Cloud Nothings dive straight into explosive nihilism with ‘Last Building Burning’

Yeah, I won’t lie, I was a little worried about this one. See, I was among the few that actually seemed willing to get on-board with Cloud Nothings making a more accessible, borderline pop punk-friendly record in 2017 in Life Without Sound – no, it wasn’t the razor-sharp explosion that characterized Attack On Memory which […]

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Kurt Vile delivers a distant, introspective ‘Bottle It In’

It’s hard not to feel like Kurt Vile is going in the exact opposite direction I hoped he would. Or at the very least it’s hard to say if he’s playing to his strengths, because I’ve always been of the opinion that when the man feels fit to string his ideas together he can craft […]

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Ella Mai teams up with DJ Mustard for an extremely uneven debut album

So here’s a serious question: who the hell was expecting ‘Boo’d Up’ to be as big as it was? Because I sure as hell didn’t, I’ll say that right now – when I first covered Ella Mai’s breakout single on Billboard BREAKDOWN on a week chock full of better R&B tunes, I was underwhelmed by […]

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How Alterity’s ‘Afterlife’ could have achieved greatness

So just so you all understand my point of reference, let me describe how I handle artists who are more of a Bandcamp/independent stripe that wind up on my schedule. Most of it would seem self-explanatory: unless they absolutely blow me away or I literally have nothing else to talk about on my schedule – […]

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Jess Glynne seriously stumbles on her sophomore ‘Always In Between’

So here’s something I’ve realized about myself and pop music: when it comes to sheer competence in song construction, more often than not I’ll give acts that might not be the most innovative more of a pass than most. Part of this is the appreciation and acknowledgement that crafting a damn solid straightforward pop song […]

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Ron Gallo ventures towards art rock with ‘Stardust Birthday Party’

So I wasn’t expecting this. Sure, when Ron Gallo came right the hell out of nowhere to blow my mind with the brilliantly witty, terrifically nasty album HEAVY META in 2017, I knew we were dealing with a very real talent that I was sure was going to throw me for a loop consistently, and […]

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Eric Church’s ‘Desperate Man’ slides into an uncertain, scattered place

There’s a part of me that wishes I had a firmer clue where Eric Church was going. See, it seemed simple enough in the early 2010s, where he adopted a brand of swaggering rock-tinged country that could come across a little overblown but tended to have enough details, hooks, and nifty ideas bending around the […]

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Poets Of The Fall roar back with ‘Ultraviolet’

You know, I could rattle off a pretty impressive list of disappointing events in 2016, but if we’re just to confine it to music, the last Poets Of The Fall album would be up there. And no, I’m not going to mince words with this: Poets of the Fall were one of the most strikingly […]

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The Hottest Toys to Buy -Before- the 2018 Holiday Rush

As a gal who was always slower to give up her tie to certain toys and games (can’t take my Lego though), I’m always fascinated by what kids today might be or choose to play with. As the leaves change and the stores start hanging those holiday ornaments, I can’t help but picture parental shopping […]

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A Forest Of Stars stumbles backwards with Grave Mounds And Grave Mistakes

You know, there was a time when I was starting to get into black metal that I was unsure if I’d be recommended acts I didn’t like within the genre. That’s the funny thing about extreme music and one reason why critics who don’t exclusively specialize in it tend to hand out high scores more […]

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