Music

Algiers - "And When You Fall" (Singles Going Steady)

Franklin James Fisher’s fiery rhetoric and deep baritone soul often sounds like it’s bellowing through a time machine into the present.

Kevin Korber: Manic and soulful, Franklin James Fisher is proclaiming the end of times while pointing a finger at the bastards who brought it about. His fiery vocals vocals infuse a unique life into Algiers’ mechanical post-punk. [8/10]

Dustin Ragucos: Algiers have managed to make gospel sounds palatable. Each time the bass really starts up, attentions snap back to the song. Explosion? Your mind's not one-hundred percent with the fire because it's still honing in on the song somehow. [6/10]

Timothy Gabriele: Franklin James Fisher’s fiery rhetoric and deep baritone soul often sounds like it’s bellowing through a time machine into the present, and it’s an infusion that feels absolutely necessary when the band sings hymnals of black erasure, modern alienation, and the like. And that’s the context that Algiers sounds the most vital on, like in “Irony.Utility.Pretext” when his vocal comes crashing through Kraftwerk’s mechanized beats like a ghost writhing to emerge from a Powerpoint presentation. The group is about five singles deep into their excellent debut self-titled album, and while ”And When You Fall” is not their best song, it contains many of the hallmarks that makes their postpunk gospel sonic seem so fresh and not just like the latest blast of retro gene-splicing. The track is transitional on the album, all trepidation and no explosive payoff, but this vibe harmoniously fits the song’s lyrics which are about justice slowly creeping up on hypocrites and an exploitative overclass. [7/10]

John Garratt: If they could just iron out a few of the repetitive elements, this would be a slam dunk. For the moment though, it's a smooth layup. Just when you think a climax is around the corner, there is a break in the action. Oh, if only we could shake the trends of modern pop production. Also, that video hurts the eyeballs. [6/10]

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin
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The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

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