Alfred Soto

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What Is Chic in 2018? ‘It’s About Time’ Gives an Unsatisfactory Answer

Wealthy and cool enough to maintain a reputation on the sweet fragrance of thirty years’ worth of fumes, Nile Rodgers nevertheless wanted a new Chic…
Alfred Soto / October 4, 2018

Remembering Aretha Franklin’s Most Important Musical Moments

In the beginning was the Voice, and the Voice was with God, and the Voice was God. My edition of the Book of John says…
Alfred Soto / August 16, 2018

Years & Years’ Tentative Palo Santo Is an Unsatisfying Follow-Up

Three years after a debut of unusual density—a flowering plant with thorns—Years & Years feel confident enough to kick the blues away. It's a canny…
Alfred Soto / July 18, 2018

Courtney Barnett’s Tell Me How You Really Feel Is Confident If Not Fully Candid

To be Courtney Barnett and learn that Liz Phair released the Girly-Sound to Guyville set is like being Bryan Ferry and…
Alfred Soto / June 14, 2018

Review: Yo La Tengo Keep Dream, Dreaming Away on There’s a Riot Going On

The most vulgar thing about Yo La Tengo’s latest is its nod to Sly and the Family Stone’s 1971 landmark: on the Hoboken trio’s fifteenth…
Alfred Soto / March 20, 2018

Review: The Breeders’ All Nerve Is a Delightful Toss-Off

Few words describe Kim Deal’s songwriting and delivery of emotion better than "terse." In the Pixies and a series of Breeders albums she presented herself…
Alfred Soto / March 20, 2018

Review: Tune-Yards’ New Album Underwhelms and Overexplains

Merrill Garbus could sing in Esperanto through sixteen vocal filters and it still wouldn’t stop listeners from parsing her lyrics. Nonetheless, with her Tune-Yards project,…
Alfred Soto / January 25, 2018

Review: The Killers’ Shamelessly Glam Wonderful Wonderful Is Their Strongest Work In Years

At last I know: George Herbert is Brandon Flowers’ Rosetta Stone. Writing from the point of view of an object of sacramental importance…
Alfred Soto / October 2, 2017

Review: Ride’s Disappointing Comeback Album Weather Diaries Lacks the Things That Made Them Great

Shoegaze attracted fans because it sounded like the realization of rock’s fondest dreams about itself. Forget what the Ramones and the Beatles sung about—millions of…
Alfred Soto / June 15, 2017

I Guess I’m Already There: Jonathan Demme Understood How Music and Film Worked Together

"Hi. I’ve got a tape I want to play," says a person dressed like the cabana boy at the health club, possibly in his early…
Alfred Soto / April 27, 2017

10 of Prince’s Best Deep Cuts

Prince's catalogue is as sprawling, diverse, idiosyncratic, and rewarding as any musician's in history, and we will only hear more of it as his estate…
Alfred Soto / April 21, 2017

Review: David Bowie’s No Plan Is a Fond, Final Glimpse at a Departed Master

David Bowie’s death did not transform ? into a brave, lovely, often great album. (Whether 2013’s The Next Day…
Alfred Soto / February 23, 2017

2016: The Year R&B Returned to the Eye of Quiet Storm

In 1982, a male English trio named Imagination released In the Heat of the Night. Produced by Tony Swain and Steven Jolley, who’d soon work…
Alfred Soto / December 14, 2016

Review: Maxwell Relieves That Stress (on His Syllables) With ‘blackSUMMERS’night’

Halfway through his first album since the formation of the Tea Party, Maxwell sings, "I’m hearin’ and I’m sayin’ things all the time / The…
Alfred Soto / June 28, 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

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