One of the most dependable R&B singers in the game returns.
If English singer-songwriter Frank Turner’s heart is a tape deck, it’s a severely used one; it warps the tape in your favorite cassette, and everything sounds scratchy and worn, cloaked in a layer of tell-tale hiss. It doesn’t matter, though, because it’s got one of your favorite songs lurking deep within its recesses, and if Guided By Voices have taught us anything, it’s that a great song is a great song, period. Frank Turner’s new album, on the other hand, [...]
Snoop Dogg? Snoop Lion? Whatever the hell you call him, he has a record out.
Perusing the concert listings a few months ago, a listing for “Steve Martin & Edie Brickell” jumped out at me. “That Steve Martin? That Edie Brickell?” It all seemed so bizarre. My father later expressed interest in going to the show, as Martin’s newfound musical career apparently gets a great deal of play on XM/Sirius’ bluegrass station. I bought the tickets out of curiosity. Last week, I got a taste of what we might be in for when that performance [...]
“List-o-mania, my testes, see ‘em grow… like-a-rhi, like-a-rhino!” These are, the internet tells me, definitely not the lyrics to Phoenix’s breakthrough hit, “Lisztomania”. I never actually thought that the Parisian indie-rockers were narrating a peppy, Kafka-esque tale about growing rhinoceros balls, mind you — but the absurdist image never failed to make me chuckle, and anyway, why futz with something that was probably way cooler in my brain? (Actual lyrics: “Think less, but see it grow; like a riot, like [...]
One might be tempted to think that the hashtag in will.i.am’s newest album title is a hollow attempt to call reference to the Twitter-friendly zeitgeist of the time and thereby posture itself as something relevant and connected to our culture while masking a core of general emptiness and mediocrity. One would be right to do so. The will.i.am empire has risen as much from his marketing saavy as his musical talent (honestly, probably more so), and #willpower smacks of something [...]
A gifted, prodigiously talented soul/funk recluse, Shuggie Otis’s music certainly deserves to be canonized; all the accepted pieces of pop-culture folklore are there, from the Rolling Stones sideman offer to the eventual artistic blackout, and so it stands to reason that when Otis’s music finally reaches the masses, it will be transcendent. Which, as it turns out, is a bit of a foolish way to think; there’s no easier way to shatter transcendence than to expect it. In 2013, we’ve [...]
Musical anonymity can be a funny thing. Justin Vernon, the neo-folk mastermind behind Bon Iver, isn’t going completely incognito by stepping out with a few friends to record a loose-limbed garage-blues record, but it’s something of a musical disguise nevertheless; his ethereal, crooning falsetto replaced with a gnarled, expressive wail, one could easily mistake his vocals on The Shouting Matches’ Grownass Man for the work of… of anyone else, really. Take your pick. But that’s not to say that Grownass [...]
A grisly, retro-fitted, blood-spattered, cinematic Tarantino pastiche for music nerds and hip-hop heads everywhere, Ghostface Killah’s enthralling Twelve Reasons to Die isn’t merely the emcee’s finest hour since 2006′s career-high Fishscale; it’s also, assuming it gets the respect it deserves, poised to be hip-hop’s most prominent excursion into the grindhouse, and the true breakthrough of producer Adrian Younge. Or perhaps “composer” is the better word. Twelve Reasons to Die is the result of a miraculous and rare synergy between sound [...]
It’s interesting that being a fan of Iron & Wine isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for enjoying (or not enjoying, for that matter) Sam Beam’s latest album, Ghost on Ghost. Artistic evolution (and devolution) happens all the time — how different could Ghost on Ghost be? Well, for longtime fans of the hirsute folkie, the answer is: very. Beam — who performs as Iron & Wine — made his reputation on a host of recordings that caused the rock-crit elite to [...]
The mysterious duo known as Rhye have created an interesting throwback of an album with “Woman.” Check out our review!