J Gabriel Boylan

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Joell Ortiz, ‘Free Agent’ (E1/Koch)

In rap circles, potential is a double-edged sword. And a line like "Never see me in magazines / But I'm the source" is where youthful…
J Gabriel Boylan / June 15, 2010

Jamie Lidell, ‘Compass’ (Warp)

Jamie Lidell has managed the neat trick of constructing a solid, distinctive identity out of headlong pastiche: falsetto crooning, post-IDM glitch funk, '90s-indebted R&B beats.
J Gabriel Boylan / May 21, 2010

Phosphorescent, ‘Here’s to Taking It Easy’ (Dead Oceans)

Singer-guitarist Matthew Houck finds a comfort zone on his fifth Phosphorescent album by allowing his sidemen to shine a little light. The band's sound is…
J Gabriel Boylan / May 11, 2010

Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, ‘Distant Relatives’ (Universal Republic)

After a 2005 collaboration on the pensive, pleasant "Road to Zion," from Marley's Welcome to Jamrock album, Bob's youngest son and Nas concoct an entire…
J Gabriel Boylan / May 10, 2010

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony,’Uni5: The World’s Enemy’ (BTNH Worldwide/ Asylum/Warner)

This Cleveland-bred quintet has been around for 20 years, but for the past 15, key members Bizzy Bone and the recently incarcerated Flesh-n-Bone often have…
J Gabriel Boylan / May 4, 2010

Devin the Dude, ‘Suite 420′ (E1)

Bug-eyed, perma-stoned Devin Copeland splits his sixth album into halves: The first is all slice-of-life raps documenting daily pursuits, party annoyances, and the danger of…
J Gabriel Boylan / April 12, 2010

Caribou, ‘Swim’ (Merge)

Dan Snaith's adventurous music, first as Manitoba and now as Caribou, has ranged from serene, defiantly melodic IDM to backward-looking psychedelia and krautrock. Though Swim…
J Gabriel Boylan / April 12, 2010

AFI, ‘Crash Love’ (DGC/Interscope)

A first-gen MySpace-fueled success story formed in the Warped Tour crucible, AFI know what their fans want: despair, decay, nonstop tours, online scavenger hunts, message-board…
J Gabriel Boylan / September 15, 2009

Mos Def, ‘The Ecstatic’ (Downtown)

Within a few verses of thunderous lead-off track "Supermagic," underpinned by a righteous sample of Turkish psych songstress Selda Bagcan, "Cherokee chief rocka" Mos Def…
J Gabriel Boylan / May 20, 2009

Busta Rhymes, ‘Back on My B.S.’ (Universal Motown)

One might expect Back on My B.S. -- Busta Rhymes' first batch of songs written since 2006's The Big Bang and the shooting of his…
J Gabriel Boylan / May 16, 2009

Asher Roth, ‘Asleep in the Bread Aisle’ (Schoolboy/Loud/SRC/Universal)

This suburban Philly rapper's debut single, "I Love College," is a smash on campuses, in clubs, and doubtlessly in cubicles across the country. It's a…
J Gabriel Boylan / April 8, 2009

An Horse, ‘Rearrange Beds’ (Mom & Pop)

Started in the basement of an indie record shop, this clever and efficient Australian duo have experienced rapid success, scoring a U.S. deal via tourmates…
J Gabriel Boylan / March 5, 2009

The Drones, ‘Havilah’ (ATP)

Taking cues from Australian forebears the Birthday Party and the Scientists, with touches of Dirty Three's dusty rage, these country-tinged post-punks would be bookish if…
J Gabriel Boylan / February 1, 2009

T-Pain, ‘Thr33 Ringz’ (Jive)

T-Pain presents himself asthe ringmaster of the music-industry circus -- we're just here to be amazed by his lyrics, his production, his elemental force. Yet…
J Gabriel Boylan / November 4, 2008

Ray LaMontagne, ‘Gossip in the Grain’ (RCA)

Well respected for sparse, plaintive bummer folk since his 2004 debut, LaMontagne gets a bit more expansive here, gently juking his earthy rasp with Stax-y…
J Gabriel Boylan / October 12, 2008

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