The songs are exciting, effortlessly creative and full of risk-taking, but White taps into the vein of classic rock just enough to filter all of his weird extrapolations so that they’re comprehensible for his audience.
English Oceans is a triumph for the Drive-By Truckers, one that capitalizes on Hood and Cooley’s strengths as songwriters and also gives them something to sing for that means more than all those colorful characters put together.
It’s more of a rock ’n’ roll album than the rootsy, understated Ashes & Fire, and while Adams includes a handful of the wrenching ballads he does so well, bold electric guitars hold sway on most of these 11 new songs.
Snaith’s latest disc further just distills the guy’s most synthetic interests and occasionally winds up sounding like something playing at a club while Tom Cruise, circa 1988, enters the room.
Kozelek’s lack of reservation here is something to be begrudgingly admired, as his willingness to make yet another album that is solely for himself and those obsessive fans who want all the gory details of his past. For the rest of the world, there’s not much here to make any real connection with.
If the first two Perfume Genius albums played something like nightmares—beautiful, full of danger, guided by pristine internal logic—then Too Bright is where Hadreas finally yells himself awake.
Some days, all I can listen to is “Dancehall Domine”; on other days, it’s “Marching Orders” or “Backstairs.” Yet, put together in order, I find my interest waning and my attention wandering.
Throughout They Want My Soul, the songs flow into and out of each other with a subtle movement that’s hypnotic and sounds deceptively simple. It’s not as easy as Spoon makes it seem, of course, which is what makes their consistency so impressive.
Olsen shares graciously in her music, and if you are willing, Burn a Fire for No Witness will change your world. Or, actually, it will change how you see your world.
Van Etten’s fourth album marks the true arrival of a singer who’s been on her way for a long time, and thinking of her as anything less than a career artist is certainly a vast underestimation.
Morning Phase is that comeback story, that emergence from the water and that first breath taken with the gusto of someone knowing they are truly alive. It is a beautiful record, and maybe a little over-simplified at its weakest moments, straddling that line between clean and bare.
The whole album feels like jigsaw puzzle of disparate genres fitting together in strange and lovely ways. In fact, it might just be the greatest crossover sleeper success of the year so far.
If 2012’s King Tuff and last year’s Burger Records reissue of Was Dead proved we were riding the wave of yet another garage rock revival, this time instead of competing for the throne, if feels more like a party with open guest list.
Clark has transformed both literally and figuratively into an artist every bit as challenging as Ye or her erstwhile collaborator David Byrne. St. Vincent has a gravity that Clark’s peers will, or at least should, not ignore when making their own records from here on out.
Lost in the Dream pushes rock music forward—it isn’t the mirror of supposed better times that lesser bands make because they can’t or don’t want to locate their own voice.