Articles by Josh Hurst

Fleet Foxes, “Crack-Up”

This band does delicate beauty so well that the stand-out moments of “Crack-Up” tend to be the ones where they let their hair down a bit.

Alice Coltrane, “World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda” [reissue]

These are songs that feel like they’re reaching for something; songs that sound like invocations.

Mac DeMarco, “This Old Dog”

On his third full-length, DeMarco pits the innately good-natured, easy-going tone of his music against a hint of sorrow in his lyrics.

Feist, “Pleasure”

Leslie Feist is casually virtuosic and quietly adventurous throughout her first record in six years, though you never get the sense that she’s pushing things just to push.

Kendrick Lamar, “DAMN.”

“DAMN.” bears our struggle and triumph, swagger and fear, success and uncertainty, love and original sin.

The New Pornographers, “Whiteout Conditions”

Nothing here wants for hooks or for energy, but the songs on The New Pornographers’ seventh album all seem flat somehow.

Jessi Colter, “THE PSALMS”

Colter creates music that drones, builds, drifts, and crests, never following familiar emotional beats but instead allowing them to follow their own wild intuitions.

Conor Oberst, “Salutations”

“Salutations” maintains the tattered humanity of its unaccompanied counterpart, but somehow makes it all go down a little smoother.

Spoon, “Hot Thoughts”

There was always bound to be a straight-ahead dance-rock album from Spoon. How could there not be?

Quelle Chris, “Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often”

“Being You” is gnarly and cerebral, the sound of a jittery headspace that’s got room enough for every flight of fancy.

Sampha, “Process”

Sampha’s debut is a record with broad appeal and precise vision; a record where listeners can find themselves but also where they’ll spot the auteur’s hand if they really care to look for it.

The xx, “I See You”

The erstwhile minimalists have never made a record that sounds so glossy and full, but there’s not enough production polish in the world to mask the the hurt and the vulnerability at its core.

Run the Jewels, “Run the Jewels 3”

There is immense catharsis in Killer Mike and El-P’s appetite for destruction.

John Legend, “Darkness and Light”

It’s tough to shake the idea that we’re getting the real John Legend for the very first time.

A House Divided: How Barry Moser’s “We Were Brothers” Offers a Way Forward After Trump

The author’s reflections on his relationship with his deeply racist brother make an appeal to our common humanity.

Lambchop, “FLOTUS”

If a sudden shift toward EDM trappings sounds like an awkward fit for an alt-country band, on “FLOTUS,” it plays out as neither sudden nor awkward.

Jim James, “Eternally Even”

The My Morning Jacket frontman’s second solo record is not a hymn to destruction, but an anthem of resolve.

Common, “Black America Again”

Nothing is held back.

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