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Bicep Flex New Talents on Sophomore Release 'Isles'

Bicep's sophomore release Isles is much more grown-up and conflicted. However, this is not to the detriment of their characteristic eclectic abandon.

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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.


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.


On Finnish Film 'Open Up to Me' and Trans Portrayal in Film

Viewers might temper a recognition of Finnish film Open Up to Me's strong points with an awareness of the complexity of trans portrayal in film.


Nicki and Patrick Adams Offer an Engaging Classical/Jazz Hybrid on 'Lynx'

Eclectic siblings Nicki and Patrick Adams draw from a wealth of musical genres and training to produce an album of depth and beauty.


LOG ET3RNAL Is a Dubbed-out Beauty of Soft, Skeletal Ambience

Ulla and Perila, two experimental producers on the vanguard of modern ambient, take their talent to new heights on LOG ET3RNAL, their first collaborative LP under the LOG moniker.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


'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.


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.


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.


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?

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