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Books

'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.

Music

The Cradle's 'Laughing in My Sleep' Is an Off-kilter Reflection of Musical Curiosity

The Cradle's Paco Cathcart has curated a thoughtfully multifarious album. Laughing in My Sleep is an impressive collection of 21 tracks, each unapologetic in their rejection of expectations.

Music

Shirley Collins' ​'Heart's Ease'​ Affirms Her Musical Prowess

Shirley Collins' Heart's Ease makes it apparent these songs do not belong to her as they are ownerless. Collins is the conveyor of their power while ensuring the music maintains cultural importance.

Music

My Morning Jacket's 'The Waterfall II' Can Hypnotize

Whereas My Morning Jacket's The Waterfall contemplated conflict, The Waterfall II identifies healing and personal transformation as the next stage of being.

Music

The Killers' 'Imploding the Mirage' Promises Dynamite Rock Yet Delivers Tepid Synthpop

Imploding the Mirage marginally reinvents the Killers' sound, but the lyrics problematically redesign archaic ideology, resulting in a regressive album.

Books

Sheena Kamal's 'No Going Back' Unfurls a Thrilling Noir

Kamal's psychological thriller, No Going Back, utilizes crime-noir tropes but with purposeful deviations.

Music

The Pretenders' 'Hate for Sale' Maintains a Formidability That Rejects Compromise

On Hate for Sale, the Pretenders maintain an unapologetic devotion to the sound which defined their success.

Music

The Band's Discontented Third LP, 1970's 'Stage Fright', Represented a World Braving Calamity

Released 50 years ago this month, the Band's Stage Fright remains a marker of cultural unrest not yet remedied.

Music

Alanis Morissette's 'Such Pretty Forks in the Road' Is a Quest for Validation

Alanis Morissette's Such Pretty Forks in the Road is an exposition of dolorous truths, revelatory in its unmasking of imperfection.

Music

​​Beyoncé's 'Black Is King' Builds Identity From Afrofuturism

Beyoncé's Black Is King's reliance on Afrofuturism recuperates the film from Disney's clutches while reclaiming Black excellence.

Books

Halle Butler's 'Jillian' Is a Frank Account of Discontent

Evoking both sarcasm and empathy, Butler paints Jillian and Megan as harbingers of a relatable alienation.

Music

The Chicks Boldly Reclaim Their Relevance on 'Gaslighter'

Gaslighter is bold and incendiary, finding the Chicks reclaiming their relevance. Thankfully, the Chicks reject silencing as Gaslighter reestablishes their penchant for vocalizing raw truths.

Music

Haux Compellingly Explores Pain via 'Violence in a Quiet Mind'

By returning to defined moments of pain and struggle, Haux cultivates breathtaking music built on quiet, albeit intense, anguish.

Music

Country Westerns Bask in an Unparalleled Sound and Energy on Their Debut

Country Westerns are intent on rejecting assumptions about a band from Nashville while basking in an unparalleled sound and energy.

Books

'High Cotton' Is Culturally Astute and Progressive

Kristie Robin Johnson's collection of essays in High Cotton dismantle linear thinking with shrewdness and empathy.

Books

'Hex' Drinks Deeply from the Poisoned Chalice

Whereas Rebecca Dinerstein Knight's novel demonstrates moments of emotional intensity and humor, Hex's proclivity towards toxicity is overburdening.

Books

'Conjure Women' Brings Forth Racism and Reproductive Rights

It is Afia Atakora's reiteration of the current calls for racial justice that positions Conjure Women as an unadulterated masterpiece.

Music

Larkin Poe Shove Cock-Rock Out of the Way with 'Self Made Man'

Larkin Poe pack Self Made Man with unadulterated power. The multi-instrumentalist sisters strut their musicality while firmly rooting their sound in Southern rock 'n roll.

Music

Indie Folk's Mt. Joy Believe That Love Will 'Rearrange Us'

Through vibrant imagery and inventive musicality, Rearrange Us showcases Americana band Mt. Joy's growth as individuals and musicians.

Music

Jess Williamson Reimagines the Occult As Source Power on 'Sorceress'

Folk singer-songwriter, Jess Williamson wants listeners to know magic is not found in tarot cards or mass-produced smudge sticks. Rather, transformative power is deeply personal, thereby locating Sorceress as an indelible conveyor of strength and wisdom.

Books

Flight and Return: Kendra Atleework's Memoir, 'Miracle Country'

Although inconsistent as a memoir, Miracle Country is a breathtaking environmental history. Atleework is a shrewd observer and her writing is a gratifying contribution to the desert-literature genre.

Music

The Ruthie Foster Big Band Swings the Best Live Record of the Year So Far

Featuring several originals paired with timeless covers, Live at the Paramount finds the Ruthie Foster Big Band bringing the house down.

Books

Schisms and Connections in Sahar Mustafah's 'The Beauty of Your Face'

With The Beauty of Your Face, Sahar Mustafah pens an emotional and rich journey, laden with awareness and intrigue.

Reviews

Sylvain Chauveau's 'Life Without Machines' Is an Indictment of How External Forces Falsely Shape Humanity

Whereas so many contemporary albums are created to harness flash and consumption, Life Without Machines allays bedazzlement. Sylvain Chauveau advocates for unplugging and disconnecting, and only then will we truly live.


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