Mr. M sounds aware of itself as an argument-- an argument for the kind of patience the music on it demands.
The success of (III) is how it brings you close enough to the evil that men do to be shocked, repulsed, and affected by it.
Lucifer is just their third album, and yet it's unmistakably drenched in their specific brand of patience and calm.
We get five songs in just under 50 minutes, each mountain of slow, majestic chords bleeding into one glorious cathedral of riffs and soaring vocals.
Though it seems like all his fingers are on 10 different buttons at once, Rustie's Essential Mix is several cuts above because of how expertly paced and curated it is.
The textures and tones are distinctly different from past releases, but it's unimaginable that it could be made by anyone else.
While it ably captures the band's ferocity, Metz is less a recreation of the band's live shows than a surveillance-video document of it, one that's been edited and manipulated to maximize dynamic impact.
He's still not entirely upfront, but he has a knack for building songs where the realness of his subject matter lies just below the surface.
Much more than a stop-gap between LPs, it's succinct but irrefutable proof that this band's dynamite has a long fuse.
The experience of Oshin is aqueous and amorphous in a way that makes using the term "rock" feel uncomfortable.
It's a meditation on positivity, a hedonistic joyride that isn't afraid to get deep, and a reminder that any band-- any album, any song-- can be your life, even for just a moment.
In fully realizing its comparatively modest ambitions, it's one of the strongest indie rock records of the year so far.
Matters of mistrust, isolation, and uncomfortable togetherness dominate Tramp, rolling through every track like a sick, creeping fog.
Their self-titled debut EP for Warp and LuckyMe spans 16 minutes of some of the year's most brazen, positively huge hip-hop sounds.
A major creative leap, but on a superficial level, it's not that different from their debut.
The innovation on R.I.P. is to put as much effort into making things clean as making them dirty, and the result is a sense of contrast
It's not a drastic transformation as much as an acute refinement.
Open Your Heart is both tremendously physical and friendly, knocking you on your ass one second, then immediately helping you back up to put a beer in your hand.
Sun doesn't reach the heights ... of Moon Pix, but more than anything else she's made, it feels like a companion piece to that record, a conversation with an older and wiser voice.
Total Loss uses the common tools of pop expression-- four-minute songs, autobiography, choruses, confession-- to create a work of poignant and devastating art.
Talabot builds upon his distinctive sound-- bursting with color, nostalgic but never retro, easy-going yet slightly unhinged-- without repeating himself.
Ekstasis is not the sort of oceanic wash you lose yourself in; instead, Holter's music has a way of snapping tiny moments and small sonic gestures into focus.
He's probably not going to be a break-out star, but it's hard to imagine that there will be many more original or satisfying rap long-players this year.
Shrines is not about range, instead offering subtly different versions of a single, near-perfect idea.
Emerging unscathed from middling mainstream performance, Kaleidoscope Dream sounds, at its utmost, natural and easy, an artist set free to do what he wants and proving himself every bit the unique voice his debut seemed to deny.
While this might be Flying Lotus' most accessible record, it's less about being pleasant and more about deep focus.
Mature Themes is as vital as anything he's ever recorded
Devotion ... marries her natural gift with throbbing instrumentation that breathes life into every single turn of phrase or sensitive vocal embellishment.
Attack on Memory is too visceral to feel like escapism, too vital to feel like cheap revival.
It's one thing to be heavy, and it's another thing to be hooky, but Slaughterhouse is the rare garage-rock album to do both so well simultaneously
In every song, there's a jump, an oomph, a missing-reel moment, in which a sudden left turn devours a song whole or a stray thread bumps everything off the designed course.
Spacious, boldly orchestrated, and emotionally rich, Khan's latest is another step forward for the multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, and one of the year's most beguiling albums.
Never before has his music possessed this much majesty, this much command, this much power
Swing Lo Magellan is a confident step into the spotlight that neither depends upon public expectations nor shies away from them.
Luxury Problems is more internally focused, an evocative and immersive soundtrack for a sustained look within. It's the headphones album of the year from a producer with a long history who has come into his own.
Limiting himself to one producer, legends-only guest spots, and a real sense that he'd better make this one count, Killer Mike rises to the occasion.
An album of music that is both new and old from a band that we thought we might never hear from again, one we should appreciate while we can.
The first thing you take from Celebration Rock is just how much they've improved in terms of capturing pure sound, everything hitting louder and clearer than before.
Though full of baroque, detail-rich production and latticework melodies, Shields also offers an emotionally resonant core.
Sometimes this hands-off approach backfires, but Death Grips have actual designs to be left to, and The Money Store is a million-mph blur of ideas.
It's not just a collection of hits; it's an album, one that gives the project's familiar nocturnal foreboding a new sense of grandeur.
"Bloom" is also what these 10 songs do, each one starting with the sizzle of a lit fuse and at some fine moment exploding like a firework in slow motion.
Visions finds Boucher mining not just the clean brightness of Aphex Twin-like atmospherics but also the immediacy of straight-up mall-pop
It manages to expand on their sound while simultaneously summarizing everything they've ever recorded before.
You feel small while listening to Lonerism, but in a way that makes you appreciate how man, machine, and Mother Nature can harmonize.
The Idler Wheel's spareness does lend it an insular loneliness, one that's divorced from the outside world while also being intimately in-tune with its basic realities.
The 24-year-old has quickly proven himself to be among the most gifted singer-songwriters of his generation; he's got the type of voice, wit, charm, smarts, and ineffable humanity that's always hoped for, but never promised.
The miracle of this album is how it ties straightforward rap thrills-- dazzling lyrical virtuosity, slick quotables, pulverizing beats, star turns from guest rappers-- directly to its narrative.