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Album Reviews

ryanadams_ Astrid-Stawiarz

Ryan Adams, ‘Ryan Adams’ – Album Review

Not surprisingly, the three years fans have had to wait for Ryan Adams latest studio effort prove to be worthwhile.

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Nirvana, ‘In Utero: 20th Anniversary Reissue’ – Album Review

Nirvana’s third studio album, ‘In Utero,’ was the most experimental of the band’s career. In many ways, it was also their loudest, darkest and most artistic. Frontman Kurt Cobain had originally wanted to call it ‘I Hate Myself and I Want to Die,' and that speaks volumes about his mindset at the time. And as everyone knows, he'd make good on his morbid threat less than seven months later.

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Mark Lanegan by Mark Davis, Getty Images
Mark Davis, Getty Images

Mark Lanegan, ‘Imitations’ – Album Review

Mark Lanegan is one of the few '90s alt-rockers who can boast that pre-‘Nevermind’ Nirvana guested on his solo debut (the nearly lost gem ‘The Winding Sheet'). He also also inspired Kurt Cobain to cover his version of Ledbelly’s ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’ for Nirvana’s ‘MTV Unplugged in New York,’ released months after Cobain's suicide.

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MGMT, ‘MGMT’ – Album Review

MGMT’s 2007 debut album, ‘Oracular Spectacular,' was by all measures of modern stardom a huge success. The single ‘Time to Pretend’ was the unofficial song of the summer,' and follow-up cuts ‘Kids’ and ‘Electric Feel’ still get their share of radio plays. It was a revelation, even though the band got dissed for having received liberal arts educations at Wesleyan, and for not being the world’s best showmen or musicians.

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Elvis Costello and the Roots by Danny Clinch
Elvis Costello and the Roots' Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson | Photo by Danny Clinch

Elvis Costello and the Roots, ‘Wise Up Ghost’ – Album Review

As far as recording artists go, alt-rock god Elvis Costello and hip-hop gurus the Roots can pretty much do no wrong.

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Sebadoh_Bryan-Zimmerman

Sebadoh, ‘Defend Yourself’ – Album Review

Indie rock fans haven't been treated to a new record from lo-fi godfathers Sebadoh since 1999, a year that saw the Backstreet Boys mark the millennium with their mega-seller of the same name and Britney Spears drop her debut album.

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Category: Album Reviews, News
Joanna-Gruesome

Joanna Gruesome, ‘Weird Sister’ – Album Review

Twenty years ago, who'd have thought the sounds of modern rock would feel retro? But in recent years, indie rock has increasingly thrown out bands aping the loud pop dynamics of another era. The latest is Joanna Gruesome. On their debut, 'Weird Sister,' the five-piece from Cardiff, Wales, reveal an astute command of the sugary alt-rock dynamics -- the kind that fueled similar rock-grrl-led groups (Juliana Hatfield, Belly, Veruca Salt) in the '90s.

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Category: Album Reviews, News
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London Grammar, ‘If You Wait’ – Album Review

London Grammar have released their first single, EP and now full-length in the span of nine months. The guitar-and-keys art-rock trio formed much earlier, back in 2009 at Nottingham University in Northern England, but it wasn’t until nearly three years later, in December of 2012, that they released their debut track, ‘Hey Now.’

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Category: Album Reviews, News
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Janelle Monae, ‘The Electric Lady’ – Album Review

The most striking thing about Janelle Monae’s newest double album, ‘The Electric Lady,’ is how similar it feels to its predecessor, 2010’s masterful ‘The ArchAndroid.’ That’s not to say the Kansas City-born singer is repeating herself, only that the consistency of vision on display is worth pause. There are shifts and tweaks to the album’s approach, and new musical ideas continue to flow from Janelle and her Wondaland collaborators, but as is befitting a sequel, ‘The Electric Lady’ picks up exactly where ‘The ArchAndroid’ left off.

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Category: Album Reviews, News
Body-Head

Body/Head, ‘Coming Apart’ – Album Review

When Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore announced they were separating two years ago, a million 30-somethings had the hearts of their inner five-year-olds thoroughly crushed. The seemingly perfect parents of grunge and indie rock couldn’t keep it together, and they were going to take their iconic band down with them. Now we get to listen to the musical fallout of a 30-year relationship gone south. While music geek Moore has continued to mine dissonant alt-rock but remain lyrically oblique in his new band Chelsea Light Moving, eternally hip art chick Gordon takes a sharp left turn into abrasive avant-rock and raw emotion with Body/Head, her collaboration with experimental guitarist Bill Nace.

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Category: Album Reviews, News

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