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Reviews

Thursday, December 18 2014

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.


Spank Rock: The Upside EP

“Do you want a spanking or do you want to go to bed?” This EP is meant for those who want it both ways.


‘The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress’ Is a Historical Mystery With Panache

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress is all about speakeasies, gangsters, glamour, and mystery. Best of all? The mystery is a true story.


Homewrecker: Circle of Death

Circle of Death works best when things become subtle and a big part of that is slowing stuff down.


Various Artists: Palo Alto (Music From the Motion Picture)

Devonte Hynes and Robert Schwartzman head up this synthy, très indie companion piece to Gia Coppola's film.


Wednesday, December 17 2014

‘Foxcatcher’ Is a True Story About a False World

For his third film based on true material, Bennett Miller tells a tale of how when wealth and Olympian athleticism mix together, those living in those worlds become increasingly insulated.


The Manic Street Preachers Re-Open ‘The Holy Bible’

With their full performance of The Holy Bible, the Manic Street Preachers take the most sunless of records and place it under a spotlight.


Nikki Yanofsky: Little Secret

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".


Faust: j US t

Ostensibly a grand experiment, Faust's latest is just another pretentious excuse to avoid the most difficult step in all art: finishing it.


The Society Islands: The Big Sleep

There’s strong production value here, as alt rock and indie rock sensibilities are mixed in with dreamy psychedelic ambience.


‘The Imaginary App’ Shows How Real Apps Have Become to Us

Apps changed everything. The Imaginary App explains how.


‘Lord of Illusions’ Is Clive Barker’s Horror Style Filtered Through a Noir Lens

Lord of Illusions is at its best when it balances noir mystery with supernatural elements without veering too far to one side or another.


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.


‘The Strange Library’ Is Classic, Opaque Murakami

Whimsical and frustrating, Murakami's latest may alienate some readers, but fans will want to add this oddity to their collection.


Tuesday, December 16 2014

‘National Gallery’: Frederick Wiseman Looks at How We Look at Art

Within three minutes, the film connects stories across time as told by painters and observers and those who work in London's National Gallery.


Grading on a Curve: “Spider-Man and the X-men #1”

Spider-Man's first teaching experience with mutants has some new twists, but misses out on important lessons.


Buddhism Wins and Crack Loses in ‘Herbie Hancock: Possibilities’

Herbie Hancock's memoir shows us how possibilities in and of themselves can be fleeting, but their ripple effects can go on nearly forever.


‘I Am Santa Claus’ Shows That Santa’s Life Isn’t All Candy Canes and Cheery Smiles

After watching I Am Santa Claus, you'll never think of Santa the same way, whether you like it or not.


Joni Mitchell: Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, a Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced

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.


Rancid: Honor Is All We Know

...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.


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