6 Feet Beneath The Moon – King Krule – album review

“How can someone so young sing words so sad?” Morrissey once wondered, but having lived it, he already knew the answer. It’s the same question often asked of nineteen-year-old Archy … Continue reading

August 31, 2013 · Leave a comment

Paracosm – Washed Out – album review

Some of the most memorable places aren’t even real. Ask any child; he’ll tell you all about Narnia, Middle-earth, or that galaxy far, far away. All are paracosms by definition … Continue reading

August 16, 2013 · Leave a comment

Magna Carta, Holy Grail – Jay Z – album review

Quality control has plagued Jay Z for a decade now, but rarely has the hype behind his product so vastly exceeded its actual worth. Hova’s twelfth and blandest album, Magna … Continue reading

August 5, 2013 · 2 Comments

“Enjoy the Girls” – Savages in Concert

It’s a rookie mistake. Twenty years of tinnitus-inducing shows hasn’t provided me enough of a reminder to bring ear plugs to Savages’ concert at legendary Cambridge, MA venue Downstairs at … Continue reading

July 23, 2013 · Leave a comment

Yeezus – Kanye West – album review

John Lennon touched a nerve when he famously claimed the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus,” but at least no one could accuse him of replacing his surname with “the … Continue reading

June 23, 2013 · 3 Comments

…Like Clockwork – Queens of the Stone Age – album review

Josh Homme has filled out. Two decades of Herculean-level imbibing, consuming, and partaking will do that to a rock star — even the most untameable, red-haired Lotharios eventually become bulkier, … Continue reading

June 3, 2013 · Leave a comment

Random Access Memories – Daft Punk – album review

Are machines imparted with the human characteristics of their creators, or are we destined to adopt theirs? People are prone to exchanging pleasantries with Siri, calling the Internet bad names … Continue reading

May 20, 2013 · 11 Comments

Silence Yourself – Savages – album review

All art has archetypes — those idealized forms to which all others must be compared. In the realm of post-punk bands, the definitive templates — Joy Division, Wire, PiL, and … Continue reading

May 5, 2013 · 1 Comment

Bankrupt! – Phoenix – album review

The first clue should have been the fruit. Thomas Mars and Laurent Brancowitz, one half of indie rock band Phoenix, chose Bankrupt!’s vibrant, oddly generic cover image after significant deliberation, admitting … Continue reading

April 22, 2013 · 8 Comments

Overgrown – James Blake – album review

James Blake is not unique in his predilection for bending, chopping, and fracturing melodies until all that remains is a sonic mosaic of meticulously arranged, stained-glass shards. He is also … Continue reading

April 15, 2013 · 1 Comment

Shaking The Habitual – The Knife – album review

During the Great Northern War pandemic of the early 18th century, the ghoulish, bird-like masks of Eastern European plague doctors became synonymous with death. Although appropriately macabre, their long, horned … Continue reading

April 7, 2013 · 1 Comment

Comedown Machine – The Strokes – album review

For all the don’t-give-a-fuck dishevelment and dingy basement brilliance of their early records, the Strokes have always possessed a certain air of suppressed refinement. All five members attended elite prep … Continue reading

March 24, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Next Day – David Bowie – album review

Happy birthday. 58! Isn’t it time you got a proper job? — Ricky Gervais, 42, comedian I have a proper job — David Bowie, rock god Word-for-word, that’s actual 2005 … Continue reading

March 10, 2013 · 2 Comments

Amok – Atoms For Peace – album review

Even the best of illusions can backfire. The song “Analyse” from Thom Yorke’s solo debut The Eraser (2006) played during the credits of The Prestige, Christopher Nolan’s underrated film featuring two rival … Continue reading

February 27, 2013 · Leave a comment

Pop Music’s Unyouth Movement: Why We Want To Remain 25 Forever

In a rare moment of candidness during last Sunday’s 2013 Grammy awards, pop music finally showed its age. An incredulous Nate Ruess, singer from the indie pop band Fun, had … Continue reading

February 13, 2013 · Leave a comment

m b v – My Bloody Valentine – album review

Around 3:35 pm on Saturday, February 2nd, a lot of folks cancelled their evening plans.  My Bloody Valentine, the legendary shoegaze alt-rock giants who released 1991’s seminal work Loveless (an … Continue reading

February 5, 2013 · 4 Comments

Fade – Yo La Tengo – album review

Seven years ago, I bought a t-shirt with a Venn diagram on it — the left circle read “Music I Like,” the right circle read “Music You Like,” and the … Continue reading

January 23, 2013 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2012: Honorable Mentions

Honorable mentions | 20-16 | 15- 11 | 10-6 | 5-1 Bat For Lashes “Laura” – The Haunted Man Like “Daniel” from 2009 album Two Suns, “Laura” is a bit of … Continue reading

January 17, 2013 · Leave a comment

Justin Timberlake – “Suit & Tie” – single review

Stream it: Justin Timberlake hasn’t released a single note of music since 2006’s appropriately titled FutureSex/LoveSounds (unless you count the marvelously inappropriate “Dick in a Box”), but he’s still … Continue reading

January 14, 2013 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2012: #5-1

 Honorable mentions | 20-16 | 15- 11 | 10-6 | 5-1 5) Japandroids “The House That Heaven Built” – Celebration Rock Japandroids’ galvanizing rock anthem “Young Hearts Spark Fire” revolved around … Continue reading

December 26, 2012 · 3 Comments

Best Music of 2012: #10-6

Honorable mentions | 20-16 | 15- 11 | 10-6 | 5-1 10) Swans “Mother of the World” – The Seer This album is frightening. Not in how good it is (although … Continue reading

December 25, 2012 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2012: #15-11

Honorable mentions | 20-16 | 15- 11 | 10-6 | 5-1 15) How To Dress Well “Set It Right” – Total Loss What precisely is that emotion called, the indescribable flood … Continue reading

December 24, 2012 · 1 Comment

Best Music of 2012: #20-16

More so than ever before, 2012 was a year of astonishing variety in music. From rap and R&B, to indie rock and left-field pop, to dubstep and experimental electronica, 2012 … Continue reading

December 23, 2012 · 3 Comments

Turn On The Bright Lights (10th Anniversary Edition) – Interpol – album review

Rarely has time’s passage been so unkind to an artist’s reputation. Depending on your philosophy about how art is perceived in its context, Interpol’s Turn on the Bright Lights is … Continue reading

December 4, 2012 · 3 Comments

good kid, m.A.A.d. city – Kendrick Lamar – album review

On its cover, good kid, m.A.A.d. city is actually subtitled “a short film by Kendrick Lamar.”  In many ways, it is. More than just writing a collection of great songs, … Continue reading

October 26, 2012 · Leave a comment

Shields – Grizzly Bear – album review

Plain and simple, critics adore Grizzly Bear. The Brooklyn foursome draw from a bevy of treasured older influences (Beach Boys, Nick Drake, the Band, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash) and … Continue reading

September 24, 2012 · 3 Comments

Coexist – The xx – album review

Appreciating the xx can be as much an exercise in restraint as is their songwriting. Their 2009 self-titled debut won the U.K.’s Mercury Prize and topped several critics’ best of … Continue reading

September 18, 2012 · 3 Comments

Centipede Hz – Animal Collective – album review

Music has always been closely tied to the notion of transcendence. From Gregorian chanting to South African shamanistic trance dance to ecstasy-fueled Western rave culture, music from all over the … Continue reading

September 11, 2012 · 2 Comments

Mature Themes – Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – album review

“You sunk my battleship!” To the typical American kid in the late 70’s and early 80’s, that phrase had special meaning; it’s the indelible tagline for the 1977 version of … Continue reading

August 26, 2012 · 2 Comments

Channel Orange – Frank Ocean – album review

Art isn’t appreciated or interpreted in a vacuum; songwriters’ experiences and intentions when creating their music are inseparable from the songs themselves.  Sly Stone was fighting band members and doing … Continue reading

July 21, 2012 · 2 Comments

The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do – Fiona Apple – album review

You only need two images of Fiona Apple to understand the tension behind her fourth, and most personal, album. One is the photo that accompanies the iTunes landing page that’s … Continue reading

June 25, 2012 · 1 Comment

Celebration Rock – Japandroids – album review

On “The Nights of Wine and Roses” Brian King asks “Don’t we have anything to live for? Well, of course we do/ But ’til they come true, we’re drinking.” So … Continue reading

June 17, 2012 · 5 Comments

Bloom – Beach House – album review

Great albums can transport you to another place, but to truly appreciate Beach House’s latest effort I had to physically go there first. Although Bloom had been on my docket … Continue reading

June 5, 2012 · 3 Comments

Isn’t Anything, Loveless, and EP’s 1988-91 Reissues – My Bloody Valentine – album reviews

For many in my age bracket, nothing was ever quite the same after the four chord intro to “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” but music historians know it was Loveless, not … Continue reading

May 23, 2012 · 3 Comments

Bros, Angry Pacifism and M83 — A curious concert review

Right up until the moment the big guy punches me, the show is actually quite enjoyable. It’s my second time in five months seeing M83 at Boston’s House of Blues. … Continue reading

May 13, 2012 · 10 Comments

Lana Del Rey’s Image Is More Compelling Than Her Sound

In a February review of Lana Del Rey’s mixed bag debut LP, Born to Die, I postulated that her image was more compelling than her sound. Three months later, I’m … Continue reading

April 30, 2012 · 5 Comments

Top 5 Most Embarrassing Songs on My iPod

Everybody has those songs they are secretly ashamed to love. I’m not talking about the  ones that you catch yourself humming along to when they’re played on the car radio, at … Continue reading

April 3, 2012 · 1 Comment

Port of Morrow – The Shins – album review

In many ways, the Shins’ albums have always had a seasonal quality to them. Their June 2001 debut, Oh, Inverted World, harkens back to that last summer of innocence before September … Continue reading

March 19, 2012 · 1 Comment

Kindred EP – Burial – review

Burial’s Street Halo EP and the “Ego”/”Mirror” collaboration with Four Tet/Thom Yorke were welcome additions to Will Bevan’s catalog in 2011, but they served as mostly a deluxe paint job and a … Continue reading

February 13, 2012 · 3 Comments

Visions – Grimes – album review

Claire Boucher has an affinity for in-between spaces. When describing her inspiration for a series of Mesoamerican and manga-inspired drawings she created as an art student at Montreal’s McGill University, … Continue reading

February 11, 2012 · 1 Comment

Born to Die – Lana Del Rey – album review

Inauthentic is the disconcerting, whispered word that seems to hound Lana Del Rey wherever she goes, but perhaps a gentler term would be contradictory. She seems to be everywhere, yet … Continue reading

February 2, 2012 · 8 Comments

Attack on Memory – Cloud Nothings – album review

OK, first the elephant in the room — yes, Steve Albini produced Cloud Nothings’ Attack on Memory. Few studio engineers can consistently construct a sound so distinct and desired that their name in … Continue reading

January 26, 2012 · 3 Comments

Best Music of 2011: Honorable Mentions

These five artists may not have made the top 20 of 2011 but are definitely worth a listen. Honorable mention | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 The Antlers “I … Continue reading

January 10, 2012 · 5 Comments

Best Music of 2011: #5-1

Honorable mention |  20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 5) Bon Iver “Perth” – Bon Iver, Bon Iver While reevaluating Bon Iver’s self-titled album back in July, I strangely … Continue reading

December 16, 2011 · 1 Comment

Best Music of 2011: #10-6

Honorable mention | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 10) Wye Oak “We Were Wealth” – Civilian Sheer volume and raucous energy are two qualities most often cited when admiring … Continue reading

December 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2011: #15-11

Honorable mention | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 15) Eleanor Friedberger “Roosevelt Island” –  Last Summer Eleanor Friedberger is better known as one half of The Fiery Furnaces, the … Continue reading

December 14, 2011 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2011: #20-16

After 18 years of arranging songs on “best of  the year” mix tapes & CDs based purely on how good they sounded together, I finally gave in to the power … Continue reading

December 13, 2011 · 5 Comments

The Smiths – Complete – The Smiths – album review

Smith’s legends abound: Johnny Marr being unable to reproduce the exact steps that went into crafting the oscillating, vibrato-flooded guitar line in “How Soon Is Now” (prompting Oasis’ Noel Gallagher … Continue reading

November 8, 2011 · 1 Comment

Mylo Xyloto – Coldplay – album review

Several years ago, an ambitious Amazon reviewer published a ten-step checklist, a sort of “indie music for dummies” guide to albums you should own and listen to in precise order to achieve … Continue reading

October 24, 2011 · 20 Comments

Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – M83 – album review

For nearly a decade, the pieces have been in place for Anthony Gonzalez’s one-man act M83 to make a truly outstanding album, but it’s still a wonderful surprise to hear … Continue reading

October 15, 2011 · 10 Comments