Latest Blog Posts

by PopMatters Staff

22 Aug 2016


Tanner Smith: Two nocturnal 1990s icons team up for a spare, cinematic ballad that offers no surprises. “The Spoils” is immaculately constructed, featuring an understated, plaintive vocal performance from Hope Sandoval (who fronts the spectral Mazzy Star) and rich granular details that come from years of making records. The song’s beautiful, string-laden chorus feels like a sad, distant, and dying callback to the group’s incredible Blue Lines classic “Unfinished Sympathy”. But where “Unfinished Sympathy” captured the ambiguous rush of love, “The Spoils” details its fall into the abyss. “The Spoils” classicist leanings prove that Massive Attack don’t need to chase fads in order to create stirring and uniquely powerful music. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

22 Aug 2016


Chris Ingalls: Like that unwieldy parachute Katy Perry is dragging around in the video, the song is bloated and heavy-handed, but it’s kind of hard to get too jaded about something that’s basically the unofficial theme song of the Rio athletes. In that sense, the song works nicely and all the proper “inspirational” boxes are checked, both in the composition, Perry’s emotional delivery, and yes, that “you can do it!” video. [7/10]

by Will Rivitz

22 Aug 2016


Picture Atlantic‘s “Billy Banker” is a song about a vampiric A&R man, chasing after a hapless band in the pursuit of sales, sales, sales. The song’s atmosphere fits this narrative appropriately: nose-thumbing lyrics (“Billy Banker / is a wanker” is the opening line), paranoid guitar, and energetic, sprinting drums and bass. It’s a loud cry against sucking out artistic vision and extracting pure profit, and its frenetic instrumental banking gives that cry nice heft.

by PopMatters Staff

19 Aug 2016


Nathaniel Schwass: Pairing up with XXL Freshman Anderson .Paak, Mac Miller proves time and again that the craft must evolve with the artist. On this new single “Dang!,” Miller teases fans with jazzy preview for his upcoming album, The Divine Feminine. Featuring the crooning, brassy timbre of .Paak’s vocals, Mac and Paak piece together a saccharine ballad to alienated lovers, as Miller raps “Fuck ‘em all, let’s be us, summer’s soft sweetness/ Heartache drunk and hang up/ What a mess I made, sense I make none.” This single is a shining example of Mac’s penchant for surprising fans and gaining new ones, all the while remaining true to his artistic vision and aesthetic pleasure. Mac and .Paak make for a great duo over the acoustic percussion and swooning synths of Pomo’s production, a sure fire summer hit and an excellent tidbit of Mac’s forthcoming release. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

19 Aug 2016


Chris Ingalls: The production is gorgeous—smooth, silky beats, blippy keyboards and warm low end—but that Auto-Tune is enough to put me into anaphylactic shock. That’s one of the downsides of modern melodic hip-hop. But there’s no denying that the groove is solid and it really is quite catchy. [7/10]

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Virtual Reality and Storytelling: What Happens When Art and Technology Collide?

// Moving Pixels

"Virtual reality is changing the face of entertainment, and I can see a future when I will find myself inside VR listening to some psych-rock while meditating on an asteroid.

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