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by Christian John Wikane

13 Dec 2011



cover art

Lalah Hathaway

Where It All Begins

(Stax/Concord)
US: 18 Oct 2011

Review [13.Dec.2011]

Lalah Hathaway
Where It All Begins


A journey of musical greatness begins here. The 12 songs on Where It All Begins represent a new benchmark in Lalah Hathaway’s two-decade career, reflecting the singer’s impressive stylistic range. Hathaway satisfies many appetites on the album yet there’s a continuity between each song. The acoustic-pop orientation of “Wrong Way”—four minutes of absolute perfection—yields to Hathaway’s well-conceived cover of “You Were Meant For Me”, the last solo single her father Donny Hathaway released before his untimely passing. The contagious bounce of “If You Want To” increases the club quotient while “Always Love You” provides a cool-down. Hathaway’s voice sets “Lie to Me” afire above a jagged rhythm and sweetens the melody on the lullaby-like “Dreamland”. Amidst artists that are chasing the next-big-producer or trend, Lalah Hathaway is just doing what feels right and, in the process, raising the standard for our expectations.

by Jessy Krupa

7 Dec 2011


Last week, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the upcoming 2012 Grammy Awards on both a lavish concert special (that was slightly better than last year’s event) and their official website. Many of this year’s nominees are new artists, and some of the categories have been changed, but one thing hasn’t changed: people are already making predictions. Here’s a look at some early guesses on who will win in the biggest categories on February 12th, 2012.

by PopMatters Staff

6 Dec 2011


Photo: Patti Perret

Florence Reece, the wife of Harlan County, Kentucky union organizer Sam Reece, penned the classic protest tune “Which Side Are You On?” back in 1931 and it’s never lost a touch of relevance in all the ensuing years and likely never will given the state of human nature. Pete Seeger recorded the most famous version, which you can sample on his greatest hits album from 1967, and now contemporary folkie Ani DiFranco updates the tune in a bit of perfect timing to coalesce with the Occupy Movement. It’s a rousing version with marchlike beats, punchy horns and DiFranco’s pleading vocals for people to join the fight for justice. It’s also an inclusive call to arms, reaching out to everyone as DiFranco chants, “come on people of privilege… it’s time to join the fight.” “¿Which Side Are You On?” is also the title of DiFranco’s upcoming album, releasing this coming 17 January on Righteous Babe Records.

 

by John Bergstrom

6 Dec 2011


The signature 4AD band Dead Can Dance are gearing up for a reunion album and world tour in 2012. As a teaser, they are offering a four-track live EP, Live Happenings - Part 1, on their official website. You just need to turn over your email address.

by Ian Mathers

5 Dec 2011


cover art

A$AP Rocky

Review [4.Nov.2015]
Review [11.Jun.2015]

76. A$AP Rocky
“Purple Swag”


There’s plenty of music about getting stoned, and plenty more that sounds like its makers were imparied, but “Purple Swag” might actually get you high. Everything from the md-track irruption of a screwed-down chunk of A$AP Rocky’s “Peso” to the cool, emphatic control of his flow to the queasy lean of the production to the vaguely dream-like video makes your head swim a little. It’s the kind of song where the first time you listen to it you feel like might wake up a few days later in a “FUCK SWAG” t-shirt. Everything will be purple.

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"Hardcore Henry gives us a chance to consider not how well a video game translates to film, but how well a video game point of view translates to film.

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