SPIN Essentials

Review: On Why Love Now, Pissed Jeans Explore the Lighter Side of Everyday Agony

The world of heavy guitar music isn’t known for its sense of humor. You have your bearded metalheads, singing about wizards and spending Friday evenings…
Andy Cush / February 24, 2017

Review: Julie Byrne’s Not Even Happiness Is a Truly Beautiful Travel Album

Sometimes, simply pairing the right voice with the right reverb can create a song’s power. There have been endless notable examples since the effect came…
Winston Cook-Wilson / February 7, 2017

Review: Priests’ Nothing Feels Natural Is Vital Post-Punk for Trump’s America

Anyone who’s said "at least a Trump presidency will make punk rock great again" hasn’t been paying attention to Priests, the D.C. band who’ve been…
Nina Mashurova / January 27, 2017

Review: Japandroids Bring Beautiful Noise on Near to the Wild Heart of Life

There are Japandroids fans who talk about their memories of the band like veterans reminiscing about fighting in the Great War, and that nostalgia is not…
Jeremy Gordon / January 27, 2017

Review: Joyce Manor’s Vital Pop-Punk Enters Adulthood on Cody

Frontman Barry Johnson is not tired of talking about the most distinct line on Joyce Manor’s addictive new album, Cody, a record packed…
Ian Cohen / October 6, 2016

Review: Solange’s Exquisite A Seat at the Table Is a Portrait of Black Pain and Healing

Solange Knowles has released about as misunderstood (and excellent) records as she's released records at all. Her debut, Solo Star, has been criticized for being…
Katherine St. Asaph / October 6, 2016

Review: Danny Brown’s Atrocity Exhibition Is A Thrilling, Harrowing Ride

Danny Brown is a man in limbo who is struggling to find balance. In song he’s autobiographical, often flipping between zonked out and deadly serious,…
Sheldon Pearce / September 30, 2016

Review: Bon Iver Transcends Indie Icon Status on 22, A Million

Halfway through Obama’s first presidency, the mainstream tilted in such a way it seemed that indie music--that long-beloved genre of fops and sensitives--was actually and authentically…
Jeremy Gordon / September 29, 2016

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
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