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Books

Another Kind of Horror: 'When Paris Went Dark'

When Paris Went Dark is a penetrating history of the anxiety, confusion, claustrophobia, and uncertainty experienced by a city in the grip of an unpredictable menace.

Books

'SMiLE' Left Me Terribly Unhappy

Labored and unfocused, the study that Luis Sanchez attempts with SMiLE is a poor fit for the 33 1/3 format.

Music

The Kinks - "The Way Love Used to Be"

In a better world, "The Way Love Used to Be" would rank alongside "You Really Got Me", "Waterloo Sunset", and "Lola" as one of the Kinks' crowning achievements.

Books

Selina O'Grady's 'And Man Created God' Edifies and Entertains

And Man Created God is an impressively detailed and panoramic survey of how power and piety interacted with one another in the increasingly globalized classical world.

Music

The Beach Boys - "Time to Get Alone"

While there are obvious downsides to the kind of discography that the Beach Boys have assembled -- it's dense, lengthy, and larded with inconsistent results -- one of the payoffs deserves special mention: those moments of discovery.

Books

Alas, Surface-Skimming Is the Dominant Mode in 'The Beatles Solo'

Books about the Fab Four need to justify themselves. The Beatles Solo, a handsome but information-light and overpriced doorstop, doesn't get there.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Race Point Publishing

Books

Albert Camus and the Universal Quality of Human Dignity

Both Elements of a Life and A Life Worth Living offer concise, eloquent, and learned treatments of the life and work of Albert Camus.

Music

The Top Ten Arctic Monkeys Songs

From dynamic post-punk to brawny stoner-rock to jangly California pop to moonlit glam, Arctic Monkeys' five albums have displayed impressive range. It’s the main reason why they occupy the enviable spot they do in the music world.

Music

Arctic Monkeys - "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High" (video)

The last two Arctic Monkeys singles have exposed an all-too-human chink in leadman Alex Turner’s leather-clad armor: the dude has a serious weakness for drunk/stoned dialing.

Books

'Lucy in the Mind of Lennon' Attempts to Psychoanalyze Art

Though a mixed bag, Lucy in the Mind of Lennon prompts some interesting questions about the interplay between art and scientific inquiry.

Music

Paul McCartney and Wings - "Tomorrow"

When critics assail Paul McCartney for his lightweight material, it's songs like "Tomorrow" that they have in mind.

Music

Franz Ferdinand - "Right Action" / "Love Illumination" #2 (videos)

One is too jaunty and smirking for its own good, calling to mind a montage scene from some warmed over rom-com with, say, Cameron Diaz and Gerard Butler. And the other sounds like a band just following the safe, tried-and-true method.

Music

Arctic Monkeys - "Do I Wanna Know?" (video)

Boyish and clean-shaven, Arctic Monkeys may not have the look of a stoner-rock act, but they’re getting better and better at sounding like one.

Games

Vampire Weekend - "Diane Young" (video)

Not to belabor the point about Vampire Weekend's new-found fascination with God, but it's hard not to quickly recognize part of the inspiration for the new "Diane Young" video: da Vinci's The Last Supper.

Music

God and Man on 'Modern Vampires of the City'

The biggest surprise of Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City is that it's a deeply God-haunted album, with Ezra Koenig posing some questions that don't have answers.

Reviews

The Problems of the Human Conscious in Albert Camus' 'Algerian Chronicles'

Algerian Chronicles is a stirring and lasting work of moral conviction. Camus illustrates the impossible challenge of pursuing justice in a conflict marked by heinous crimes.

Music

In Praise of Built to Spill's "The Weather"

“The Weather” is the dreamy and evocative final track on Built to Spill's 2001 release Ancient Melodies of the Future, and it's a song that's certainly no "dud".

Television

'Arrested Development' Bluth Family Reunion (video)

It was at the 2011 New Yorker Festival that Mitchell Hurwitz, creator of Arrested Development, announced that the much- beloved but all too short-lived comedy show would be making a return.

Music

Daft Punk (ft. Pharrell) - "Get Lucky" (song review)

The teaser seemed to herald greatness, but the newly released radio edit of "Get Lucky", the lead single from Daft Punk's forthcoming LP, Random Access Memories, doesn't quite deliver on the hype.


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