Articles by Josh Hurst
Kacey Musgraves, “star-crossed”
Kacey’s latest feels like several types of divorce album spliced together, at once messy, conflicted, and purposeful.
Sons of Kemet, “Black to the Future”
The jazz collective’s fourth album is first and foremost a dance record, bruising, visceral, and thrilling in its physicality.
Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird, “These 13”
Bird reconnects with his Squirrel Nut Zippers associate Mathus for the most straightforwardly old-timey music he’s made since the late ’90s.
Paul McCartney, “McCartney III”
The latest from Sir Paul is warm, inviting, a little weird, persistently tuneful, endearingly merry.
Laraaji, “Moon Piano”
“Moon Piano” creates an environment that emanates tranquility without ever overstepping its bounds.
Margo Price, “That’s How Rumors Get Started”
“Rumors” may seem almost like a deliberate provocation of the country purists.
HAIM, “Women in Music Pt. III”
HAIM has always made their music sound effortless, but here they sound genuinely unencumbered.
Hayley Williams, “Petals for Armor”
On “Petals for Armor” Williams is in full blossom, telling her story without requiring our permission.
The Staple Singers, “Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection”
Looking for a consolidated history of soul music in one handy package?
Son Little, “aloha”
The narrative behind Aaron Livingston’s third full-length as Son Little is one of relinquished control.
It’s not exactly a Beck album without precedent; but maybe at this point, that’s asking too much.
The Roots, “Things Fall Apart” 20th Anniversary Reissue
A record that still “sparks shit” today.
Sleater-Kinney, “The Center Won’t Hold”
They remain faithfully yours in taut, ruthless, uncompromising rock and roll.
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.