Latest Blog Posts

by PopMatters Staff

9 Oct 2017

Photo: Sam Jones

John Garratt: I’m familiar with the drill by this point—cultists and apologists insist that, when their favorite act releases new material, one must not gauge it against their old material. I think this is fair enough. U2 paid their dues a long time ago and are entitled to some critical peace (they can also stop feeling the need to ingratiate themselves to New York City). But try as I might, I simply can’t forget that time between 1991 and 1995 when the future seemed absurdly wide open for this band. Yes, “You’re the Best Thing About Me” is catchy and can get stuck in your brain. It’s also a band on autopilot. It’s vanilla ice cream with none of the toppings, which has been U2’s musical direction for the last 13 years. “The Fly” has been swatted away. “Zooropa” is now just a funny made-up word. “Your Blue Room” has been erroneously filed away as a b-side. What’s left is this, and it’ll likely be good enough for the cultists and apologists. [6/10]

by Paul Carr

6 Oct 2017

Photo: Dense Truth

Forest Swords, aka Merseyside producer, Matthew Barnes, serves up a new single featuring two cuts born from the sessions that produced his acclaimed Compassion album. All proceeds from the release are going towards the relief efforts in Puerto Rico and Mexico following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria and the recent earthquake.

by Sarah Zupko

5 Oct 2017

Photo: Ane Brun

Norway’s Ane Brun has a compelling new album, Leave Me Breathless, releasing 6 October in which the singer re-interprets 14 classic songs from various pop and rock greats such as Radiohead, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Nick Cave, Sade, and more. The record includes her version of Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” that she sang to celebrate his 2016 Nobel Prize for literature. Brun impressively makes this entire set of songs her own with entirely original and fresh takes on this familiar material.

by Sarah Zupko

5 Oct 2017

Photo: Shanachie Records

Soul singer extraordinaire Syleena Johnson is going old school on her latest album Rebirth of Soul. Decamping to her hometown of Chicago, Johnson created the LP with her father Syl Johnson producing and a group of musicians recording live takes of every song to achieve maximum energy as well as the genuine feeling of a real performance. Johnson is such an accomplished vocalist that she imbues every song with heart, emotion, and deep, moving, soul.

by Jedd Beaudoin

5 Oct 2017

Coma Cluster Void doesn’t do things like other bands. The group’s Thoughts From a Stone is a 22-minute piece, and its brand new video “Mother, Dreamer”, extracted from the larger composition, arrives as a 360° Panorama video. With haunting, classically-inspired passages, doses of technical death metal and hard-edged progressive rock, the track is undeniably unsettling and yet impossibly entertaining.

//Mixed media

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

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