Jon Caramanica

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MYTH No. 4: Biggie & Tupac Are Hip-Hop’s Pillars

REALITY: Biggie and Tupac don't matter anymore.
Jon Caramanica / November 9, 2009

Various Artists, ‘Through the Wilderness: A Tribute to Madonna’ (Manimal Vinyl)

It's easy to remember Madonna's vivacious side, but she was desperate, too, a theme that the best of this indie tribute captures neatly. Apollo Heights'
Jon Caramanica / February 15, 2008

Om, ‘Pilgrimage’ (Southern Lord)

Since their days in Sleep, Al Cisneros and Chris Haikus have been making monastery metal, a druggy, often quiet combo of Black Sabbath and Low.
Jon Caramanica / January 18, 2008

Dashboard Confessional, ‘The Shade of Poison Trees’ (Vagrant)

Chris Carrabba's early songs were lovelorn, wussy morsels -- crisp, tautly melodic, and deeply felt. He was concise, and he was heartbroken, and then he…
Jon Caramanica / November 19, 2007

Gym Class Heroes, ‘As Cruel as School Children’ (Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen)

More Atmosphere than Atmosphere themselves, upstate New York's Gym Class Heroes have finally untangled the emo-rap paradigm, understanding that it's the target demographic first, then…
Jon Caramanica / October 11, 2006

Hawthorne Heights, ‘If Only You Were Lonely’ (Victory)

Twenty of the best seconds in pop last year belonged to Hawthorne Heights. On the hook from "Ohio Is for Lovers," the Dayton, Ohio quintet's…
Jon Caramanica / March 9, 2006

Gretchen Wilson, ‘All Jacked Up’ (Epic Nashville) Big and Rich, ‘Comin’ to Your City’ (Warner Bros. Nashville)

Mainstream country music has always been popular, but last year it got idiosyncratic, with songs that quoted OutKast, video cameos from Kid Rock, and a…
Jon Caramanica / November 30, 2005

Rod Lee, ‘Vol. 5: The Official’ (Club Kingz/Morphius Urban)

Hip-hop is such a global juggernaut that it's easy to forget there are still regional black sounds, too. Detroit has its techno and, more recently,…
Jon Caramanica / November 10, 2005

The Tippin’ Point

When Bun B and his entourage descend, the block is empty -- a vacant lot on one side, a ramshackle house shy a few windows…
Jon Caramanica / September 9, 2005

Kanye West, ‘Late Registration’ (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)

This review was originally published in the September 2005 issue of SPIN and featuredĀ a grade of B+. "If you talkin' 'bout classics, do…
Jon Caramanica / August 30, 2005

DJ/rupture – Special Gunpowder; Diplo – Florida

DJ/rupture Special GunpowderTigerbeat6…
Jon Caramanica / December 8, 2004

DJ/rupture, ‘Special Gunpowder’ (Tigerbeat6) Diplo, ‘Florida’ (Big Dada)

Having good taste is easy; translating it into great art is another thing altogether. DJ/rupture and Diplo have both made their names as curators of…
Jon Caramanica / December 6, 2004

Dizzee Rascal, ‘Showtime’ (XL)

It's a hip-hop truism--the first album is the one where you get the most bragging done. The follow-up? Well, that's where you gloat about your…
Jon Caramanica / November 5, 2004

Talib Kweli – The Beautiful Struggle; Mos Def – The New Danger

Talib KweliThe Beautiful StruggleGeffenMos DefThe New DangerGeffen…
Jon Caramanica / October 14, 2004

The Streets / Dizzee Rascal Live at NYC’s Irving Plaza

The Streets/Dizzee RascalIrving PlazaNew York City…
Jon Caramanica / September 9, 2004

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