Category: Pop/Rock

Yo la Tengo – Fakebook

Yo la Tengo – Fakebook       John Dougan: ‘Recommending Fakebook as the best place to begin a relationship with Yo La Tengo is slightly disingenuous, mainly because Yo La Tengo has never made another record like it, and perhaps never will. So, as completely wonderful as this record is, it’s an accurate representation […]

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Herman Düne – Mas Cambios

Herman Düne – Mas Cambios       Stewart Mason: ‘French-Swedish anti-folk trio Herman Düne recorded 2003’s Mas Cambios, their third album, in New York in the company of local scene heavyweights like Jack Lewis (brother and collaborator of Jeffrey Lewis), Turner Cody, and Diane Cluck. However, by this point in their career, the Herman […]

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Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar

Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar       Thom Jurek: ‘”I want to tell you something/About the grace of faded things….” This line from the song “Southern Gothic,” delivered by Ulver’s Kristoffer Rygg near the end of The Assassination of Julius Caesar, eventually becomes a manifesto for the single-minded aesthetic pursued on the […]

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Kent – Isola

Kent – Isola       Tommy Gunnarsson: ‘On Isola, their third album, Kent have really gone down in the melancholic swamp, and you could easily describe them as a cheap copy of Radiohead. Strangely enough, the first single to be taken from the album, “Om Du Var Har,” is the album’s only up-tempo track. […]

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Naxatras – lll

Naxatras – lll       Naxatras is a hard psychedelic rock band from Greece. They play a warm psychedelia full of fat grooves, dreamy melodies, heavy riffs and trippy guitar solos all with the vintage touch of the 70’s. They have been playing and developing their sound since 2012. In 2015, they recorded their […]

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Feist – Let it die

Feist – Let it die       MacKenzie Wilson: ‘Somewhere in between living with Peaches, playing guitar with By Divine Right, rapping with Chilly Gonzales, and singing with Broken Social Scene and Apostle of Hustle, Canadian songstress Feist started a solo career. Following up 1999’s self-released Monarch, Let It Die was recorded in Paris […]

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Dave Edmunds – Repeat When Necessary

Dave Edmunds – Repeat When Necessary       Stephen Thomas Erlewine: ‘Recorded simultaneously with Nick Lowe’s Labour of Lust, Dave Edmunds’ Repeat When Necessary continues the winning streak of Get It and Tracks on Wax 4 simply by sticking to the formula. Though Rockpile’s sound is a little cleaner here than before, nothing’s changed […]

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Palace Brothers – There is no-one what will take care of you

Palace Brothers – There is no-one what will take care of you       Mark Deming: ‘Will Oldham’s first album under the Palace rubric, There Is No-One What Will Take Care of You, seemed to emerge from under a cloud of mystery on its first release in 1993. The first edition had no credits […]

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Robert Plant – Carry Fire

Robert Plant – Carry Fire       Stephen Thomas Erlewine: Robert Plant opens Carry Fire with “The May Queen,” a song that can’t help but stir up memories of “Stairway to Heaven,” the most mystical number Led Zeppelin ever cut. “The May Queen” doesn’t sound a thing like “Stairway to Heaven,” which is deliberate. […]

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Grizzly Bear – Painted Ruins

Grizzly Bear – Painted Ruins       Heather Phares:   During the five years between Shields and Painted Ruins, the lives of Grizzly Bear’s members changed, thanks to marriage, children, and divorce. So did the way many listeners consume music, thanks to the advent of streaming music services and other advances. So if the band’s […]

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The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding       Marcy Donelson: The War on Drugs’ debut for Atlantic Records, A Deeper Understanding, is very much a follow-up to the group’s critically acclaimed Top 30 breakthrough Lost in the Dream from three years prior. That album’s notoriously meticulous blend of heartland rock influences, Bob […]

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LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

LCD Soundsystem – American Dream       Tim Sendra: …  American Dream is an emotionally charged and tightly wound return, balancing bursts of dance-punk energy with post-punk moodiness and synth pop abstraction, powered by insistent beats and Murphy’s distinctive vocals. It’s an album made equally for the feet, the brain, and the heart, with […]

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The Bats – Daddy’s Highway

The Bats – Daddy’s Highway       Ned Raggett: ‘The Bats’ first full album continues the early promise of their EPs and, with only the slightest deviations and changes since, established their sound for just about everything that followed. Scott and company may not be the most willfully experimental of musicians, but when they’re […]

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Metallica – Load

Metallica – Load       Stephen Thomas Erlewine: Delivered five years after their eponymous “black” album in 1991, Load captures Metallica settling into an uneasy period of maturation. Under the guidance of producer Bob Rock, Metallica have streamlined their sound, cutting away most of the twisting, unpredictable time signatures and the mind-numbingly fast riffs. […]

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Slowdive – Souvlaki

Slowdive – Souvlaki       Jack Rabid: ‘Though not as big and swirling as Just for a Day, there’s more of an attempt to put advanced song structure and melody in place rather than just craft infinitely appealing, occasionally thunderous mood music. Everything is simplified, as if Brian Eno’s presence on two songs — […]

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Ray LaMontagne – Ouroboros

Ray LaMontagne – Ouroboros       Marcy Donelson: ‘… . For his sixth full-length, Ouroboros, the singer/songwriter selected My Morning Jacket’s Jim James to co-produce, and moves deeper into the psychedelic haze. LaMontagne shuts down vocal comparisons to Van Morrison here, almost completely abandoning his soulful growl with the exception of parts of “While […]

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Metallica – Hardwired To Self Destruct

Metallica – Hardwired To Self Destruct       Stephen Thomas Erlewine: ‘… Hardwired…To Self-Destruct does indeed rage, roaring out the gate with a title track where James Hetfield bellows “We’re so f***ed/S*** out of luck.” That palpable desperation recalls the free-floating angst that fueled Metallica’s ’80s, but Hardwired…To Self-Destruct doesn’t find the quartet scrambling […]

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John Martyn – Cooltide

John Martyn – Cooltide       Rob Caldwell: After releasing the much-delayed The Apprentice, Martyn was once again on a roll, and, while not quite as strong as The Apprentice, Cooltide was a solid outing. His jazziest release yet, it’s marred slightly by a gravelly hoarseness in his voice, which makes him sound like […]

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Judas Priest – British Steel

Judas Priest – British Steel       Steve Huey – Predating Metallica’s self-titled blockbuster by 11 years, Judas Priest’s British Steel was a similarly pitched landmark boasting many of the same accomplishments. It streamlined and simplified the progressive intricacies of a band fresh off of revolutionizing the entire heavy metal genre; it brought an […]

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The National – Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers

The National – Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers       Tim DiGravina: ‘For a band that’s been compared to Joy Division, Leonard Cohen, Wilco, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, the National sure sounds a lot more like the Czars or Uncle Tupelo on this sophomore album Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers. …  Berninger […]

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