Janet Jackson’s Janet, released 30 years ago today, embraces the maturity of her sexuality and political identity, and in the process, she creates beautiful music.
Bob Dylan’s 1967 album John Wesley Harding is more about what it is not than what it is. Does that hold true for the mythology of John Wesley Hardin himself?
Sonic Youth’s Confusion Is Sex is impressively raw and uncompromising, thrilling and terrifying as a walk through the Lower East Side in the early 1980s.
Calexico’s 2003 album Feast of Wire hauntingly soundtracks the plight of Central American migrants who arrive at America’s border long before – and well after – the dissolution of Title 42.
Carly Simon adapted to the glossier, smoother sounds of 1980s soft-rock, spinning yarns of upper-class anxiety in Coming Around Again.
The Kinks’ Ray Davies is a master of creating a rushing, crashing, emotional middle eight in his songs. This songwriting technique creates that personal connection to the fan experience.
Speaking in Tongues captures Talking Heads at the zenith of their funk freakout and just before a big gray suit would change everything. It’s an art-pop funk masterpiece.
What better way to celebrate Living Colour’s landmark album Vivid on its 35th birthday than talking to the band’s guitarist and primary songwriter, Vernon Reid.
Basia’s The Sweetest Illusion speaks to my family’s migration from Poland to France, the US, and the UK. Like Basia, I’ve picked up various cultural ephemera along the way.
Scott Walker is a funhouse version of David Bowie. He carved out his own space in music, one almost stubbornly unfashionable but also indispensable in the way one-of-a-kind things often are.