Release Date: February 01, 2017
Even if Elverum is reluctant to label it as such, A Crow Looked at Me is what all art should aspire to be: honest, affecting, and unforgettable.
Despite its playlist tag, it is unmistakably a Drake album—it even has a Blueprint highball closer like each of its predecessors—and as an album, it is probably Drake’s worst. But as a collection of totally atomized songs and ideas, it’s up there with anything he’s released. Maybe that makes it a playlist after all.
A work of great craft, multifaceted charm, and, yes, an alluring marriage of the visceral to the gentle, this album feels like the opening chapter of a thrilling career.
It’s credit to her that within the congested realm of electronic music her record stands proudly distinct, as it is both danceable and meditative music with genuine heart. And with that Kelly Lee Owens has made a more than promising debut.
At its heart, however, this is still a record with techno at its core, and it’s demonstrated by Owens’ aptitude for subtlety and nuance.
Kelly Lee Owens is warm, emotive and well-produced, the work of a natural talent that will only get better with time. I can't wait to hear what she'll do next.
Owens’ attraction to the emotive potential of sound is a theme that perhaps runs up against the Daniel Avery influences on the record, yet she has still produced a debut that is full of depth and one that exposes the scope of electronic music beyond just the club.
Their latest, Volcano, practically sheds the skin of their earlier approach, with the band leaning on their melodic strengths to emerge with a largely new identity that also seems a surprisingly natural fit.
Safe in a sexy way, Everybody Works is about pleasure that comes at no one’s expense. Inventive chamber-rock arrangements are laden with hooks and drops of meaning.
It may not hit the mark every time, but her adventurous, unapologetic approach to driving pop forwards to exciting new ground should be praised.
There’s not quite as intense a contrast between the sweetness of the melodies and the antagonistic howls of guitar feedback on this first album in 18 years.
The Jesus and Mary Chain are trapped in amber on Damage and Joy, untouched by the very different musical climate to the one they last sent an album out into. Good job, then, that it contains far more hits than misses.
Damage and Joy is full of fabulously morbid gems like "Simian Split" ("I killed Kurt Cobain/I put the shot right through his brain") and "Mood Rider," with its Hallmark-ready motto, "Kill everybody who's hip."
The songwriting and playing here are more assured than their legendarily ramshackle live shows would lead one to believe.
The best way to enjoy Damage and Joy is to leave their past out of it ... The fact that they've come back at all is a remarkable thing. But doing so with an album that lives up to expectations is all we could have asked from the Reids.
There's nothing here that might jolt anyone out of thinking the album came out in the mid-'90s, nothing that will thrill or shock as it spins to a predictable close. It might make their fans happy, but for a band that claims to be dangerous and rebellious, it goes a long way towards reinforcing the fact that the JAMC are no longer either of those things.
Sorority Noise know brutal honesty can be uncomfortable, but they employ it so well on their latest album, a rafter-reaching emo record about the raw stages of grief and loneliness.
Though her second studio-album So Good continues to cover a broad stroke of contemporary pop styles, it isn’t always as convincing as her hits might suggest.
Hot Thoughts doubles down on what we already knew: that Spoon are a band always looking to push themselves, a fact that seems to be getting more acute with each passing album, and it should be celebrated.