SPIN Essentials

Review: On Care, How to Dress Well Opens His Heart and Arrangements

If alt-R&B disappears ever, it’ll be via suffocation under a heap of its own baggage. The stereotypes are well-known and vicious. The worst of the…
Katherine St. Asaph / September 23, 2016

Review: Frank Ocean’s Blond on ‘Blonde’ Is Pledging Its Goddamn Time

Frank Ocean fixed "Wolves." No, really: Kanye was onto something when he called The Life of Pablo a "living album," because — while he’s on…
Dan Weiss / August 23, 2016

Review: Ka Is Calm Like a Bomb on ‘Honor Killed the Samurai’

Brownsville rapper Ka’s voice commands close listening. It’s somewhere between a wheeze and a snarl, dead-eyed and cold — dragging with it a street-weary stoicism.
Sheldon Pearce / August 17, 2016

Review: NAO Fumbles Toward Ecstasy on ‘For All We Know’

British R&B singer Neo Joshua has charted a slow — yet inexorable — path to her own startling breakout moment. She entered as one-fifth of…
Mosi Reeves / July 29, 2016

Review: Jamila Woods’ Vision of ‘HEAVN’ Is Neither Lost Nor Lonely

Collectivism in art is kind of bulls**t, no? How many artists have good-naturedly brought their squad with them to the top, only to find that…
Dan Weiss / July 26, 2016

Review: Bat for Lashes’ Side Is Always a Bit Lonely on ‘The Bride’

Ten years ago, Natasha Khan asked "What's a Girl to Do?" on her 2006 breakthrough single, not as a damsel in distress but a woman…
Stephanie Garr / June 29, 2016

Review: Blood Orange Is Fired Up and Ready to Go on ‘Freetown Sound’

Sometimes it feels like Dev Hynes is everywhere. Excepting even the obvious — the magazine covers for his work as Blood Orange, the late-night television…
Colin Joyce / June 27, 2016

Review: YG Is ‘Still Brazy’ After All These Years

We are living in a real-life dystopia. We put our memories on computers that fit into the palms of our hands while willingly sharing personal information…
Drew Millard / June 15, 2016

Review: Mitski Really Gives Emo Something to Write Home About on ‘Puberty 2′

Much as it's reviled by its practitioners, the label of what is or isn’t "emo" has always been more of a, hm, dick move to…
Dan Weiss / June 13, 2016

Review: Brandy Clark Saved the Hits for Herself This Time on ‘Big Day in a Small Town’

A writer singing her own songs isn’t necessarily a singer. Brandy Clark made this point clear on 2013's 12 Stories; the title’s J.D. Salinger allusion…
Alfred Soto / June 6, 2016

Review: The Hotelier’s ‘Goodness’ Is Awfully Modest About Its Greatness

"Listen more, speak less," Christian Holden wrote on Tumblr a few months ago, in anticipation of his band’s forthcoming new album. These seemed like strange…
Zach Kelly / May 20, 2016

Review: Chance the Rapper Turns Atheists Into Believers on ‘Coloring Book’

Give praise for Chance the Rapper’s refusal to conform. Whereas a bounty of other rappers lean into the continued proliferation of druggy trap or transglobal…
Britt Julious / May 18, 2016

Review: ‘Colleen Green’ Wants to Be Your Joey Ramone on Her New EP

Green: It’s a color, a tea, envy, renewal, ganja. It’s also Colleen Green, the regally cool 31-year-old musician who never takes off her sunglasses and…
Anna Gaca / May 18, 2016

Review: Marissa Nadler Paints With All the Colors of the Dark on ‘Strangers’

Midway through Marissa Nadler’s exquisite seventh album Strangers, she pens an ode to "All the Colors of the Dark." Gently singing over hypnotic keyboards and…
David Sackllah / May 16, 2016

Review: White Lung Claw Their Way to ‘Paradise’

"Expansive" is the wrong word to describe a viciously focused, 29-minute album, but White Lung's fourth full-length is an evolution in every direction. The breakneck…
Anna Gaca / May 12, 2016

Review: Come Test Death Grips and Get Sliced on ‘Bottomless Pit’

Four years ago, Death Grips exemplified the anti-corporate violence and rugged individualism of black-bloc anarchism. The tattooed and bearded Stefan Burnett boomed and growled like…
Mosi Reeves / May 11, 2016

Review: Radiohead Gracefully Submerge Into ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’

Radiohead is gonna do Radiohead, sidling ethereally through a confusing, increasingly unstable world as only Radiohead can. So what does that mean? It means that…
Raymond Cummings / May 10, 2016

Review: Julianna Barwick Moves Over the Face of the Waters on ‘Will’

Julianna Barwick’s music has never seemed tethered to a specific place, so it’s funny that the celestial Brooklyn artist’s 2011 debut was actually titled The…
Zach Kelly / May 5, 2016

Review: ANOHNI Condemns Drone Warfare With Her Beautiful Scream on ‘Hopelessness’

If you were lucky enough to move to New York City in the early 2000s — just around the time that bands like the Strokes…
T. Cole Rachel / May 3, 2016

Review: Homeboy Sandman Is the Last Backpacker Standing on ‘Kindness for Weakness’

Kindness for Weakness probably isn't the best Homeboy Sandman album, though it may be. One of the many things we can hope to remind ourselves in…
Dan Weiss / May 2, 2016
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