It’s an awe-inspiring, challenging album in all the best ways. PJ Harvey has created an album that will be at the top of everyone’s “Best of” list come December.
Savages champion essential qualities of music that are too often washed away by the Internet’s slipstream: presence, performance, togetherness, transcendence.
Of course, the album is a highly polished product and not some diary page. But it feels lived in, truthful, authentic. thank u, next is a personal statement from a generational talent who is still only 25 years old.
Replica catches Lopatin at the peak of his powers, realizing his esoteric vision with a newfound brazenness
He takes his fair turns at singing, as opposed to unearthing, and delivers some of his more satisfying softer moments in recent memory.
Iridescence is full-to-bursting; it’s like almost eating too much food, almost drinking too much booze; it’s getting close to too much, and still asking for more.
It’s rich in slow-burning ambiguity, and it may be vibrant and clean, but it doesn’t entice dialogue quite the same way his past albums have.
Emotion rolls out banger after banger, all while sustaining a remarkable level of complexity and compassion for everyone in Jepsen’s solar system.
Lady Lamb is a novelty in the flesh. It’s only Spaltro’s second time trying out the loftiness of a studio album, but After pushes her to refine and redesign with grace.
It’s groovy and funky and sultry, and it takes things seriously while still being joyful. It encourages freedom of form, in the sense of both body and art.
Every song bursts out of its box with dizzying Technicolor touches and unexpected noises or inside-out harmonies.
Musgraves hits one high note after another on Golden Hour; her talent as a songwriter and melody-maker is second to none, and each song is thoughtful, well-formed, and a delightful experience on its own.
Apocalypse is one of those rare modern jazz records that’s remarkably unpretentious without having to cheapen the daunting complexity jazz is noted for.
On Invasion of Privacy, she breezes past the challenge of a highly anticipated debut by making one of the most exciting rap albums in years.
Where Post-Nothing melts into a hazy dream, Celebration Rock does exactly what it claims to do—it burns on and on like the best sort of party.
Anti takes risks and disregards convention in a way that only a true superstar like Rihanna could pull off.
Wasting Light has cornered the kind of ideas that make up the best of the band’s catalog in an earnest attempt to go as big as possible, while staying relatively grounded.
It trafficks specifically in lost arts like sequencing, pacing, and mastering. It’s not concerned with moving units. It’s concerned with Beyoncé’s self-exploration, in a complicated, incredibly intriguing way.
The pleasure of Room 25 is in hearing a master wordsmith turn words into feelings so that the feelings linger long after the words have stopped.
Sleater-Kinney are sick of the rules as they stand, but they don’t just want to break the rules; they want to make new ones. They could only do that by coming back together to reintroduce their own perspective and fight their own battle.
What separates the coven of sisters from their UK contemporaries, however, is that their debut doesn’t define them explicitly. It balances expectations with mystery, aligning their identity with a roulette of vantage points.
Take Care shines bright, utilizing the same concepts and notions as its predecessor but with far more lethal and appealing results.
LP1 isn’t anything revolutionary; it’s a frankly expressed project focused on the dualism between love and lust, reality and fantasy.
m b v creates a new timeline for My Bloody Valentine, and one that recalls the past in a broader and bolder light.
An album like RTJ2 is rare. Decades from now, this album may just be revered as one of the best hip-hop records of our era, the total synchronicity of two talented artists reaching the apex of their prime.
Williams boasts undeniable talent, but her gusto requires the sharp songwriting and clever instrumentation of her bandmates, and After Laughter testifies to what happens when a singer like Williams is met with a group of quality instrumentalists.
It seemed like the best Tribe could hope for was an album that longtime fans would embrace, but excite few younger listeners unfamiliar with the group. As it turns out, We got it… is a triumphant defying of such expectations.
The end result is a new kind of National album — still dark and neurotic, obsessed with modern-day paranoia, but also bursting with an unlikely optimism and a very 2013 zest for life.
Gaga isn’t naked on Joanne, but she has stripped off the flank steaks and AutoTune. The result is a work that may not close any circles, but instead start the pattern of a new shape: something weird, but compelling, and largely authentic.
With Attack on Memory, Baldi’s never felt more alive or more authentic.
All Mirrors is a successful example of how being bold and staying true to yourself pays off. Undeniably, this is Olsen’s most cohesive, self-aware, and searing album to date, and the era of Olsen is far from finished.
Sweet Heart, Sweet Light covers a broad aural spectrum from surrealistic haze to outward pop and as such, is some of Jason Pierce’s and Spiritualized’s best material since Ladies and Gentlemen.
At 10 breezy tracks, Care for Me isn’t just a collection of songs; it’s an honest-to-god album that develops ideas at its own pace.
With Kill For Love, it almost feels like the man’s true thesis, as if he’s strung together all his ideas, feelings, and sounds into one colossal being that acts less like an album and more like a highly organized archive.
Though nothing from the album may ever get played in a ballroom, Negro Swan is a grand work that gives credit to the pioneers of the culture while building a path forward within that framework, placing Hynes firmly in the canon as one of the most insightful musicians of his generation.
Yes, MASSEDUCTION is worthy of being treated like an event, but whether or not it tops her previous two excellent efforts is a little tougher to support.
Blonde is R&B minimalism that only Ocean could have made, and he created it as such so that its details emerge when they feel comfortable to do so — namely when the listener is prepared to face their similarities to his autobiographical faults with the same lack of a need for exoneration.
Overwhelming and humbling, Elverum’s revelatory work offers a blueprint for others going through similar situations in their own lives, a true testament to the power of art and a loving tribute to Geneviève.
An artist of uncompromising power and originality, he has proven that he will not, cannot conform to the expectations of the music industry, his adoring fans, or anyone else. He is a delicate, impulsive genius of rare distinction, and this defiant streak is essential to the character of his music.
Woods embodies the cultural makeup of Chicago, tackles the multiplicity of identity, and balances her dominance with flawlessly selected features that build her up.