soft rock

A Fanatic’s 10 Best Supertramp Songs

A Fanatic’s 10 Best Supertramp Songs

During their heyday, Supertramp created a run of progressive-pop albums so intricate and irresistibly catchy, as to redefine what AOR radio could sound like.

Joni Mitchell’s Archival ‘Volume 3’ Documents Her Most Fertile Period

Joni Mitchell’s Archival ‘Volume 3’ Documents Her Most Fertile Period

Joni Mitchell’s Archives Vol. 3: The Asylum Years (1972-1975) is a towering achievement and the live concert performances are a special treat.

Just Growing Old? Steely Dan’s ‘Countdown to Ecstasy’ at 50

Just Growing Old? Steely Dan’s ‘Countdown to Ecstasy’ at 50

Steely Dan’s Countdown to Ecstasy reveals a progression toward ever more sheen and polish on a smooth shell, the source of the “yacht rock” label that defined them.

How Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks Became the New Age “White Witch”

How Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks Became the New Age “White Witch”

The idea of Stevie Nicks as Fleetwood Mac’s “white witch” is particularly poignant as the second wave of feminism rolled into the ’70s.

That Stank Attitude: Steely Dan’s Final Albums Two Decades Later

That Stank Attitude: Steely Dan’s Final Albums Two Decades Later

The last album by the rock/jazz phenoms Steely Dan was released 20 years ago. This is a look back at why their last two records deserve reconsideration.

Hopelessly Devoted to Whom? Olivia Newton-John, Juliana Hatfield, and Me

Hopelessly Devoted to Whom? Olivia Newton-John, Juliana Hatfield, and Me

In her tribute album, Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John, Hatfield gives us a direct line to the heady days of the ’80s and makes us wonder if shiny, electric blue lycra was really so bad. 

Carly Simon Became a Pop Rom-Com Queen with ‘Coming Around Again’

Carly Simon Became a Pop Rom-Com Queen with ‘Coming Around Again’

Carly Simon adapted to the glossier, smoother sounds of 1980s soft-rock, spinning yarns of upper-class anxiety in Coming Around Again.

Céline Dion’s ‘Falling Into You’ Was a Triumph of 1990s High Camp Pop Art

Céline Dion’s ‘Falling Into You’ Was a Triumph of 1990s High Camp Pop Art

Falling Into You could only be made by an artist like Céline Dion, who knows that whatever she puts out will be slammed by critics but adored by her audience.

Carly Simon’s ‘No Secrets’ Created the Bond We Feel with Singer-Songwriter Music

Carly Simon’s ‘No Secrets’ Created the Bond We Feel with Singer-Songwriter Music

Carly Simon’s No Secrets established what’s known as the “Carly Simon Principle”: the bond we feel with singer-songwriter music and how fans map their own meaning onto popular songs.

Carly Simon Performed at an Unpublicized Concert at Grand Central Station in 1995

Carly Simon Performed at an Unpublicized Concert at Grand Central Station in 1995

Carly Simon’s literate, confessional songwriting opened the door for other artists to do the same, including Olivia Rodrigo, Sara Bareilles, and Taylor Swift.

Joni Mitchell Went Back to the Land on ‘For the Roses’ 50 Years Ago

Joni Mitchell Went Back to the Land on ‘For the Roses’ 50 Years Ago

In 1972, Joni Mitchell traded the hubbub of the big city for nature’s quiet solitude. There, she wrote an album of unparalleled earthy wonder, For the Roses.

Love Has Flown: Remembering Olivia Newton-John

Love Has Flown: Remembering Olivia Newton-John

Losing Olivia Newton-John this week made for summer dreams ripped at the seams. Like so many of you, she was my first love.