Articles by Josh Hurst
The Raconteurs, “Help Us Stranger”
Their third album may feel almost like a tonic for those befuddled by last year’s bizarro-world “Boarding House Reach.”
Mac DeMarco, “Here Comes the Cowboy”
The singer-songwriter notes that he’s long been fascinated with the cowboy mythos, which captures both the freedom and the solitude of life on the great open frontier.
Weezer, “Weezer (Black Album)”
Try as he might to sound brash and nonchalant, Rivers Cuomo still comes across like the goofball nerd that he is.
Bob Mould, “Sunshine Rock”
“Sunshine Rock” is bedazzled with literal bells and whistles, including an eighteen-piece string section to lend Mould’s muscular rock a sense of transcendence.
Backstreet Boys, “DNA”
Rightly intuiting that they’d only embarrass themselves by carrying the “boy band” ethos into middle age, they long ago shifted into pure adult contemporary.
William Tyler, “Goes West”
“Goes West” summons all the majesty and loneliness of Tyler’s other work, but condenses it into his tightest, punchiest, and most palatable set of songs yet.
Jeff Tweedy, “WARM”
It’s not an album about what Tweedy has been through so much as an album about what we’ve all been through—a weathered yet buoyant reflection on shared trauma.
Elvis Costello & the Imposters, “Look Now”
Even if it’s pitched as a continuation of earlier works, “Look Now” never feels like a rehash.
Prince, “Piano & a Microphone 1983”
These songs take on a kind of confessional immediacy that you don’t hear much on proper Prince albums, and there’s stark emotion in abundance.
Low, “Double Negative”
For a band that’s so steady and sure-footed, Low are uniquely gifted at conveying a sense of unraveling.
Mitski, “Be the Cowboy”
Mitski is deepening her craft and heightening her emotional availability, but never dulling her edge.
Cowboy Junkies, “All That Reckoning”
Cowboy Junkies have never reckoned with the times as vividly or as pointedly as they do here.
Florence + the Machine, “High as Hope”
More than ever, Welch trusts her magnetic personality and her unerring gift for skyscraping pop hooks to do the emotional lifting.
Kamasi Washington, “Heaven and Earth”
Everything’s writ large; it is music that contains multitudes, and it’s teeming with joy and power.
Eleanor Friedberger, “Rebound”
Friedberger has crafted an album of contoured melodies and steely precision.
Janelle Monáe, “Dirty Computer”
Every generation needs its own soundtrack for kicking against the pricks, and Monáe delivers one here.
Willie Nelson, “Last Man Standing”
Willie’s addressing his twilight years with a light touch and an amiable chuckle.
The Decemberists, “I’ll Be Your Girl”
They may be the only band around who can make the New Wave sound old-timey.