In creating a record that is so unabashedly true to herself La Havas delivers her best work yet.
Her solo work reveals Beth to be an artist who can convey a range of emotions in a far more nuanced way. To Love Is to Live is an album of depth and subtlety that is poetic, passionate, elective, and cohesive.
Pop is often unfairly equated with being one-dimensional. Haunted Painting exhibits why that is absolutely not the case.
Throughout the album Bailey grows before our eyes, carefully performing the tricks he’s mastered within his multifarious repertoire of sounds. But the product is succinct. Catchy. Honest. It’s simply Shamir.
It may be easy to write off initially as preachy or reductive but the sharp, self-aware wit and incisive simplicity in the band’s best lyrics make it clear its members are no intellectual slouches.
Overall Petals For Armor proves that Hayley Williams, with her singing as sharp as ever, is no one trick pony and is willing to push the envelope outside of her comfort zone for a sophisticated and sensual debut album that should play well to the masses.
The central lyrical concept of the album does fall a bit flat, and the message of the album as a whole comes off muddled. However, the talent shown in these songs is undeniable and Field Music should be commended for aiming so high. Even if the band is slightly off the mark, Making a New World is still a thoughtfully crafted album with an unconventional art-rock style.
While Dury may be referencing specific targets for his words, there’s a level of ambiguity that makes each and every one of The Night Chancers relative by association to the listener.
With The Prettiest Curse Hinds once again do what it does best—making punchy indie rock with a garage rock edge to it. Even better, the more polished sound and the fresh instrumental touches take a step forward for the band.
He is still creating quality additions to one of the most consistent punk discographies out there. Most importantly, his music is still an absolute blast to experience, looking towards an uncertain future with a beautiful collective spirit.
Despite the humble aspirations, Fear of Death is Tim Heidecker’s most complete musical venture yet.
Serpentine Prison is not as self-assured as his two decades-long oeuvre with The National, or even that one album he made as EL VY with Knopf. But in this season of discontent, it’s a worthy exercise in bridging seemingly disparate musical worlds, long demarcated by the color line.
Read peels back the events of her life to reveal open-hearted ruminations on loneliness, long distances, chance encounters, and missed connections. All suffused with the appropriate amount of emotional depth and a warmly fuzzed lo-fi delivery.
Kenney continues to show an affinity for songs that soar and swirl with intensity on Sucker’s Lunch. These tracks may come off as understated initially, but there is a layered beauty that shows itself with repeated listens.
Compositionally, Off Off On finds Stables at the top of her game to date.
At 22 tracks and 80 minutes long, Notes on a Conditional Form is the band’s longest and arguably most daring record, yet it is also their most understated work—a reflective and oddly sober re-evaluation of Healy’s persona which contains much of his funniest and most wistful material to date.
It is missing the stable spine that gave the band’s earlier work such distinctive character, and their repetitious, two-dimensional songs bring the overall package down. Still, when the band is at its best, Fontaines D.C. delivers an irresistible cocktail of post-punk storytelling.
Heavy Light both reflects back on her previous work and stands among the best of it.
The album ultimately proves to be a rewarding listen with its moments of lyrical heft and genuine instrumental beauty while the full band format provides some particularly deft backing to Darnielle’s lyrical eccentricities.
Ultimate Success Today sees frontman Joe Casey focus his beat-poet style to a razor-sharp precision, lamenting the continuing decline of his city, state and country.