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'The Bends' and the Blazing of a Trail Into the New Millennium
By Vance Martin
Amidst a transformational time in the post-Vietnam and post-Reagan eras, The Bends represented a transition between the tumultuous latter half of the 20th century and the new millennium ahead. [30.Mar.15]
Experiencing Isolation and Connection In Tall Buildings
By Jennifer Kelly
In Tall Buildings' Erik Hall got the name from recording in a Chicago skyscraper, but notes that "I don't tend to write songs that jump out at the listener, but rather kind of invite the listener in." [30.Mar.15]
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell
Nearly five years after his last studio effort, Sufjan Stevens brings us a quiet meditation on grief. [30.Mar.15]
The Sonics: This Is the Sonics
The first new studio album since 1967 from these garage rock legends has its faults, but it's an overall solid addition to their already classic discography. [30.Mar.15]
30 Musical, Literary and Cultural Reasons to Celebrate 30 More Years of Phish: Part Two
By Katherine Factor
From Romanticism to structuralism, the musical ingenuity of Phish pays tribute to a variety of cultural movements; they're more dada than dad rock. [27.Mar.15]
Reviews
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Nearly five years after his last studio effort, Sufjan Stevens brings us a quiet meditation on grief.
The first new studio album since 1967 from these garage rock legends has its faults, but it's an overall solid addition to their already classic discography.
This is pop music that's also anti-pop music. It's consistently accessible and intentionally confusing.
These Tall Trees veers towards a psych-lite sound, mostly upbeat and effervescent.
Recording in mono might seem like a back-to-basics move but the Mavericks never forgot what they were about anyway.
Religious music, black metal, electronic, and 8-bit all come together in this bizarre yet ultimately captivating philosophical tome from Liturgy.
It roars, dilutes, squeals, shrieks, pulsates and squawks. Welcome to the world of Zu.
Chastity Belt brings the '90s nostalgia, but forgets to bring the variety along with it.
Pug fought through some tough times to produce this optimistic, rewarding record.
The candor of Bingham on Bingham reveals an intimate portrait of love and hope on Fear and Saturday Night.
True to its name, Vibes comes chock-full of different vibes for different situations.
The eclectic guitar becomes a tool that complements Laura Marling's lyrics on this pivotal album, at times articulating visceral anger and, at others, obliterating psychic barriers and clearing space for something new.
With heavier rock influence and toned-down electronic methodology, The Scene Between represents the Go! Team's greatest deviation from their original template yet.
Goon isn’t great, but it is a fine example of what might evolve from pure pop purpose.
Andrew Combs is either ignorant of or recording in deference to the past by rekindling the gilded countrypolitan spirit on his sophomore release, All These Dreams.
The Booster series wraps up as the world bids farewell to Edgar Froese.
There's an innovative sound happening here, with many tracks sounding like they came from the soundtrack of some dystopian sci-fi world or even just the dark Orwellian future that’s currently on Earth’s horizon right here in 2015.
Earl Sweatshirt leaves shock horror behind and finds something much better on his brilliant third album.
In the end, this is exactly what we have come to expect from Lightning Bolt; a set list of fuzzy, overwhelming, noise rock that keeps it simple while never missing its target.
Tulsa speaks to more than the desolate environs its sound sometimes suggests.
Distressing, awkward, disturbing and almost upsetting, this aura of discomfort, if combined with the sound of the term itself (|ˈkɒntrətɒ̃|) is the essence of the music presented by Joel Ebner.
Junior Wells and his men straddle two decades and lay down 15 gems.
Forgoing the obvious hits and contemporary pop star collaborators, iconoclast Van Morrison raises the bar for what duet albums can and should be.
The assortment of different tunes here suggests McKay understands the complexity of the past and reveals her empathy for a more hopeful time when love and peace were fresh thoughts rather than a debased slogan.
The Brothers Jarman maintain a taut, propulsive sound. There’s no let up at all, and even the more melodic entries maintain a considerable amount of swagger and sway.
Does every album have to be a classic? Minor pleasures are still pleasures, at the end of the day.
The Popguns are an archetypal '80s/'90s Brit indie band who, although they can knock out a passable tune, lack the inspiration or adventure to stray any distance from their fixed musical roots.
Capsule Reviews
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Features
By Vance Martin
Amidst a transformational time in the post-Vietnam and post-Reagan eras, The Bends represented a transition between the tumultuous latter half of the 20th century and the new millennium ahead. [29.Mar.15]
By Jennifer Kelly
In Tall Buildings' Erik Hall got the name from recording in a Chicago skyscraper, but notes that "I don't tend to write songs that jump out at the listener, but rather kind of invite the listener in." [29.Mar.15]
Columns
Stars in Our Eyes
For once, a pop artist has rejected the idea of stardom, and as a result, has become one of the world’s most discussed pop stars. [25.Mar.15]
The Amazing Pudding
After the back-to-back-to-back brilliance of their previous three albums, a letdown seemed inevitable; amazingly, Ian Anderson & Co. raised the bar, instead. [19.Mar.15]
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