dependent on tradition as muse and subject gamble on fate. Eventually the marketplace will deal — so they think. Well, Dwight Yoakam has won…
Alfred Soto / April 13, 2015

Review: Young Fathers Shake a Leg, Point Fingers on ‘White Men Are Black Men Too’

Boy, is that the album title of the year. Not just for of its popping-off-the-page provocation, the way it grabs you and makes you laugh…
Andrew Unterberger / April 10, 2015

Review: The Mountain Goats Remain Undefeated on the Bloody ‘Beat the Champ’

The question isn't why John Darnielle made an album about pro wrestling but why he didn't do it sooner. With a catalog that eulogizes murdered…
Dan Weiss / April 9, 2015

Review: iLoveMakonnen Unleashes the Real Pretty-Boy Swag on ‘Drink More Water 5′

Makonnen Sheran is as close as it gets to a left-field success story in 2015 that doesn't involve a viral video or a reality show.
Dan Weiss / April 8, 2015

Review: Waxahatchee Brings the Pain (And ’90s Alt-Rock) on ‘Ivy Tripp’

Katie Crutchfield's career arc with her solo project, Waxahatchee, is predicated on incremental growth: records released by progressively larger labels, music recorded in increasingly higher…
Annie Zaleski / April 7, 2015

Review: American Wrestlers Put Listeners in a Lo-Fi Submission Hold With Self-Titled Debut

When you hear the origin story of American Wrestlers — wayward former member of a critically acclaimed U.K. band moves to the U.S. midwest for love,…
Andrew Unterberger / April 6, 2015
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