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Whitney Take a Master Class on 'Candid'

Although covers albums are usually signs of trouble, Whitney's Candid is a surprisingly inspired release, with a song selection that's eclectic and often obscure.

Recent
Music

'Pacific Breeze 2' Is Another Refreshing Dive into the Waters of City Pop

Reissue label Light in the Attic follows up last year's Japanese musical excursion with another collection, Pacific Breeze 2, that's sure to please lovers of international retro-pop.

Music

Adeline Hotel's 'Solid Love' Is a Bracing Experience That Beams with Soothing Energy

Dan Knishkowy returns with Adeline Hotel and Solid Love, a new album full of folk-leaning songs that are both gentle and arresting.

Music

Brendan James Focuses on What We Have "In Common" (premiere)

Pop's Brendan James is prepping a new album, but paused to release this new single with a message of hope and reconciliation.

Music

Haim - "The Steps" (Singles Going Steady)

Haim's "The Steps" is flawless -- memorable, intense, and with a chorus that's like a French kiss and a slap in the face at the same time.

Music

The Saxophones Take Us to 'Eternity Bay' (album stream) (premiere)

The Saxophones seamlessly blend surf pop, exotica, and West Coast jazz on their smart and sensitive new LP, Eternity Bay.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

James Taylor's Standards Album Sounds Exactly Like You Imagine It Does

The father of soft rock is the latest to mine the Great American Songbook for inspiration, but unlike his peers, James Taylor approaches the material with the love, care, and sincerity of a true fan.

Music

The 10 Best Sappy Love Songs of the 1970s

Just in time for Valentine's Day... If you were a child of the 1970s, you no doubt grew up hearing these tunes on your parents' eight-track player and car radio. The songs on this list are sappy, high-drama love ballads -- and for that they're being celebrated.

Music

Folk Rock's the Dales Contemplate "Easy Times" (premiere)

Los Angeles folk rock trio, the Dales deliver the majestic single, "Easy Times". Band co-founder Drew Lawrence says, "I decided to turn it all off and focus on the good things, the ones around me that I love."

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

"I Move in Shadows" Demonstrates Office Culture's Impeccable Cool (premiere + Interview)

Brooklyn soft rockers, Office Culture tease their sophomore album with tune that captures the collective's inherent coolness, moving between ECM jazz and late '70s pop. Hear "I Move in Shadows".

Music

Lighting a Fire in the Rain: An Interview with Travis

Two decades on, lauded Scottish rockers Travis reflect on the re-issue of their masterpiece The Man Who along with their pivotal Glastonbury performance, which launched the group to new heights.

Colin McGuire
Music

Sad About the Times: Lost Tracks of the '70s That Sound Vaguely Familiar

Sad About the Times evokes 1970s nostalgia with 21 obscure tracks that never made it big, but sound like they could have.

Music

'Pacific Breeze' and the Lost Japanese Genre of City Pop

Light in the Attic's latest reissue, Pacific Breeze, is rife with slick '70s grooves and '80s funk beats. It's the perfect soundtrack for a sunny day off with the ocean breeze in your hair

Music

Weyes Blood Gets Cinematic on 'Titanic Rising'

Weyes Blood (a.k.a. Natalie Mering) conjures up a beautiful, cinematic world through with her insightful songwriting on Titanic Rising.

Music

Making Her Move: Olivia Newton-John's 'Physical' Phenomenon Revisited

In this PopMatters exclusive, producer John Farrar and the creative team behind Physical recall how Olivia Newton-John brought a Grammy-winning sensation from the studio to the screen.

Music

20 Questions: Young Gun Silver Fox

Dynamic music duo Young Gun Silver Fox put out a yacht-rock album in an era where everything must be gritty and serious, and their melodic sunshine has radiated so strongly that group insisted on giving us a second batch of it.

Evan Sawdey
Books

Band Out of Time: Barney Hoskyns on Steely Dan: 'Major Dudes'

Barney Hoskyns assembles a thoughtful, loving, and thorough portrait of the meticulously creative men behind Steely Dan.

Music

Yesterday's Jukebox: Jackson Browne - 'Running on Empty' (1977)

When that last guitar's been packed away: Forty years ago, Jackson Browne introduced a new kind of concept album.

Music

Jerry Yester: Pass Your Light Around

The songs reflect the 1970s, the time from which they emerged. This music recalls the soft pop of that era.

Interviews

Where the Heart Is: An Interview With Multi-Grammy Winner Kim Carnes - Part One

In this career-spanning interview with Kim Carnes, PopMatters goes beyond "Bette Davis Eyes" to explore the multi-Grammy winner's journey from LA to Nashville.

Music

Counterbalance: Billy Joel - The Nylon Curtain

This week's Counterbalance looks at what is most likely Billy Joel's weirdest album, 1982's The Nylon Curtain, which has yet to make the Great List, and probably never will.

Music

Roxanna: Exotica

Roxanna does possess expressive vocal talents, and, given her nursing background, this is music that is healing and soothing.

Music

Chicago: Now (Chicago XXXVI)

Now (Chicago XXXVI) will likely make moms across the land swoon, and that’s pretty much all you can ask from Chicago by this point.

Music

Neil Finn: Dizzy Heights

Dizzy Heights represents a low point in Finn's back catalog, with hardly a decent song anywhere in sight.

Music

The Alan Parsons Project: I Robot (Legacy Edition)

There's some great, if hokey, material to be had on I Robot, and yet it is also hugely entertaining and a must have for geeks interested in the late '70s sci-fi landscape

Music

Tom the Lion: The Adventures of Tom the Lion

This debut goes for big emotion, but delivers vague sentimentality.

Music

Craig Ruhkne: The Craig Ruhnke Band / Just Like Old Times / Keep the Flame

Trying to pick your favorite Craig Ruhkne record is like trying to pick your favorite infectious disease.

Music

Nick Lowe: The Old Magic

The Old Magic is an album that gradually creeps up on you, and has plenty of rewards for those who can take the now white-haired Lowe basically acting his age.

Reviews

It's Yesterday Once More in 'Little Girl Blue'

Little Girl Blue is a damning and penetrating account of tortured and tormented artist, Karen Carpenter, and could just be one of the most depressing books you’ll ever read.

Music

Justine Electra: Soft Rock

Australian-born, Berlin resident, Justine Electra has been a fixture on the German underground tek-house scene for the last few years.

Alan Brown
Music

The Decline and Fall of Elton John's 'Captain Fantastic'

The obstacles Elton John and Bernie Taupin faced on the road to fame are recorded here.

Tim O'Neil

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