Maura Johnston

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Robyn Mends Her Own Heart on the Subtle, Sparkling Honey

Since the release of her last album, 2010's Body Talk, Robyn has been through a lot—the death of a creative partner, a breakup,…
Maura Johnston / October 26, 2018

On Liberation Christina Aguilera Sounds as Powerful as Ever

It's tempting to root for Christina Aguilera—she has at least a half-dozen pop classics under her belt and possessed the best pure voice of the…
Maura Johnston / June 25, 2018

Butts, Gorilla Aerobics, and a Boring Winner: Everything That Happened At the Wonderfully Absurd Eurovision Song Contest

The annual spectacle of the Eurovision Song Contest brings a much-needed shot of absurdity-tinged sincerity to pop. Each year, countries from all over Europe—as well…
Maura Johnston / May 15, 2017

Japan’s Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Bids for Stateside Pop Stardom on ‘Pika Pika Fantajin’

7SPIN Rating: 7 of 10Release Date: August 12, 2014Label: SirePop is supposedly a universal language, although getting American audiences to believe that has been rough…
Maura Johnston / August 12, 2014

Prolific Hitmaker Sia Reclaims the Spotlight on ‘1000 Forms of Fear’

8SPIN Rating: 8 of 10Release Date: July 08, 2014Label: RCA/Monkey Puzzle RecordsThe Australian singer-songwriter Sia Furler has had one of her works score the ending…
Maura Johnston / July 7, 2014

Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner Talks Ditching the Guitars for the Resilient, Restorative New ‘Shriek’

Shriek, the fourth album from Wye Oak (out next month on Merge), opens with a jittery keyboard line, making plain the Baltimore duo's shift away…
Maura Johnston / March 13, 2014

SPIN’s Best Music Videos of 2013

Music videos never really went away — they just became things that people have to seek out, instead of programming that's beamed into our living…
Maura Johnston / December 23, 2013

Lady Gaga’s Half-Cocked, Half-Great ‘ARTPOP’ Is Never Less Than Lovable

6SPIN Rating: 6 of 10Release Date: November 12, 2013Label: InterscopeAs the culmination of a seemingly endless promotional cycle that involved onstage quick-change, naked meditation with…
Maura Johnston / November 11, 2013

Lorde’s ‘Pure Heroine’ Is Awash in (Possibly Fake) Teen-Pop-Star Ennui

6SPIN Rating: 6 of 10Release Date: October 01, 2013Label: UniversalPop music is a young person's game, which is why one of the greatest compliments that…
Maura Johnston / September 27, 2013

R. Kelly Reveals Future of ‘Trapped in the Closet’ at Amazing NYC Screening

R. Kelly might have serious pipes, but his magnum opus, the multi-part, multi-character, multi-crazy-plotline soap opera in song Trapped in the Closet, came out of…
Maura Johnston / November 20, 2012

Solange, ‘True EP’ (Terrible)

8SPIN Rating: 8 of 10Release Date: November 27, 2012Label: TerribleOn this seven-song collaboration with Blood Orange's Dev Hynes, Solange Knowles is once again working in…
Maura Johnston / November 14, 2012

Aerosmith, ‘Music From Another Dimension!’ (Columbia)

6SPIN Rating: 6 of 10Release Date: November 06, 2012Label: ColumbiaThe run-up to Aerosmith's 15th studio album has involved a lot of rib-nudging and "remember when"-ing.
Maura Johnston / November 8, 2012

Miguel, ‘Kaleidoscope Dream’ (Bystorm/RCA)

9SPIN Rating: 9 of 10Release Date: October 02, 2012Label: ByStorm/RCADuring the run-up to his second full-length, R&B polymath Miguel pre-released many of its songs piecemeal,…
Maura Johnston / October 1, 2012

Frank Ocean and Bon Iver Team for ‘Uncapped’ Show in New York

Monday night was the final installment in vitaminwater and Fader's "Uncapped" series, during which the fortified-beverage maker and magazine bring together artists from disparate genres…
Maura Johnston / September 25, 2012

fun., ‘Some Nights’ (Fueled by Ramen)

7SPIN Rating: 7 of 10Release Date: February 21, 2012Label: Fueled by RamenThe redemptive power of rock and roll is essential to the genre's mystique: It…
Maura Johnston / March 1, 2012

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