Justin Cober-Lake

Justin Cober-Lake lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, kids, and dog. After getting his BA in English from Gettysburg College in 1999, he began writing steadily, except for a brief interlude to pick up a Master's in English with a concentration in American Studies from the University of Virginia. Besides his pieces at PopMatters, Justin publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and lyrics in a variety of places, including Dusted, Spectrum Culture, The Daily Progress, and The Englewood Review of Books.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse Find Fresh Sounds on ‘Early Daze’

Neil Young and Crazy Horse Find Fresh Sounds on ‘Early Daze’

Early Daze highlights Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s early connectedness that allowed their art to flourish not only immediately but over the decades, too.

Willie Nelson Finds a Peak at ‘The Border’

Willie Nelson Finds a Peak at ‘The Border’

Willie Nelson’s The Border is one of his best late-era albums thanks to his ability to subtly add heft to an ostensibly straightforward country LP.

Iron & Wine Take a Mature Approach to ‘Light Verse’

Iron & Wine Take a Mature Approach to ‘Light Verse’

A mix of mature realism and lingering hope gives Iron & Wine’s Light Verse its heart. Sam Beam only needs to search for sweetness when it’s hidden.

Charlie Parr Looks Inward and Upward for ‘Little Sun’

Charlie Parr Looks Inward and Upward for ‘Little Sun’

Charlie Parr remains aware of his blues tradition, but he mostly moves into his own space, building on his roots background with creativity for Little Sun.

Vijay Iyer, Linda May Han Oh, and Tyshawn Sorey Find ‘Compassion’

Vijay Iyer, Linda May Han Oh, and Tyshawn Sorey Find ‘Compassion’

The Vijay Iyer Trio’s new album Compassion contains some of the pianist’s most immediately enjoyable music without sacrificing any of his usual complexity.

Sleater-Kinney Make a Big Statement with ‘Little Rope’

Sleater-Kinney Make a Big Statement with ‘Little Rope’

With careful arrangements, sharp production, and stunning lyrics, Little Rope marks another peak in Sleater-Kinney’s stellar career.

Skyway Man Explores the Cosmos on ‘Flight of the Long Distance Healer’

Skyway Man Explores the Cosmos on ‘Flight of the Long Distance Healer’

Skyway Man’s Flight of the Long Distance Healer settles into a solid retro-pop vibe full of brightness and melody, but some of it disappears into stargazing.

Sufjan Stevens Hits the Mark with ‘Javelin’

Sufjan Stevens Hits the Mark with ‘Javelin’

Sufjan Stevens draws on his broad musical experience and stylistic flexibility for his new LP, giving Javelin musical wisdom and making it one of his best.

Mikaela Davis Creates a New Blueprint for ‘And Southern Star’

Mikaela Davis Creates a New Blueprint for ‘And Southern Star’

Mikaela Davis builds her latest LP as a progression, moving further into rock territory as if demonstrating across an album the fluidity of genre and her art.

Willie Nelson Finds Comfort With ‘Bluegrass’

Willie Nelson Finds Comfort With ‘Bluegrass’

Willie Nelson’s Bluegrass marks a time to relax, enjoy what we have, and settle in with something nice and easy, and it’s none the worse for knowing what it is.

Hiss Golden Messenger Find Reasons to ‘Jump for Joy’

Hiss Golden Messenger Find Reasons to ‘Jump for Joy’

Hiss Golden Messenger’s Jump for Joy switches up the mood considerably, offering a bouncy set of tracks of youthful enthusiasm and maturing gratitude.

Rhiannon Giddens Tackles Multiple Styles for ‘You’re the One’

Rhiannon Giddens Tackles Multiple Styles for ‘You’re the One’

Rhiannon Giddens’ exploration of the extensive history of American music continues to be compelling and enlightening on You’re the One.