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Music

BTS Master the Art of Timeless, Universal Songwriting with 'BE'

BE is the album in which BTS's sound crosses over to cement the type of legacy they're building – one that started in youth and is very proudly Korean, but that makes sense for any age or place.


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Books

Landing Instructions for Derrida

In his book, An Event, Perhaps, Derrida's intellectual development is adroitly unpacked by Peter Salmon without bamboozling the reader or peddling dime-store psychologizing.

Music

Elvis Costello Gets Dark and Brooding on 'Hey Clockface'

Elvis Costello is a complex man of dark humor and flashes of anger as he keeps fighting the good fight armed with a razor wit.

Music

Shanghai Restoration Project Offer Innovative Alternate Reality on 'Brave New World Symphony'

Imagination has always been the Shanghai Restoration Project's beating heart, and it has perhaps never been more timely than on Brave New World Symphony.

Music Reviews

Maxwell Stern Gives Us a Warm Car in Frigid Winter with 'Impossible Sum'

Maxwell Stern's debut record, The Impossible Sum, is a relaxed, honest, deeply felt exploration of what it means to be a feeling, caring human in our time of incessant gaslighting and doom scrolling.

Music

Susan Alcorn's 'Pedernal' Is a Chamber Jazz/Americana Blend

Baltimore's wizard of the pedal steel guitar, Susan Alcorn, offers a creative blend of Americana, jazz, and ethereal improvisation on Pedernal.

Music

Barry Gibb Re-Visits Bee Gees Classics with Superproducer Dave Cobb

Barry Gibb went to Nashville to make a country record of Bee Gees classics with Americana producer Dave Cobb. The result is Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1.

Music

J Mascis Welcomes You to Three Nights of Exquisite Songcraft and Pure Fun

Fed Up and Feeling Strange: Live and in Person (1993-1998) shows the Dinosaur Jr maestro doesn't need a wall of amplifiers to make an impact.

Music

Dave Scanlon's 'Pink in each, bright blue, bright green' Is a Stark, Deeply Elegant Solo Work

Dave Scanlon, the singer and guitarist of Brooklyn's JOBS, offers a stripped-down collection of songs that retains the unique intensity of his more complex work.

Music

MetalMatters: The Best Metal Albums of December 2020

Post-rock legends Jesu return after seven years, chameleonic rockers Boris collaborate once more with noise fiend Merzbow, and Dan Barrett unleashes Black Wing's sophomore record.

Books

Elvis Presley's Unlikely Comeback

Elvis historian Eric Wolfson's 33 1/3 book, Elvis Presley's From Elvis in Memphis, examines perhaps the greatest artistic accomplishment of Elvis' career: a comeback album that reinstated his relevance.

Film

Beauty and Horror in George C. Wolfe's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

The characters in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, distinct as they are, besiege the viewer's mind as metaphors, mythic exemplars of a disturbing legacy America seems unable or unwilling to address.

Music

Playboi Carti Creates a Whole Lotta Music on ​'Whole Lotta Red'

Whole Lotta Red demonstrates Playboi Carti's commitment to dynamic growth and experimentation. However, it's painfully apparent that Carti needs more features.

Books

'Clutter' Gets in Your Head

In Jennifer Howard's social history, Clutter, the emotional relationship to the material world is critical in trying to understand her mother's hoarding behaviors.

Music

Jack Name's 'Magic Touch' Evokes Sober Moments of Memoirs

Jack Name likes to make little worlds with his albums, and Magic Touch is no exception. I found myself thinking of it as a prose work.

Books

Martin Amis' 'Inside Story' Is a Grimoire

Where things don't quite add up in autobiography Inside Story, Martin Amis fashions the untidy sum into a sort of punchline; where there aren't any punchlines, he makes the mess into a cosmic joke.

Music

Taylor Swift Has Written the Best Music of Her Career with 'evermore' and 'folklore'

Taylor Swift's second surprise album of 2020, evermore, solidifies the questions brought up by folklore back in July. How do we consider her work when it's clearly not autobiographical anymore?

Film

Farnoosh Samadi's Impressive Debut, '180 Degree Rule', Leaves a Lasting Mark

Farnoosh Samadi's 180 Degree Rule brutally explores our tendency to condemn instead of to embrace one another with compassion and understanding.

Books

Warren Read's 'One Simple Thing' Is Hardly So Simple

Tension is inescapable in Warren Read's story about a need to escape, One Simple Thing.

Music

The Avalanches Say 'We Will Always Love You'

The Avalanches as a collaborative pop project isn't a bad look, but the guests here embarrass themselves in too many ways, mostly through vague polemics.

Film

'The Other Side of Madness' Is the Most Obscure Charles Manson Film

If truth is stranger than fiction then the truth about some films, such as the Charles Manson film The Other Side of Madness, feels as strange as reality ever gets.


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