Latest Blog Posts

by PopMatters Staff

10 Feb 2016

Throwing Shade critiques  the phony plasticity and the anti-intellectualism of social media most effectively on "hashtag IRL".

Sarah Zupko: Throwing Shade critiques the phony plasticity and the anti-intellectualism of social media most effectively on “hashtag IRL”. The music is simple and the annoying hashtags are called out for a good reason, to highlight the essential impermanence and aural clutter of much of today’s internet, particularly the Twitterverse, but also our clickbait culture. [7/10]

by PopMatters Staff

10 Feb 2016

Wire meets the  Fluid on the most postmodern release Sub Pop has offered thus far.

Photo: Sarah Cass

Ari Rosenschein: Wire meets the Fluid on the most postmodern release Sub Pop has offered thus far. There is a Cobainesque guitar solo, and Dino Jr. touches everywhere. Grunge. ‘90s. Nirvana. Sonic Youth. There, I included them all. But actually, a fresh, fierce sound is developing in So Pitted’s rehearsal room. [6/10]

by PopMatters Staff

10 Feb 2016

Moderat return with  a swirling techno soundscape that evokes Trentemøller’s music as much as it does In Rainbows-era Radiohead.

Sam Taylor: Premier purveyors of the weird Moderat return, collaborating for a third time with aural ally Apparat on “Reminder”, with a swirling techno soundscape that evokes Trentemøller’s music as much as it does In Rainbows-era Radiohead. The track’s press release claims that Apparat’s vocals present, “an unfiltered insight into his personal take on the journey we call life – he is opening up, discussing his shadow, his fears and doubts.” If “Reminder” is a good example of what’s to come, then new album III can’t come soon enough. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

10 Feb 2016

The woozy chords  at the heart of “Navy & Cream” sound like Wham’s “Everything She Wants” at half speed.

Ari Rosenschein: As if signing the brilliant Grimes wasn’t enough of a gift to music for one decade, 4AD continues to churn out releases by brilliant female Canadians. This time, the goods come from a Chicago-born Torontonian, who goes by U.S. Girls. The woozy chords at the heart of “Navy & Cream” sound like Wham’s “Everything She Wants” at half speed. The singer’s vocal squeak borders Cyndi Lauper territory—a locale well worth exploring.  By the time the Princely guitar fireworks kick in you will believe. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

10 Feb 2016

Beyoncé's "Formation " is Black Pride incarnate, and it’s exactly what we needed to hear right now.

Sam Taylor: Let’s be clear, Beyoncé‘s greatest asset has always been her voice. On “Formation”, she might not be belting out another insta-classic like “Crazy in Love”, but she continues down an increasingly dark and enthralling path, stripping back her sound and redefining what makes ‘Beyoncé’ so distinctively… well, Beyoncé. Utilising the unique potential of the surprise release—and the Super Bowl—to whip the Internet into a frenzy, she’s using her stature in the industry (and the black community) to expose an army of fans to something truly new. On both “Formation” and in its accompanying video, Beyoncé retains the confident swagger of her eponymous 2014 album, harnessing this progression to produce a track that not only serves as a potent statement that #blacklivesmatter in 2016, but that good music does too… and it still has the potential to really get people talking. [8/10]

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Beyoncé and When Music Writing Becomes Activism

// Sound Affects

"The overall response to Beyoncé's "Formation" has been startlingly positive, but mostly for reasons attached to political agendas. It's time to investigate this trend.

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