RSS: Album Reviews
Nico: Chelsea GirlOn her 1967 debut album, Nico’s unmistakable voice sings the songs of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Jackson Browne. *Chelsea Girl* helps define her as a mercurial aura and a manifold, complicated artist.
U-Men: U-MenThe Seattle band U-Men released only one full-length during their eight-year run in the 1980s, but their legend loomed large over a generation. A new Sub Pop reissue collects their crucial catalog.
M.E.S.H.: HesaitixWith Hesaitix, the Berlin-based DJ and producer has built a strange world that lives and breathes. It’s a catchy, fascinating electronic album that lives in a lucid unreality.
Young Lean: StrangerThe Swedish rapper’s third album offers glimpses of his full potential, songs that pierce through the detachment that once obscured real emotion.
Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys: RotOn the follow-up to their 2013 debut LP, the beer-swilling, self-described former “party band” grows up without slowing down.
Pharoah Sanders: Tauhid/Jewels of Thought/Deaf Dumb Blind (Summun Bukmun Umyun)Three invaluable reissues showcase a young bandleader and his top-tier players as they create a powerfully cohesive group sound: elegant, adventurous, warm, and ferocious all at once.
Call Super: ArpoThe second album from producer Joe Seaton offers a rush of effervescence. With a childlike and immersive touch, he pulls apart and rearranges small, twinkling sounds.
Angel Olsen: PhasesThis collection of B-sides, demos, and covers is terrific and revelatory in its own right. It's a trail of dropped clues to the creative process of the defiantly mercurial Olsen.
Rabit: Les Fleurs Du MalEric Burton’s latest album is a logical extension of his to 2015 album Communion, an experimental world of dissolving certainty where all light is gradually leached out of the landscape.
Willow: The 1stWith her second album, Willow Smith opts for a more organic and raw sound. It’s a huge leap in the right direction, as she uses her guitar to channel alternative singer-songwriters of the 1990s.
Kllo: BackwaterThe Australian duo’s debut full length features warm, pleasing vocal lines and electro-pop beats, but it never coheres to tell the kind of story they want to tell.
Sleigh Bells: Kid KruschevLike everyone else, Sleigh Bells are feeling the weight of the world in 2017. Their lean new mini-album has more thematic cohesion than their previous releases and also a surprising tenderness.
Curls: Vante EPChristopher Owens, formerly of Girls, calls Curls—a trio with drummer Cody Rhodes and bassist Luke Baće—his first “real band.” Their new EP contains some of the most lavish-sounding music he has released.
Maroon 5: Red Pill BluesAdam Levine’s band return for their sixth album of smooth, professional, antiseptic soft-rock, which somehow also features Kendrick Lamar, Future, and A$AP Rocky.
Zazou/Bikaye/CY1: Noir et BlancReleased in 1983, Noir et Blanc still sounds like a broadcast from the future—the influential work of Congolese and French musicians using analog synths, strange effects, and stranger time signatures.
James Holden and the Animal Spirits: The Animal SpiritsElectronic producer James Holden has remade himself into a bandleader on his new album—a collection of self-described “folk-trance” recorded with improv ensemble the Animal Spirits.
Peter Oren: AnthropoceneThe restless singer-songwriter’s wanderlust leads him to find poetic beauty in the country’s ugly truths, even as he confronts the idea that there’s more at stake than ever.
Yaeji: EP2The music of New York producer Yaeji—part house, part hip-hop—hints at strong feelings with subtle tones. On her second EP, she pushes her sound further to its poles.
DJ Seinfeld: Time Spent Away From UBehind DJ Seinfeld’s resolutely non-serious façade lies a strikingly wistful take on deep house. His debut LP pushes even further in this direction.
Sam Smith: The Thrill of It AllThe second album from the pop crooner uses the same method that made his debut such a commercial success. His spectacular voice doles out feelings in terms everyone can understand.