Sometimes you get the frustrating sense that strong ideas are being deliberately short-circuited in the pursuit of a slightly self-conscious weirdness.
Packed with unique ideas and brilliantly realised, Miss E...So Addictive is further evidence of Elliott's refusal to play male rappers at their own game and her desire to change the rules entirely. It's an album that sets its own agenda and sounds like nothing else in hip-hop: an incomparable achievement.
With adventurous ideas, noisy thrills and eclectic guests, Charli XCX shows that cheesy pop can be truly creative.
On 1989 the reasons she’s afforded the kind of respect denied to her peers are abundantly obvious.
On Skeleton Tree, the Bad Seeds sound shattered, barely capable of holding themselves together.
Like the rest of Late Registration, Drive Slow suggests an artist effortlessly outstripping his peers: more ideas, better lyrics, bigger hooks, greater depth.
Drake is insipid as a singer ... As a rapper, he is inert to the point of catatonia and his foregrounded voice becomes swiftly intolerable.
The decaying guitars and analogue synthesisers create a crepuscular melancholy. These are impassioned songs, but they steer clear of Bruce's bombast or lighters-aloft choruses.
The music here feels taut and meticulous, devoid of self-indulgence.