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Music
The Best Jazz of 2014
By Will Layman and John Garratt
The skeptics who claim jazz is weaker than before simply aren't listening. As these 16 albums reveal, jazz remains on the cutting edge. [18.Dec.14]
Charli XCX: Sucker
More often than not, Sucker just ends up being too clever for its own good, despite Charli XCX's attempts to be the smartest student at the Pop Music Academy. [18.Dec.14]
When Kendrick Lamar Hits NPR, We All Win
When everyone feels they can be an expert, how do you reassert your ownership over a topic? By waiting for its crossover moment. [17.Dec.14]
The Best Avant-Garde and Experimental Albums of 2014
By Andrew McDonald
With new albums from icons like Swans, the continued proliferation of vaporwave, and a bevy of exciting new acts, 2014 has been a wonderful year for experimental and avant-garde music. [17.Dec.14]
Unwound: No Energy
The No Energy boxset provides a valuable opportunity to place the unsung Unwound in a proper context, both offering nostalgia-tinged appreciation of a band at the height of its powers, as well as putting the music of the '90s Kill Rock Stars stalwarts in a new light. [17.Dec.14]
Reviews
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The No Energy boxset provides a valuable opportunity to place the unsung Unwound in a proper context, both offering nostalgia-tinged appreciation of a band at the height of its powers, as well as putting the music of the '90s Kill Rock Stars stalwarts in a new light.
Ostensibly a grand experiment, Faust's latest is just another pretentious excuse to avoid the most difficult step in all art: finishing it.
She started as a pre-teen Ella Fitzgerald clone, flirted with being Norah Jones, and now (at 20) finally sounds like the young pop singer she is...despite some lingering belief that she needs to "give jazz new life".
There’s strong production value here, as alt rock and indie rock sensibilities are mixed in with dreamy psychedelic ambience.
Love Has Many Faces is a great box set, but make no mistake: while it does tell Joni Mitchell's story, it may not be the exact one you've been wanting to hear.
...Honor is All We Know is a solid but ultimately inessential addition to the Rancid catalogue that finds Rancid back where they belong, crafting straightforward punk anthems without pretense.
EPs nine and 10 in Pallot’s 2014 song-writing project are polar opposites of each other; from the cheery to despondent.
Yes, there's already been one Rough Guide to African Blues. But don't go thinking this is more of the same.
Twenty years on, the Old 97’s see their indie debut re-released in deluxe packaging by Omnivore. It’s worth the plunge.
If you're looking for a pretty sick and twisted metal record, here you go.
Space-rock and dub reggae sound great together, man. Who knew?? 10th Anniversary reissue for the Pink Floyd reinterpretation.
Legendary music artist Annette Peacock fuses blues, rock, jazz and poetry on her once rare 1969 debut, finally reissued by Ironic Records.
With 2014 Forest Hills Drive, J. Cole relies on on stimulating emotions by telling instead of evoking emotion by showing.
Philip Glass' collection of 20 etudes, written over a span of 19 years, is given a moving performance by the virtuosic pianist Maki Namekawa.
A soporific lullaby of the heart and mind, Björklund’s Shaken puts to bed any misconception of how a Danish artist should sound.
Pretty Music for Pretty People is fun. Fortunately, that's not the only thing going for it.
Brazilian thrash veterans Ratos de Porão's first offering in eight years is certainly nothing worth dancing over.
In an ideal world, Automat is what industrial music would have grown into, something which acknowledges the roads its founding members paved without imitating them in the process.
Meet the new Smashing Pumpkins, gradually distancing themselves from the old Smashing Pumpkins.
Sinatra box-set with re-mastered studio album Sinatra Sings Great Songs From Great Britain and a wealth of British extras.
If you bemoan the fact that the metal genre is getting more and more unlistenable due to groups trying to push beyond music into something else entirely, then this will fit the bill.
Choosing the busker over the diva role, Madeleine Peyroux’s eclectic 20-year career is highlighted on this collection of jazz vocal non-standards.
Best Of only offers a truncated, abridged version of three quality records that, ironically, misses out on much of the Swedish synthpop band's best music.
Has Jonathan Richman reached the point in his career where the only people who buy his new albums have been fans of his for 20 years?
Capsule Reviews
This EP is perfect for anyone who wants to hear the style of ‘80s rap mixed with the thematic concerns of the present. [17.Dec.14]
Events
Mixed Media
News
Features
By Will Layman and John Garratt
The skeptics who claim jazz is weaker than before simply aren't listening. As these 16 albums reveal, jazz remains on the cutting edge. [17.Dec.14]
By Andrew McDonald
With new albums from icons like Swans, the continued proliferation of vaporwave, and a bevy of exciting new acts, 2014 has been a wonderful year for experimental and avant-garde music. [16.Dec.14]
Columns
Mixtape Confessions
When everyone feels they can be an expert, how do you reassert your ownership over a topic? By waiting for its crossover moment. [16.Dec.14]
Notes on Celluloid
The year 2014 saw classic composer/director teams hit new highs, as well as a considerable dark streak take over the world of film scoring. [15.Dec.14]
From The Blogs
By Max Qayyum
As the guitarist for A Rocket to the Moon, Nick Santino was worried if fans would follow his solo endeavors. As his 2014 album Big Skies and a recent UK tour has proven ... yes, yes they will. [17.Dec.14]
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