Articles by Ken Scrudato
It’s all so calculatedly quirky that you almost wonder if Pee-wee Herman wasn’t called in as a consultant.
Harry Styles, “Fine Line”
Styles has a way of making music with plenty of discernible references, yet it somehow emerges as era-less.
Liam Gallagher, “Why Me? Why Not.”
Gallagher’s latest is a sonic show of maturation.
Madonna, “Madame X”
Though she’s always better when she’s just having fun, Madonna constantly yearns to be more poignant.
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.
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.
Xiu Xiu, “Girl with Basket of Fruit”
The level of pandemonium and desperation here makes for deeply unsettling but fascinatingly involved listening.
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.
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.
Thom Yorke, “Suspiria”
Thom Yorke’s soundtrack is that rarest of beasts: music for a cinematic work that can stand on its own.
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.
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?
Existential melancholy and staccato guitars have been Interpol’s signature for well over a decade, and they still carry it out with panache.
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.
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.
A Place to Bury Strangers, “Pinned”
There’s little doubt they genuinely mean every echo-drenched, wall-of-grinding-guitars second.
Kylie Minogue, “Golden”
As much fun as all those disco-fab collabs were, it’s heartwarming to hear Minogue pouring her heart out.
Jack White, “Boarding House Reach”
This is the sort of record everyone should make twenty years into their career.
The Soft Moon, “Criminal”
“Criminal” is, in a sense, the new gothic for a new century—paranoid, solitary, and powerfully visceral.
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.
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.
Amadou & Mariam, “La Confusion”
The latest from the iconic Malian duo has surprises at every turn.
Hercules and Love Affair, “Omnion”
Andy Butler has become the multi-faceted songwriter and profound expressionist he always meant to be.
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.
On their first album in twenty-two years, Slowdive prove that, despite its introverted nature, shoegaze possesses the possibility for truly anthemic gestures.
The Black Angels, “Death Song”
Billionaires in the White House? Come Armageddon, come.
Xiu Xiu, “Forget”
No one would make this record if they didn’t have to.
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.