It feels far different from any of the tightly constructed, singular works of West’s past, and from a sonic standpoint, it sounds almost like a greatest-hits collection of nearly every sound and musical idea that he’s cultivated up to this moment.
It’s a painful record and one that becomes just as personal to its listeners as it is to its maker, thanks in part to the scene’s connective tissue.
Imagine catching a fleeting glimpse of an artillery of tanks engulfed in flames barreling by your living room window, but by the time you dart out your front door to get a better look, it’s vanished. That’s how so much of Nails’ Nuclear Blast debut You Will Never Be One Of Us functions. The demolition is swift and the carnage scorched.
Real is more adventurous and possesses far more depth than any of Loveless’ releases to date.
In addition to being a powerful examination of self-worth and how it tends to wither beneath the responsibilities of adulthood, the record is also a testament to the band’s growth musically and thematically.
On this record, Cohen is choosing to tie up loose ends in the way he sees fit, with equal parts wistfulness and acceptance. In other words, he’s choosing to examine his life (and life’s work) rather than ponder the abyss. That ensures You Want It Darker doesn’t feel like an ending, as much as it feels like one more chapter in Cohen’s songbook.
Puberty 2 exposes new dimensions to Mitski’s voice, revealing its true richness and range. Mitski is an exceptionally keen observer of the human condition, and Puberty 2 marks a triumphant new step in her evolution.
Coloring Book delivers one celebratory hymnal after another, emphasizing the natural high that comes with feeling loved and watched over.
At its core, Paradise is another addition to a pretty flawless, decade-old White Lung canon.
What makes Goodness feel like a true album instead of just a very good collection of songs is how much all of these aspects establish a mood from which the band never breaks.
My Woman is one of the realest albums of the year.
A Moon Shaped Pool is the sound of Radiohead trying to imbue personal attachment to a world that feels as though it’s lost such connections.
For all its jazz accents and solos, Blackstar ends up becoming a stage for the things that first made Bowie a pop star: his incessantly catchy melodies and elastic voice. With its simple (though oblique) lyrics and endlessly repeated choruses, it’s a secret pop record submerged in the dark places of studio improvisation.