Category: Pop/Rock

Simon and Garfunkel – Sound of Silence

Simon and Garfunkel – Sound of Silence       Bruce Eder: Simon & Garfunkel’s second album, Sounds of Silence, was recorded 18 months after their debut long-player, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM — but even though the two albums shared one song (actually, one-and-a-half songs) in common, the sound here seemed a million miles away […]

Read More

The Shins – Wincing the Night Away

The Shins – Wincing the Night Away            Heather Phares: “The Shins will change your life!” That kind of proclamation is loaded with expectations when it’s just one friend talking up a band to another, but it’s magnified a thousandfold when Natalie Portman says it in a hit movie. The band’s […]

Read More

Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm

Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm       Jon O’Brien: “…Benjamin Francis Leftwich couldn’t have picked a better time to unleash, or rather quietly release, his subtle and understated brand of acoustic balladry. Produced by Ian Grimble (Manic Street Preachers), his debut album, Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm, won’t exactly be […]

Read More

Nick Drake – Made To Love Magic

Nick Drake – Made To Love Magic       Hunger for “new” Nick Drake material had reached enough of a fever pitch by the 21st century for Island to try digging up enough for this odd patchwork collection, combining outtakes with remixes of tracks that had been previously issued on the Time of No […]

Read More

Peter Broderick – Home

Peter Broderick – Home       Home is a collection of folk songs recorded at the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008. In late 2007, Peter Broderick toured all around Europe with the Danish ensemble Efterklang, playing violin and opening the shows as a solo act. His recorded work up to this […]

Read More

Badfinger – Straight Up

Badfinger – Straight Up       Stephen Thomas Erlewine: ‘Straight Up winds up somewhat less dynamic than No Dice, largely because that record alternated its rockers, pop tunes, and ballads. Here, everything is at a similar level, as the ballads are made grander and the rockers have their melodic side emphasized. Consequently, the record […]

Read More

Pulp – Different Class

Pulp – Different Class       Stephen Thomas Erlewine: ‘….  Pulp don’t stray from their signature formula at all — it’s still grandly theatrical, synth-spiked pop with new wave and disco flourishes, but they have mastered it here. Not only are the melodies and hooks significantly catchier and more immediate, the music explores more […]

Read More

Quiet Sun – Mainstream

Quiet Sun – Mainstream       Ted Mills: ‘ Phil Manzanera’s pre-Roxy Music group never got to release their first attempt at an album, but in a break from Roxy in 1974, Manzanera regrouped the band and put out this effort: Quiet Sun – Mainstream, recorded at the same time as his solo extravaganza, […]

Read More

Bright Eyes – Fevers and Mirrors

Bright Eyes – Fevers and Mirrors       Fevers and Mirrors is the third album by the Nebraska indie band Bright Eyes, recorded in 1999 and released on May 29, 2000. It was the 32nd release of the Omaha, Nebraska-based record label Saddle Creek Records. The album was released later in 2000 in the […]

Read More

Ron Wood – I’ve Got My Own Album To Do

Ron Wood – I’ve Got My Own Album To Do       ‘I’ve Got My Own Album To Do’ is the first solo album by Ron Wood, released in September 1974. An all-star project recorded outside of his activities with the Faces, the title was a dig at Rod Stewart, who appeared to be […]

Read More

Black Stone Cherry – Folklore And Superstition

Black Stone Cherry – Folklore And Superstition       Eduardo Rivadavia: ‘For all its spirited, hard-hitting performances and wide-eyed country boy attitude, Black Stone Cherry’s eponymous debut still gave off a faintly fishy smell of new millennium corporate rock, with certain icy guitar tones and aluminum-plated vocal textures sounding more like Nickelback or Shinedown […]

Read More

Grandaddy – Under the Western freeway

Grandaddy – Under the Western freeway       Nitsuh Abebe: ‘Being from northern California, Grandaddy always gets compared to Pavement — and rightly so, in some respects — but this probably isn’t the best way to start on the band. Some of the tracks on Under the Western Freeway are more in the Weezer […]

Read More

Beulah – The Coast Is Never Clear

Beulah – The Coast Is Never Clear       MacKenzie Wilson: ‘After the dazzling reception of 1999’s When Your Heartstrings Break, Beulah wasn’t concerned with following things up with something fashionable. The bandmembers were near masters of crafting the perfect pop song — for themselves — and quite comfortable with the process. The Coast […]

Read More

Galaxie 500 – On Fire

Galaxie 500 – On Fire       Ned Raggett: ‘Having already made a fine account of themselves on Today, the three members of Galaxie 500 got even better with On Fire, recording another lovely classic of late ’80s rock. As with all the band’s work, Kramer once again handles the production, the perfect person […]

Read More

Michael Kiwanuka ‎– Home Again

Michael Kiwanuka ‎– Home Again       Thom Jurek: ‘An age ago, major labels signed artists knowing it would take three, four, or even five records before she or he matured sufficiently to build a a dedicated audience. Some labels even signed “prestige artists,” those who wouldn’t necessarily make boatloads of cash, but their […]

Read More

Talk Talk – The Colour of Spring

Talk Talk – The Colour of Spring       Chris Woodstra: ‘With It’s My Life, Talk Talk proved that they could pull off an entire album of strong material. With The Colour of Spring, they took it one step further, moving to a near-concept song cycle, following the emotional ups and downs of relationships […]

Read More

Aerosmith – Rocks

Aerosmith – Rocks       Greg Prato: ‘Few albums have been so appropriately named as Aerosmith’s 1976 classic Rocks. Despite hard drug use escalating among bandmembers, Aerosmith produced a superb follow-up to their masterwork Toys in the Attic, nearly topping it in the process. Many Aero fans will point to Toys as the band’s […]

Read More

Tom Waits – Mule Variations

Tom Waits – Mule Variations       Stephen Thomas Erlewine: ‘Tom Waits grew steadily less prolific after redefining himself as a junkyard noise poet with Swordfishtrombones, but the five-year wait between The Black Rider and 1999’s Mule Variations was the longest yet. Given the fact that Waits decided to abandon major labels for the […]

Read More

Bob Marley – African Herbsman

Bob Marley – African Herbsman       Matthew Hilburn: ‘To Bob Marley’s emotionally charged music and lyrics, add the tight riddims and harmonies of the Wailers and then put all of that talent into the ceaselessly creative hands of production wizard Lee “Scratch” Perry. What you get is a 16-track reggae masterpiece capturing what […]

Read More

Madrugada – Madrugada

Madrugada – Madrugada       Madrugada is the sixth and final studio album by the Norwegian band Madrugada. It was released by the band’s own label, Malabar Recording Company (distributed by EMI records), on 21 January 2008. The album was produced by Madrugada and John Agnello who also produced the band’s 2001 release The […]

Read More