Aldous Harding uses oddness as both lure and armor ... you can hear it in the language of Designer, her quizzically beautiful third LP, where she pivots artfully from folk eccentric to pop eccentric.
Overall, Ventura‘s grooves are scintillating, with percussive filigree sputtering like fireworks across the album’s mix, and at its best the LP conjures vintage soul with modern beat science underpinnings, an elegant mix of tough and plush.
Homecoming: The Live Album is the type of victory lap worthy of a queen.
UFOF sends a shiver down your spine in its simplicity.
It’s an album full of dressed-down avant-pop with D.I.Y. immediacy and intimacy that can still hold its own amid Top 40 maximalists like Ariana Grande and Halsey.
Western Stars shows Springsteen pulling back the curtain on his craft in much the same way Springsteen on Broadway did. In fact, in its elliptical narratives, it might have the makings of a good musical itself.
Social Cues is full-on American gothic.
With all its polish and production, Dedication can sound less like an artistic benchmark and more like throwing gum drops at the ceiling to see which ones stick.
It’s hard to go back and listen to earlier albums after Reward—the enhanced instrumentation and dreamy songwriting make this the singer’s strongest album yet.
Young Enough is poppier than its predecessor but not always as immediately catchy. Sometimes that feels intentional and it can often be a good thing, often slowing down the band’s torpedo tunefulness to negotiate trauma in real time.
A fierce, spacey, cacophonous, 27-minute-long LP. Like the EP and singles that preceded it, Active Listening: Night On Earth is defined by manic mood swings.
On her latest album Atlanta Millionaires Club—ten tracks of blustery loneliness and introspective songwriting—the only party Webster crashes is her own.
Legacy! Legacy! is about community, about legacies as heritage but also as that which is forged on the ground in the moment.
As glorious as the sound of this thing is, glinting with letter-perfect ‘70s-’80s rock sonics and touches of 21st-century psychedelic irony, the songs are the show, written by a woman of a particular age from a perspective well past jaded.
While his melodrama tends to grow old over the course of a 22-track, 72-minute album, it is captivating in small doses.
While the sound of Lux Prima feels unexpected based off these artists’ distinct histories, Karen O and Danger Mouse have unlocked a new creative force within each other.
Cuz I Love You follows through on the legend she’s been steadily building over the past few years.
These stark songs are meditative, lonely, and stubbornly isolated, like spending 45 minutes petting a cat. A static search for comfort.
This album is where Morris makes her pop move. She’s stretching out musically, going for more of a Selena Gomez-Camila Cabello vibe.
The Seduction of Kansas follows its evocative title ... into wide-open new territory via multi-faceted explorations of what Greer calls “the manufactured mythology of Americanism.”
This overpowering 18-minute release reveals Rico and Kenny to be the most high-voltage rapper-producer combo around.
Her fantastic new album, Remind Me Tomorrow, ups her ambitions even further, pushing toward a grand, smoldering vision of pop that can bring to mind Lana Del Rey and St. Vincent ... and the New Wave warrior-queen spirit of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O.
On her debut LP Sucker Punch, she smooths out strange moods into glistening songs, making for top-shelf coffee shop synth-pop.
She offers brief but potent statements; over half the tracks are under three minutes and each one bleeds into the other like watercolors on her canvas.
Midnight pushes well past the hard-scrabble drive of her 2017 debut Messes, with a bigger, rangier sound.
Beware of the Dogs is a triumph on its own terms, going from high point to high point as she maps the pains, pleasures and anxieties of her personal patch of twentysomething bohemia.
Not everything on Groove Denied works, but it’s gratifying to see a great songwriter still busy being born.
Across IGOR, he achieves a happy balance by tempering his wonky song structures bordering on the surreal and dogged pursuit of synthgasms with a clear narrative arc and careful calculated swerves in tone and texture.
Father of the Bride is so zealously detailed and meticulously contoured that you easily sink into its inventions.
The band’s 13th album portends a musical change-up, but its core is still precise, poker-faced pop-rock.
It’s a strangely addictive mix, comfort-food nostalgia that telegraphs knowingness without sarcasm, parody or airquotes.