Bloc Party’s ‘Weekend’ trip not for travel-weary listeners

Listening to Bloc Party's second album is like listening to the sound of being just barely too cool for school. It's a golden age that can happen at any time: the briefest window when one realizes whatever rat-race one happens to be engaged in is an illusion that won't have any lasting impact on the course of one's life and it's possible to breeze by armed with half-baked ambition and the knowledge that it doesn't matter what people think - until the next crushing societal pressure takes hold of one's psyche, and the window closes.

Album Review: Muse, “2nd Law”

Muse have been creating bombastic alternative progressive rock for over a decade. They have earned a reputation for sonic diversity and a uniquely grandiose style. “The 2nd Law” does nothing to challenge that perception. In fact, at times it seems like the album was made to uphold it. This is the most bombastic and grandiose Muse album ever, which seem to be the best two words to describe it.

Music Review

Artist: Jackie Onassis Album: “Holiday EP” Genre: Hip-hop, rap Label: Sony Music Entertainment Release date: Nov. 17, 2012 Jackie Onassis is something else. And not the Jackie Onassis which...

‘It’s Blitz’ by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

When I think of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I think about grueling, flesh biting, drunk-rock. Karen O's frantic, hysterical vocals with the swirling guitar gnashes of Nick Zinner and the pounding drums of Brian Chase made for one powerful fury. Now all of the sudden, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have grown up and settled down.

Albums to be released promise good sounds

2008 was a good year for music. There were a lot of great debut releases, some great albums from well known artists and even a few from bands that were long thought dead (excluding, of course, "Chinese Democracy"). The big themes seemed to be 80s' influenced electronic and mellow, often eerie, folk.

New ‘Accoustic Sessions’ Album reminiscent of oldies

The debut album, “Acoustic Sessions” from the duo The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, is like taking a trip back to the 60’s....

‘Hello World’ by Xrabit + DMG$

It's no secret in hip-hop that gangsters and hipsters aren't really on the same turf. We're talking the Montagues and the Capulets. Tupac fans aren't generally also fans of Blue Scholars. But like the oddball amalgam of two Texan rappers (DMG$) and a German-born producer (Xrabit), and the evidence of Romeo and Juliet, two opposing sides can converge.

BoA makes American debut

Album: "BoA" Artist: BoA Record Label: SM USA Arsenal Record BoA (pronounced like the snake) is a Korean hip-hop/dance sensation in Asia.  After taking most major Asian...

Puddle of mediocre

Some artists release a cover in their album buried as a hidden track, but rarely do they release a full album of covers. Puddle...

Clarence Clarity – No Now

“No Now,” the debut album from Clarence Clarity, emerges from a very interesting and refreshing sonic space. Somewhere in the middle between electronic and...

Ali brings some brotherly love

For those of you who are strangers to Brother Ali, allow me this shallow introduction: Ali is an albino Muslim battle rapper. I say this to front load the introduction so you can quickly get past any preconceived notions or socio-programmed stereotypes to get straight to this point-Brother Ali is in a word: dope.

Keep it in rotation with Mick Jenkins’ ‘THC’

You may have heard of Mick Jenkins this year with features on Noname’s album Telefone and Chance the Rapper’s discarded Coloring Book song ‘Grown...

Florence and the Machine’s new album: Easy to tune out, worth the ceremony

“Florence + The Machine” are an interesting band that mixes opera, blues, orchestral music, and pop from the 60s. And harps. Lots and lots...

Good new rap music Vol. 2

If you think “Yeezus” is trash purely because Kanye didn’t give Chief Keef a full verse on “Hold My Liquor,” keep reading.  Young L –...

‘Bangerz’ by Miley Cyrus

It’s just sad. It’s sad to see someone with talent, especially very specific talents, take them in a direction that doesn’t coincide with their capabilities. And it happens for a variety of reasons, this kind of reaction formation. In the case of Miley Cyrus, she’s going through a musical reactionary period that harks back to the title of the debut album from the Arctic Monkeys, “Whatever You Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not”: You say I’m a country star? I rap. You say I’m a Disney child? I party. You say I’m a role model for young girls everywhere? I twerk.

Valentine’s Day playlist: how to set the mood

Valentine’s day is just around the corner and whether you’ve got yourself a “boo” or you’re swiping right until your fingers are sore, there...

“Heligoland” satisfies

Album: "Heligoland " Artist: Massive Attack Record Label: Virgin Release Date: Feb 8, 2010 Massive Attack’s new album " Heligoland" is the group's best since “Mezzanine." They fall...

The Hives – ‘The Black and White Army’

Clinging to the coattails of other bands by regurgitating the garage rock presence and attitude of the Kinks and the Rolling Stones has elevated Swedish quintet The Hives into a position of fame. Their second full-length major label (Universal/Interscope) effort, "The Black and White Album," is as clichéd as the album title itself.

‘Rising Down’

Somehow, The Roots aren't more popular. Black Thought should have been running Def Jam instead of finding refuge in a deal there. ?uestlove should have been hosting MTV reality shows about fabricated rap groups. We should all be rocking button-downs and jeans made by The Roots Clothing Co.

Trevor Hall’s self-titled album uplifts the weary spirit

ALBUM: "Trevor Hall" ARTIST: Trevor Hall RECORD LABEL: Vanguard Records Trevor Hall’s self-titled album is a good album to just chill out to, with its easy lyrics...

Taylor Swift chosen for The Hunger Games

Taylor Swift has been center stage in contemporary country music for roughly five years now. Originally a Myspace music phenomena, Swift skyrocketed to fame...

Rasta-punk band Skindred gets in the groove with latest album

No other group can command attention the way Skindred can. The Prince of Wales quartet is fronted by Benji Webb, a dreadlock-sporting Jamaican with...

‘Puddle City Racing Lights’

On paper, Matthew Thomas Dillon's band Windmill does not sound all that special. He's a singer-songwriter from England who plays the piano and writes songs about heartbreak. It sounds like a Coldplay or a Keane album. But in actuality it sounds more like a Flaming Lips or a Why? record ghostwritten by Elliott Smith.

‘The Odd Couple’

The most respectable American musical collaboration since Dr. Dre met Snoop Dogg, Gnarls Barkley has once again brought legitimate toe-tapping material to the mainstream in its new release "The Odd Couple." Matched well, like peanut butter to jelly, Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo Green and Danger Mouse incorporate Grammy-winning electronic mastery with all the Atlanta soul one could possibly ingest in a single sitting.

No direction leaves Moros Eros’ new album at a dead end

Mediocre art punks Moros Eros know what kind of sound they want, and unfortunately they aren't filling their own shoes. Sharing lineage with bands such as The Blood Brothers and Death From Above 1979, their new full-length album, "Jealous Me Was Killed By Curiosity" (Victory), tries hard for post-rock greatness but comes up short.

Cynical ‘Back to Black’ tells the raw dark truth about love

This album doesn't need a review; it needs a warning. Here goes: Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" is not for delicate ears. On "Back to Black," Winehouse takes the bitter conversations a young 20-something would really have and puts them on a record. She comes off so raw that Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah put her song "You Know I'm No Good" on his latest album.

Kingston’s ‘Tomorrow’ fizzles

With multiple hit singles and one full-length album, Sean Kingston is riding high on a platinum wave. But in his sophomore album "Tomorrow," he...