A steely affair that finds Drake and longtime producer Noah "40" Shebib pulling their sound and worldview further inward to increasingly murky results.
This is tension, then more tension, then even more tension on the chorus until your subconscious has been thoroughly scrambled; only then does release come, usually in the form of a gnarled guitar solo.
At no other time in her career has Gordon been so forceful, so in her own power.
Her voice is a bear hug in the literal sense; succumbing to it is like being carjacked by Patsy Cline.
Kanye and all the production cosigns he can bring to this thing make this record too ambitious to fail; Pusha T, forever an outlier even when he had clubby crack-rap hits, has finally made a solo project that isn't totally beneath him, even if parts of it still are.
Now, less shy about their place in the world and shot through with adult resignation, the band's anthems play as a sort of mortality blues. But with I Hate Music, Superchunk prove that we were weren't wrong to believe.
Although he's stretching traditional, time-tested folk templates culled from around the world and back again, Tyler's vision is both distinctly American and deeply modern.
Like most free jazz, it's music of the moment, a work of granular epiphanies that accrete, finally, into a magnificent whole.
m b v seems like both the "logical next step" after Loveless (as if bands were subject to teleological pressures) and utterly contemporary.
It is possible to love The Electric Lady, even if deep listening may be required to seal the deal. She certainly works hard for our devotion.
Reflektor is long and weird and indulgent and deeply committed. It has three to five genuinely great songs; it also wanders off into the filler hinterlands for 20 minutes or so (out of 70).
Restraint is the order of the day: While their debut had enough meatballs-to-the-wall ragers to fill a fjord, this one highlights the group's songwriting skills.
Marling has always trafficked in understated elegance, but she's firmly in attack mode here. Mostly against herself.
Much has been made of the album's length, but Timberlake and Timbaland prove to have more than enough ingenuity to make it worth our while.
Enamored with language itself, Doris is a celebration of syntax, a yoga pose pushing the limits of the MC's flexibility
B.O.A.T.S II ups the production values like a true sequel should. Whereas his last album felt at times like a mixtape in expensive packaging, the beats here are full and gleaming with the fruits of success
At its best, Home is a sumptuous, thrilling experience on a purely sonic level. There are absolutely zero boring moments here, and the details are often transcendent
This, the "sequel" (or whatever) to his landmark 2000 LP, is little more than a rapsploitation vehicle where practically every line is gratuitous, beyond ridiculous, an effortless and almost empty display of showboating, a carnival trick.
Not only does this come across as a feminist statement, but it also plays like a declaration of Sapphic love: an unlikely achievement from two dudes expressing hetero desire.
Mostly, it's the wilting pedal steel, warm analog tubes, and lush heartbreak flourishes of "When I'm Gone" that distinguish Rose from the merchants of new country's jingles.
Nothing lingers long on Seven, but you can hear just how quickly OPN gobbles up EDM's bass frequencies, the Max-DSP moves of Fennesz, Ryuichi Sakamoto's synthetic silkiness, even the frenetic arpeggios of Glassworks and sampler chops of footwork.
Sunbather comes laced with post-rock grace and a pop-like accessibility. Nor are those elements sequestered from the black-metal bombardment: They are part of it, or, depending upon your perspective, it is part of them.
This quick, free joint project is comparatively frizzy, and doesn't leave a bruising stain of forced mind expansion -- just a pleasant memory of good times had by reclaiming “jewels” from the corporate overlords of mainstream rap
The recordings are dry and vérité, which they have to be to help Crutchfield make her point: Namely, that these are honest songs about real people being hammered out in the basements and garages of unromantic places.
If Daft Punk's Random Access Memories sounds like a new Broadway musical, that's because it might as well be.
Through his own twisted K-hole, #ARTPOP icon Reznor is once again one of the most vital artists working today, coming back haunted, breaking the habitual.
Ultimately, what makes Excavation such an awesome and absorbing listen is precisely its indifference to the listener. There are no half-measures, no fallbacks, no guideposts.
Bright, busy, and unapologetically direct, Heartthrob nonetheless makes everything Tegan and Sara did before seem perversely obscure.
Old is XXX without that fun first half. It isn't traditionally enjoyable, and it isn't supposed to be. But for Danny Brown, the pill-popping, pussy-eating squawk-box, it's the most daring record he could've made.
Like its creator, Matangi is flawed, frustrating, and occasionally confusing, but it's also intermittently brilliant and completely unique.
Wakin on a Pretty Daze, Vile's fifth album, is the product of both thought and effort. That it feels like it took neither thought nor effort is a product of talent.
They've never sounded more in tune with the materiality of sound or the sonorousness of the physical world.
The Night's Gambit is the best example yet of Ka's take-it-or-leave-it rap-auteurist style. Content-wise, it's hindsight-fraught, regret-filled hip-hop from a man, now in his early forties, who better understands his past transgressions now, even if he doesn't feel any better about them.
It still sounds unmistakably like Boards of Canada, even if their telltale tropes are now scattered across Harvest rather than made to define each of its 17 tracks.
It convulses with a sense of limitless possibility; it rolls up everything Hecker has done before this and, as is his wont, pulverizes it into a fine mash. What's new is the thing he molds from the dampened ashes.
Fortunately, Settle doesn't settle; each new track finds them testing their own formulas.
Freakily poised but never cloying, Days Are Gone is an album that will fade blissfully into your local Urban Outfitters/vintage shop/American gathering, where, like some kind of mollifying drug, people exposed to it will be happier without either knowing or caring why.
Like art, Vampires is dense; like pop, it seems to float in effortlessly from some place you're sure you've been, but by some trick of déjà vu eludes your conscious brain.
At just 19, aspiring to compete with such ambitious rap visionaries, and mostly succeeding, is an impressive feat.
Yeezus ranks as more than a glorified placeholder in West's catalogue, but one can't help feeling that parenthood will compel his muse to even more Olympian levels of bombast and grandiosity.