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Wednesday, February 4 2015

Hozier: Hozier

On his rich debut album, Hozier blends deep South R&B with mythical Celtic folk, slipping in a lick of Motown heartache when least expected.


Tuesday, February 3 2015

Mount Eerie: Sauna

From beginning to end, Sauna reads its map upside down, but finds the destination all the same.


Various Artists: When I Reach That Heavenly Shore: Unearthly Black Gospel, 1926-1936

Tompkins Square’s third major anthology of African-American gospel draws from the genre's earliest recorded sources to offer listeners evocative echoes of the nineteenth century.


American Aquarium: Wolves

Still trying to find purpose after surviving the suicidal Flame.Flicker.Die., American Aquarium deliver a confused and confusing album.


Glenn Branca: The Ascension

A pioneer of massed-guitar music still worth listening to.


Monday, February 2 2015

Murder By Death: Big Dark Love

Love may be a many-splendored thing, but in the hands of Murder By Death, it’s also an instigator of pain and horror.


Ricked Wicky: I Sell the Circus

I Sell the Circus, Robert Pollard's first album with his new band, makes a convincing argument for Ricked Wicky as a powerful rock band.


Young Ejecta: The Planet

Leanne Macomber and Joel Ford's second release as Young Ejecta is too morose and humorless to be really good pop music, and too upbeat and cheap to be taken very seriously.


Guster: Evermotion

Guster takes a decided turn in direction with Evermotion, due mainly to the album’s softer sound and songs that evoke gentler, less complicated constraints.


Paul Shapiro: Shofarot Verses

This time out, saxophonist Paul Shapiro refracts his Jewish heritage not only through jazz but also through raw rock sounds, with guitarist Marc Ribot utterly riveting throughout.


Friday, January 30 2015

Jessica Pratt: On Your Own Love Again

Grief, upheaval, and a creative exile serve as the backdrop for the latest from rising California singer-songwriter.


Jim White vs. the Packway Handle Band: Take It Like a Man

Following the conceit of the “versus” listed in the artists’ category (“Jim White vs. Packway Handle Band”) title, on Take It Like a Man, White and the band alternately offer songs with just one co-written between them.


Karen O: Crush Songs

Not only are these songs about crushes, they feel just like one: emotionally intense, completely beautiful, and above all, fleeting.


Nico & Vinz: Black Star Elephant

Black Star Elephant proves to be a pleasant, uplifting album, though by no means earth shattering.


Thursday, January 29 2015

Bettye LaVette: Worthy

More than 50 years into her career, Bettye LaVette still has a voice for the ages.


The Kinks: Muswell Hillbillies (Legacy Edition)

Like that lady who dreams of an Oklahoma where Shirley Jones and Gordon McCrea dwell, we can fantasize of an England where our neighbors lead rich and eccentric lives and invite us over for a friendly spot of tea.


Branford Marsalis: In My Solitude: Live at Grace Cathedral

If you like the sound of a saxophone flying solo, just wait until you hear it in a big-ass church.


Vance Joy: Dream Your Life Away

The pop veins that Vance Joy mines so beautifully are unrequited and disbelieving love, and the songs’ appeal lie primarily in Joy’s voice, a voice that projects tremendous yearning.


Wednesday, January 28 2015

The Lone Bellow: Then Came the Morning

The Lone Bellow knows how to nail a crescendo. The problem with Then Came the Morning is that it makes it seem like the band is only good at that.


Björk: Biophilia Live

As Björk’s live shows become increasingly sprawling in their design and execution, less attention seems to be paid on the arrangements and the dynamics of her songs – or rather, their potential to be reworked into something entirely new onstage.


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