Tags
Music

Patti Smith's 'Wave' Turns 40: Why the Punk Poet's Pop Album Is Also Her Greatest

Wave's status as Patti Smith's most unapologetically pop album reveals the most authentically "punk" gesture of her career: rejecting the idea that her genre capabilities begin and end with that four-letter word.

Recent
Music

Karen Alexander, Star-in-waiting at Asylum Records

Asylum Records was famously home to the finest singer/songwriters of the '70s, including Joni Mitchell and Judee Sill. But, as a Japanese reissue of another woman's work proves, some of its biggest talents went unnoticed. Charles Donovan talks to Karen Alexander.

Reviews

Yesterday's Jukebox: The Durutti Column's 'Without Mercy'

The Durutti Column's hesitant and beguiling foray into the realm of modern classical gets the thorough revisit that it deserves.

Music

Talk Talk's Mark Hollis and His Experimental, Innovative Legacy on 'Spirit of Eden's' 30th Anniversary

Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden is still as stunning and sublime in 2018 as it was in 1988.

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

Frank Zappa: Jazz From Hell (Yesterday's Jukebox)

Frank Zappa's complex, electronic masterpiece showed what the late, great maestro could achieve by removing the human element and harnessing the power of a machine.

Music

Hangin' Loose: Exploring British Soul in the Music of Loose Ends

Loose Ends cultivated an art in supreme sophistication with their groundbreaking experiments in British soul and R&B during the '80s. Decades later, their music remains as potent as it was when it first graced the airwaves and clubs of both the UK and US.

Music

Faith No More: The Real Thing and Angel Dust (Reissues)

While not exactly half-assed, Rhino's reissues of Faith No More's best-known albums aren't quite as good as they could be. The Real Thing finally gets a much-needed remaster, at least.

Music

The Heavenly Reverberations of the Church's "Under the Milky Way"

Into 1988's pop music climate came “Under the Milky Way”, a moody, jangly song that didn’t fit in. Its closest contemporaries were R.E.M. and the local “paisley underground” scene of Los Angeles, which included bands like the Bangles and Rain Parade.

Music

The Best Ever Nirvana Recording 'In Utero' Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

In Utero has always been thought of in the context of conflict, so it's only appropriate that Nirvana would mark its 20th anniversary by reviving the debate over what the album was supposed to sound like versus what it turned out to be.

Music

The Mysterious Legacy of Q Lazzarus' "Goodbye Horses"

Some 25 years ago, Q Lazzarus' sole hit, the hypnotic dance-thump that is "Goodbye Horses", soundtracked a fairly popular Jonathan Demme movie. Amazingly, it wasn't Silence With the Lambs. With an anniversary vinyl release upon us, we dig up even more facts about this glorious pop anomaly ...

Music

More Cowbell: Looking Back at Blue Öyster Cult’s 'Career of Evil'

So, sure, young people really don’t get or know the real Blue Öyster Cult it seems. Which is a bit of a shame, as the band delivered a number of solid, consistent albums that rank up there in the metal and hard rock/classic rock pantheon.

Music

Can't Even Be Bothered: Two Great British Indie Rock Albums Turn 20

They are not the best-known or most-celebrated works by their respective bands. But Ride's Going Blank Again and the Charlatans' Between 10th and 11th are seminal touchstones of 1990s British indie rock, "Deluxe Anniversary Editions" or not.

Music

Circling the Sun Machine: Re-thinking David Bowie’s 'Space Oddity'

Bowie's odd magnetism has long been interpreted as a function of his ambiguous sexuality, but could it be that he was transgressing more than just gender norms and heralding the rise of the man/machine?

Adam Klein
Music

The Olivia Tremor Control Reissues 'Dusk at Cubist Castle' and 'Black Foliage'

Overall, there is much to admire and frown upon in equal measure when it comes to Dusk at Cubist Castle and, more especially, Black Foliage.

Music

"Getting" Head... The Monkees' Last Great Album

Forgotten even in it's own time, the Monkees' psychedelic swan song Head is a perfect snapshot of a bizarre and tumultuous musical era.

Jason Henn
Music

Run Red Run: Funny Song, Serious Message

The Coasters aren't thought of as particularly revolutionary, yet a single they released in 1959 was the first pop record to challenge the racism of post-World War II America.

Music

Suede... Reintroducing the Band

In the '90s, many were bigger, but few were better than Suede at their best, led by the dynamic duo of "glamly androgynous Dickensian whippet" Brett Anderson and "Danger High Voltage" whirlwind guitarist Bernard Butler. Just don't call 'em Britpop.

Music

The Piano Bares Its Teeth: Reversals and Redemption in Nick Cave's '90s Albums

Through a series of reversals -- of sound, of focus, of theme, of our expectations -- Nick Cave, ever the demonic circus hawker, turned his sights onto something different as he emerged from the '90s: Himself.

Music

In the Lap of the Gods: The First Five Queen Albums

Consummate showmen and masters of the studio environment, in their first five albums the members of British rock group Queen transformed from ambitious contenders into elite practitioners of the genre.

Music

The Dismemberment Plan's "Emergency & I": A Record of Colossal Possibilities

This is an album that reaches out, grabs you by the throat, and just doesn’t relent. There’s not a misspent note or dishonest emotion.

Music

Reflections on the Backstreet Boys: From A to NYE

The boy band is dead! Long live the boy band!

Natasha Simons
Music

The Dream Syndicate's Sophomore Album Stereo Blues

Is Medicine Show a blueprint for all that was wrong with bands signing to major labels 25 years ago or is it a truly great, overlooked gem of an album? Well, the answer is somewhere in the middle.

Music

'Blue Sky Mining' and 'Fear of a Black Planet': Celebrating 20 Years of Righteous Anger

Twenty years ago, two albums addressed a man made environmental disaster and a racial divide that never seemed to close. You'd think these albums would sound dated today...

Music

De La Soul Is Dead: Long Live De La Soul

Stressed out and defiant, De La Soul set out to destroy what made them famous on their second album. Almost 20 years later, De La Soul is Dead remains a benchmark of how career suicide albums should sound.

Music

Nirvana: Bleach

Starting with Nevermind, Kurt Cobain intentionally simplified his compositions in order to emphasize their pop components. Less song-focused than later Nirvana works, Bleach acts as an interesting showcase of the band’s musical chops.

Music

Rosie & the Originals - "Angel Baby"

Tom Waits isn't the only Pride of National City

Music

Various Artists: Factory Records: Communications 1978-92

Factory Records was as influential in design, sound production, and defining what a label could be as it was in music.

Music

The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses: 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition

Imagine if you will: an album re-release that actually gets everything right, making an already-classic album sound even better than before, deepening our understanding as to what made it so iconic.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.