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Monday, March 2 2015

Kelly Clarkson: Piece By Piece

With her latest, Kelly Clarkson proves that what doesn't kill her (and that voice) only makes her (and that voice) stronger.


Marc Almond: The Velvet Trail

The former Soft Cell frontman's latest rejects pop convention for an album-length singer/songwriter collaboration


Ryan Culwell: Flatlands

If Flatlands was a movie, it would have better been entitled Badlands given its barren settings and austere atmosphere.


Grooms: Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair

Although Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair has a fairly distinct color scheme, it deviates enough to resist the pastel end of the indie rock rainbow.


Doomtree: All Hands

For all the lip-service they pay cooperation, Doomtree's members fight against nobody so much as each other on this dilute offering.


Friday, February 27 2015

‘The Lazarus Effect’ Is an 88 Minute Excuse for Exposition

Because The Lazarus Effect takes so long getting to the supposedly scary stuff, we have to stay focused on either the characters or the content, and both fail.


‘Focus’ Is a Romantic Comedy With Dimension

This Will Smith vehicle is witty, brash Hollywood entertainment that's sexy, smart, and on the whole, successful.


‘Maps to the Stars’ Brings Back Some Classic Cronenberg Horror

While not in the vein of Cronenberg's classic body horror thrillers, the bleak showbiz satire Maps to the Stars could well be a horror film after all.


‘Lucy’ Entertains Despite Its Stupid Science

Lucy's idea of science is akin to a stoner complaining about how math doesn't really exist, but it does have an audacity that many sci-fi thrillers in the present day lack.


Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti (Deluxe Edition)

Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin's first last album, represents the most grandiose expression of these Brits at the height of their powers.


Steve Gunn and Black Twig Pickers: Seasonal Hire

The rough carpentry of these songs lets the dust fly, lets the grain show, but the songs are all the purer, all the sweeter, for their scuffs.


Sonny & the Sunsets: Talent Night at the Ashram

This noble experiment often overextends its reach, but does so with such charming confidence you can’t help but enjoy its ramshackle pop confections.


Jellyfish: Bellybutton / Spilt Milk

Expanded re-mastered releases of Bellybutton and Spilt Milk with live cuts and demos from power pop cult band Jellyfish.


Universal Togetherness Band: Universal Togetherness Band

From 1979 to 1982, Andre Gibson's band recorded countless tunes with audio engineering students at Columbia College. Universal Togetherness Band compiles a tight cross-section of those recordings, showing the band's tight chops and expansive taste.


Thursday, February 26 2015

‘Bluebird’ Makes for a Thoughtful Examination of Distraction

Every character in Bluebird reminds us of how we might deliberately distract ourselves, in ways that simultaneously buffer and generate pain.


Two Troubled People = Explosive Chemistry

Along the way to Preparation for the Next Life's dramatic conclusion, there's a good deal of lovely, Nabokovian-like descriptive writing.


Death and Childhood Hover Over Guy Maddin’s ‘My Winnipeg’

The comic mythologizing of Winnipeg becomes conflated with an urge for Maddin to mythologize himself.


Drake: If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

At the peak of his game, Drake has begun to embrace the darker sides of success.


The Pop Group: Citizen Zombie

In an age of band reunions where anything is possible, we now have the Pop Group’s first album in 35 years.


Vijay Iyer Trio: Break Stuff

Iyer’s trio returns for its ECM debut, a sharp rhythmic workout that continues this musician’s brilliant run.


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