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Ken Scrudato
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Halsey, “Manic”

It’s all so calculatedly quirky that you almost wonder if Pee-wee Herman wasn’t called in as a consultant.

January 24, 2020
Harry Styles, “Fine Line”

Styles has a way of making music with plenty of discernible references, yet it somehow emerges as era-less.

December 18, 2019
Liam Gallagher, “Why Me? Why Not.”

Gallagher’s latest is a sonic show of maturation.

September 19, 2019
Madonna, “Madame X”

Though she’s always better when she’s just having fun, Madonna constantly yearns to be more poignant.

June 21, 2019
The Cranberries, “In the End”

There is a haunted quality to any music released after the person who created it is no longer counted among the living.

April 25, 2019
Karen O & Danger Mouse, “Lux Prima”

Despite its flawless production, “Lux Prima” is a noticeably restrained affair, considering what a feral creature Karen O has always been.

March 14, 2019
Xiu Xiu, “Girl with Basket of Fruit”

The level of pandemonium and desperation here makes for deeply unsettling but fascinatingly involved listening.

February 12, 2019
The Dandy Warhols, “Why You So Crazy?”

Though it’s by no means a masterpiece, “Why You So Crazy?” proves that boring is something The Dandy Warhols will never, ever be.

February 01, 2019
Redd Kross, “Teen Babes From Monsanto” + “Hot Issue” [reissues]

It’s really about the sheer thrill of Redd Kross’ ability to just matter-of-factly, glam-a-riffically rock the fuck out.

December 06, 2018
Thom Yorke, “Suspiria”

Thom Yorke’s soundtrack is that rarest of beasts: music for a cinematic work that can stand on its own.

November 06, 2018
Echo & the Bunnymen, “The Stars, the Oceans & the Moon”

Echo & the Bunnymen are as much a religious denomination as a band. And rewriting a prayer is tricky business.

October 19, 2018
Lenny Kravitz, “Raise Vibration”

None of this has anything to do with what’s currently clogging up the charts—but then, when did Lenny ever neatly fit the zeitgeist?

September 10, 2018
Interpol, “Marauder”

Existential melancholy and staccato guitars have been Interpol’s signature for well over a decade, and they still carry it out with panache.

August 28, 2018
Body/Head, “The Switch”

This is not music that wants to play on your emotions—rather, it wants you to leave the nuisance of them behind altogether.

July 19, 2018
Lykke Li, “so sad so sexy”

Even if you don’t 100 percent buy into all of Lykke’s dark/light kooky mysticism, “so sad so sexy” is what it promises. 

June 14, 2018
A Place to Bury Strangers, “Pinned”

There’s little doubt they genuinely mean every echo-drenched, wall-of-grinding-guitars second.

May 02, 2018
Kylie Minogue, “Golden”

As much fun as all those disco-fab collabs were, it’s heartwarming to hear Minogue pouring her heart out.

April 23, 2018
Jack White, “Boarding House Reach”

This is the sort of record everyone should make twenty years into their career.

April 05, 2018
The Soft Moon, “Criminal”

“Criminal” is, in a sense, the new gothic for a new century—paranoid, solitary, and powerfully visceral.

February 08, 2018
Shame, “Songs of Praise”

What makes Shame’s debut powerful is just how musically accomplished they are, despite the high-anxiety relentlessness of their sonic gospel.

January 22, 2018
Spinning Coin, “Permo”

Spinning Coin’s true strength lies in not just being some manner of revival of those pop-post-punk tenets, as much as clever guardians of the aesthetic flame.

November 21, 2017
Amadou & Mariam, “La Confusion”

The latest from the iconic Malian duo has surprises at every turn.

October 04, 2017
Hercules and Love Affair, “Omnion”

Andy Butler has become the multi-faceted songwriter and profound expressionist he always meant to be.

September 27, 2017
Ride, “Weather Diaries”

The return from the shoegaze legends seems as if it was made by a bunch of twenty-year-olds excitedly let loose in the studio for the first time—and the result is one of the more vital comeback records you’re likely to hear this year.

June 19, 2017
Slowdive, “Slowdive”

On their first album in twenty-two years, Slowdive prove that, despite its introverted nature, shoegaze possesses the possibility for truly anthemic gestures.

May 26, 2017
The Black Angels, “Death Song”

Billionaires in the White House? Come Armageddon, come.

May 12, 2017
Xiu Xiu, “Forget”

No one would make this record if they didn’t have to.

March 07, 2017
Max Richter, “Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works”

The British composer bravely journeys deep into the interior of Virginia Woolf’s novels and her inimitable characters.

February 15, 2017
Brian Eno, “Reflection”

If there’s anything disappointing about Brian Eno’s career thus far, it’s that his oblique strategies have never taken him radically far away from the zones he settled and perfected.

January 11, 2017
John Cale, “Fragments of a Rainy Season” [reissue]

Equipped with nothing more than a piano and occasionally a guitar on this live album from 1992, the former member of The Velvet Underground pulls something new out of so many songs from across his career.

December 20, 2016
Jamie Lidell, “Building a Beginning”

Maybe Nashville is just where the British R&B singer needs to be.

October 25, 2016
M.I.A., “AIM”

If she’s really retiring, Maya Arulpragasam is going out on her own terms.

October 13, 2016
GOAT, “Requiem”

On their third record, the mysterious Swedish collective take psychedelic world music deadly seriously.

October 13, 2016


Breaking: Nots

Cut from the streets of Memphis, this punk quartet turns the cacophony of city living into a symphony of distortion and dread—as well as hope.

September 29, 2016

2016. of montreal innocence reaches cover

of Montreal, “Innocence Reaches”

“Innocence Reaches” isn’t a masterpiece by any means, but it’s a refreshing change.

September 01, 2016
Brendan Canning, “Home Wrecking Years”

The Broken Social Scene co-founder returns with his third solo album.

August 16, 2016
nonkeen, “oddments of the gamble”

For a collection of outlier bits, the second album from Nils Frahm’s nonkeen project is remarkably cohesive.

July 22, 2016

GØGGS s/t album cover


Have you ever thought to yourself, “Wouldn’t it be great if someone could combine the virtuoso scuzz of Black Sabbath with the sneering vitriol of The Fall?”

June 29, 2016

Richard Ashcroft // These People cover

Richard Ashcroft, “These People”

The Verve frontman’s first solo album in six years finds him back in his familiarly affective but downtrodden form.

June 06, 2016

2016. New Order cred Nick Wilson

New Order, New Faith

No strangers to a tumultuous road, Bernard Sumner and Gillian Gilbert reflect on the Peter Hook–less era of their legendary group, and the new album that recently came out of it—”Music Complete,” the special edition of which is out May 13.

May 10, 2016
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, “Nonagon Infinity”

Infinity. Dude.

May 04, 2016
Boulevards, “Groove!”

It’s all here: the squiggly synth horns, the effected electric piano, the sultry sax breaks.

March 24, 2016

2016. the 1975 I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It cover…

The 1975, “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It”

The history of music from Manchester, England, is littered with doom and, well, gloom.

March 02, 2016

2016. Sunflower Bean Human Ceremony cover hi-res

Sunflower Bean, “Human Ceremony”

Perhaps next time they’ll let it rip.

February 03, 2016

2016. Rihanna, “Anti”

Rihanna, “Anti”

There’s a mission for musical cred here on her highly anticipated eighth album “Anti.”

January 29, 2016

2016. Suede

The London Suede, “Night Thoughts”

Suede, surely, were the most unlikely of acts to reanimate the wanton, substance-addled serpents of their tender years.

January 25, 2016

Paul Weller / photo by Julian Broad

In Conversation
In Conversation: Paul Weller Looks Sharp

The onetime Jam frontman—and now fashion designer—tells us about style and punk’s halcyon days.

December 22, 2015

2015. John Malkovich, Sandro, and Eric Alexandrakis Like A Puppet Show cover

John Malkovich, “Like a Puppet Show”

It’s far too glib to refer to John Malkovich as a “Renaissance Man.”

December 04, 2015

2015. Yoko and the Oh No’s album art

Yoko and the Oh No’s, “Yoko and the Oh No’s”

What impresses and concerns is their self-titled debut album’s unapologetically dead-on referencing

November 19, 2015

2015. Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm, “Collaborative Works”

Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm, “Collaborative Works”

The new collection of collaborative works (as the title is keen to note) from composers Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm stands ideologically athwart all that mindless cacophony.

November 18, 2015

2015. Sexwitch, “Sexwitch”

Sexwitch, “Sexwitch”

Our altars and sacrifices are ready.

October 21, 2015

2015. Peaches, “Rub” cover

Peaches, “Rub”

Make no mistake, this is aural effrontery at its most relentless.

October 06, 2015

The Libertines. Anthems for doomed youth cover.

The Libertines, “Anthems for Doomed Youth”

Ah, but now The Libertines’ arch wastrel is ostensibly “clean,” and he and Lib-mate Carl Barât are back fighting the good fight. Admittedly, it bears the scent of glory-grabbing.

September 22, 2015

2015. Low Ones and Sixes cover. high-res

Low, “Ones and Sixes”

Truly, Low are at their best when awash in intrigue and inexplicability, and the mystically titled “Ones and Sixes” offers plenty of aural equivocality.

September 14, 2015

Lianne La Havas blood cover.

Lianne La Havas, “Blood”

What cannot be emphasized enough is the natural grace and elegance of her singing, especially in stark contrast to the insufferable over-modulating of so many nu-gen R&B vocalists.

August 06, 2015
Art & Culture
Straddling the Invisible Divide in Istanbul

Going east and west in modern-day Turkey.

August 05, 2015

2015. Chelsea Wolfe Abyss cover art

Chelsea Wolfe, “Abyss”

Her fifth album, the confessionally titled “Abyss,” is a dark dive into a deep chasm of negation and dread.

August 04, 2015

Giorgio Moroder. Deja vu. cover.

Giorgio Moroder, “Déjà Vu”

The Bee Gees made disco; Moroder made dee-sko danse muziq.

June 17, 2015

Jamie XX. In Colour. Cover.

Jamie xx, “In Colour”

A veritable zeitgeist of one, Jamie xx has managed to spin off from his soul-goth namesake band into an agent of perpetual buzz generation.

June 05, 2015

2015. Holly Herndon Platform cover art

Holly Herndon, “Platform”

With rock and roll sputtering along like a Soviet Trabant with two punctured tires, electro-sonic architectrix Holly Herndon has a distinct herald-of-the-future vibe about her.

May 21, 2015

2015. Wire, “Wire”

Wire, “Wire”

Despite its punk inception, Wire has done a good deal of trade in thought-provoking, future-pop for nearly four decades.

April 30, 2015

2015. Blur, “The Magic Whip”

Blur, “The Magic Whip”

The boys were even thoughtful enough to bring along the tunes, should you care to wiggle whilst Blighty burns amidst political squabbles and clashing egos.

April 27, 2015

2015. Villagers, “Darling Arithmetic” art

Villagers, “Darling Arithmetic”

Conor O’Brien—better known as Villagers—is the latest within a long line of strikingly melodic Irish singer-songwriters that invite listeners to daydream about the lush and green motherland.

April 17, 2015

2015. Caral Barat & The Jackals, “Let It Reign”

Carl Barât & The Jackals, “Let It Reign”

A Libertines reunion, of course, is right ’round the bend. Perhaps he’s saving the real stormers for then?

March 10, 2015

Gang of Four / 2015 / photo by Leo Cackett

In Conversation
In Conversation: Andy Gill and Gang of Four Carry On

A discourse on music, technology and the state of the kingdom

February 26, 2015

2015. Ibeyi self-titled album art

Ibeyi, “Ibeyi”

Through the album these renegade Franco-Cuban sisters scrupulously skirt the minefield of trippy-dippy spirit-mother clichés.

February 20, 2015

2015. A Place to Bury Strangers, “Transfixiation

A Place to Bury Strangers, “Transfixiation”

If rock and roll teeters on cultural irrelevance in this young century, it is surely due to being stripped of an elemental fear. Whether the genre is recoverable is debatable, but A Place to Bury Strangers refuses to abandon the expedition.

February 18, 2015

Bjork “Vulnicura” header

Björk, “Vulnicura”

After Björk had literally (and awesomely, intellectually) deconstructed the sound of the universe on “Biophilia” in 2011, it is a surprising, stinging disappointment to discover that this, her ninth record is…a breakup album? But, of course, Björk would never do anything so insipid as whine about a broken heart.

January 23, 2015

2014. Smashing Pumpkins, “Monuments to an Elegy”

Smashing Pumpkins, “Monuments to an Elegy”

Corgan promises (or threatens) here, “I will bang this drum ’til my dying day.” Surely, there’s got to be still more buried greatness to actually come?

December 09, 2014

Mark Kozelek, “Sings Christmas Carols” cover, 2014.

Mark Kozelek, “Sings Christmas Carols”

2014 finds holiday depressives in less surprising company, as Mr. Misery Guts himself, Mark Kozelek, has a go at some of our wintry faves.

November 04, 2014

2014. Johnny Marr, “Playland” album art

Johnny Marr, “Playland”

Marr seems happy just frolicking through the basic landscape of rock and roll, rather more Keith Richards than Jimmy Page.

October 07, 2014

2014. Imogen Heap, “Sparks” album art

Imogen Heap, “Sparks”

Apparently the three-year creative journey that was the creation of Sparks began with striking a match.

August 19, 2014

2014. FKA twigs, “LP1” album art.

FKA twigs, “LP1”

With her (ostensibly calculatedly) cloying moniker, one might easily wonder if “the artist” FKA twigs is already plotting to someday transmogrify into an unpronounceable symbol.

August 12, 2014
Morrissey, “World Peace Is None of Your Business”

Hardly surprising, then, even the gloriously bombastic title of his latest, World Peace Is None of Your Business, seems to be straining for that very same lapsed monumentality.

July 15, 2014