John Amen

John Amen is the author of several collections of poetry, including Illusion of an Overwhelm (NYQ Books, 2017), a finalist for the 2018 Brockman-Campbell Award, and work from which was chosen as a finalist for the Dana Award. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in journals nationally and internationally, and his poetry has been translated into Spanish, French, Hungarian, Korean, and Hebrew. He is a Staff Reviewer for the music magazines and websites No Depression, Beats Per Minute, and PopMatters. He founded and is managing editor of Pedestal Magazine.
Phosphorescent Turns Introspective on ‘Revelator’

Phosphorescent Turns Introspective on ‘Revelator’

Revelator captures Phosphorescent’s endeavor to encounter life as it is, practicing vulnerability, empathy, and a degree of self-effacement.

Arlo Parks Navigates the Sophomore Slump with ‘My Soft Machine’

Arlo Parks Navigates the Sophomore Slump with ‘My Soft Machine’

Though buoyed by Arlo Parks’ resilience and desire for authentic union with a partner, My Soft Machine is over reliant on predictable sonics and vague melodies.

Boygenius Celebrate Art, Friendship, and Creative Chemistry on ‘The Record’

Boygenius Celebrate Art, Friendship, and Creative Chemistry on ‘The Record’

Democratically curated and enthusiastic, Boygenius’ The Record is a testimony to friendship, the power of aesthetic commonality, and the magic of teamwork.

100 gecs Mine Cultural Maximalism in ‘10000 Gecs’

100 gecs Mine Cultural Maximalism in ‘10000 Gecs’

100 gecs’ 10000 Gecs succeeds as a cultural correlative, an audial reflection of modern-day life, as much as, perhaps more than, a purely aesthetic offering.

Black Belt Eagle Scout Hones Her Message and Perfects Her Sound

Black Belt Eagle Scout Hones Her Message and Perfects Her Sound

With her third album, Black Belt Eagle Scout dazzles us with lush atmospheres, seismic rhythms, and a voice that unfurls from another and perhaps a better world.

Rina Sawayama’s ‘Hold the Girl’ Is a Bewildering Anticlimax

Rina Sawayama’s ‘Hold the Girl’ Is a Bewildering Anticlimax

Rina Sawayama’s second LP, Hold the Girl, suffers from a lack of risk and is self-consciously conservative in terms of execution. It’s a bewildering anticlimax.

Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ Is a Post-Covid Soiree and Massive PR Campaign

Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ Is a Post-Covid Soiree and Massive PR Campaign

While Renaissance occasionally sports more style than substance, Beyoncé emerges as the re-coronated Queen of Pop and the reigning regent of eclecticism.

Lizzo Emanates Confidence and Charisma on ‘Special’

Lizzo Emanates Confidence and Charisma on ‘Special’

Lizzo’s Special is as much a celebration of the Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook cosmos as it is an in-person, post-Covid bacchanal.

‘Memoria’ Plumbs Ageless Mysteries

‘Memoria’ Plumbs Ageless Mysteries

Memoria is a psychedelically inspired allegory, an impressionistic inquiry into human existence, including ignorance and insight, suffering and enlightenment.

Soccer Mommy Seeks New Sounds and Mixes with ‘Sometimes, Forever’

Soccer Mommy Seeks New Sounds and Mixes with ‘Sometimes, Forever’

When aesthetic balances are in place for much of Sometimes, Forever, Soccer Mommy glows like a moon reflecting a dying sun, one of the substantial artists of her generation.

Angel Olsen Creates Her Most Accessible Album with ‘Big Time’

Angel Olsen Creates Her Most Accessible Album with ‘Big Time’

With Big Time, Angel Olsen draws inspiration from some of popular music’s most perennial templates, revamping them and reinventing herself.

SCALPING Embrace Eclectic EDM Approaches on Debut ‘Void’

SCALPING Embrace Eclectic EDM Approaches on Debut ‘Void’

SCALPING’s Void energetically captures music designed for a club/real-time environment and hybridizes any number of EDM, punk, and metal precursors.