reviews

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

Review: Death Cab for Cutie Navigate Chilly Waters on ‘Kintsugi’

"There is beauty in a failure," Ben Gibbard sings pensively on "Black Sun," the lead single from Death Cab for Cutie's eighth studio album, Kintsugi. The frontman has…
Rachel Brodsky / April 3, 2015

SPIN Noise Report: Eye Scuzz-Rocks Out With Samples, Timeghost Clicks and Whirrs

Anyone bemoaning a dearth of worthwhile albums in noise isn't looking or listening hard enough. Thanks to established imprints, SoundCloud streams, Bandcamp accounts, and more,…
Raymond Cummings / April 3, 2015

Review: Death Grips Reach Their Punk Zenith on Double Album ‘The Powers That B’

At least one trick on Death Grips' The Powers That B is one of the oldest in the book: the double album that could fit…
Dan Weiss / April 3, 2015

Review: Sufjan Stevens Sheds the Frills on the Deeply Personal ‘Carrie & Lowell’

Following Sufjan Stevens' discography up to this point has been a study in addition. More instruments, more and more esoteric references, more genre exercises. It's…
James Grebey / April 1, 2015

Review: Madeon Takes Pop Radio on a Teenage ‘Adventure’

The first thing people might notice about French electronic producer Madeon (real name: Hugo Pierre Leclercq) is that he’s only 20 years old. But that fact shouldn't…
Brennan Carley / April 1, 2015

Review: Godspeed You! Black Emperor Renew Their Orchestral Bombast on ‘Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress’

Over their first two decades, Godspeed You! Black Emperor has garnered as much of a reputation for their enigmatic relationship with publicity as for the…
Jonathan Dick / March 30, 2015

Review: Follakzoid Goes Into a Post-Krautrock Trance on ‘III’

The key word most often mentioned surrounding Föllakzoid's new album is "trance." The Chilean trio's music has little to do with the late-'90s club fare…
Andrew Unterberger / March 30, 2015

Review: Liturgy Won’t Be Your Thinkpiece Anymore on ‘The Ark Work’

The one word you can't escape when reading about Liturgy is "polarizing." On one side there are the experimentalists willing to embrace a metal album,…
J.J. Lang / March 27, 2015

Review: Laura Marling Reaches the Second Reel of Life’s ‘Short Movie’

It's a little stunning these days to go back to Laura Marling's first record and hear how her voice has toughened over the years. Not…
Andrew Unterberger / March 27, 2015

Review: Earl Sweatshirt Makes the Most of Self-Induced House Arrest on ‘I Don’t Like S**t, I Don’t Go Outside’

Since he returned from a Samoan boarding school in 2012 to rejoin the by-then famous Odd Future collective, Earl Sweatshirt has seemed like a reluctant…
Rebecca Haithcoat / March 26, 2015

Review: Action Bronson Painlessly Graduates From Mixtapes to Albums on ‘Mr. Wonderful’

While the serious emotional response to Kendrick Lamar's epic To Pimp a Butterfly last week led to entire thinkpieces on its "overwhelming blackness," this week…
Dan Weiss / March 25, 2015

Review: Chastity Belt Turn Goth Into Wry Feminism on ‘Time to Go Home’

Gather your crystals, because the sophomore album by Seattle post-punk quartet Chastity Belt fluoresces like a neon sign for a $10 palm read. Recorded in…
Bryn Lovitt / March 24, 2015

Review: Courtney Barnett’s Exhilarating ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’

Courtney Barnett's voice is the first thing you hear on her first proper full-length, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, character-sketching opening…
Andrew Unterberger / March 23, 2015

Review: Tobias Jesso Jr. Falls Short of Nilsson and Newman on ‘Goon’

He's been hailed as the latest link in the venerable Los Angeles-singer-songwriter chain. But L.A. chewed Tobias Jesso Jr. up. He and his band, the…
Brad Shoup / March 20, 2015

Review: Kendrick Lamar Returns With the Great American Hip-Hop Album, ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’

Azealia Banks — the immensely skilled and completely without-filter rapper who appeared in Playboy the same day that Kendrick Lamar's long-awaited To Pimp a Butterfly appeared…
Dan Weiss / March 20, 2015

Review: Modest Mouse’s Middling Comeback, ‘Strangers to Ourselves’

Eight years and this is it? After several false starts, reports of curious collaborations with two fulcrums from all-time great bands (Big Boi! Krist Novoselic!),…
Kyle McGovern / March 19, 2015
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