The 1975, “Notes on a Conditional Form”
The fourth album from The 1975 is deeply troubled, bloated, and frequently brilliant.
Woods, “Strange to Explain”
“Strange to Explain” is a confused swirl of hope, wonder, and melancholy.
Charli XCX, “how i’m feeling now”
“how i’m feeling now” finds Charli stuck at home with her own anxieties and a tumultuous relationship.
Sparks, “A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip”
“Drip Drip Drip”is as unnervingly varied as most of the Mael brothers work—especially in the twenty-first century.
Moses Sumney, “græ”
Sumney brings shards of art rock, R&B, classical, electronic, jazz, and soul into one beautiful piece of musical kintsugi.
Hayley Williams, “Petals for Armor”
On “Petals for Armor” Williams is in full blossom, telling her story without requiring our permission.
Joan as Police Woman, “Cover Two”
Joan Wasser returns to a poignant form on her first album of deconstructed favorites in eleven years.
Car Seat Headrest, “Making a Door Less Open”
“MaDLO” is full of holes, but wholly unique.
Lucinda Williams, “Good Souls Better Angels”
“Good Souls Better Angels” is one of Williams’ most live-wire works.
Fiona Apple, “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”
“Fetch” is as cold as it is overheated, as vibrant as it is humble.
Nina Simone, “Fodder on My Wings” [reissue]
The reissue’s added tracks are all contextual red meat—no gristle or fat.
The Strokes, “The New Abnormal”
The Strokes’ sixth album doesn’t disrupt their complicated pattern of interesting failures and boring successes.
Hamilton Leithauser, “The Loves of Your Life”
“Loves” sees a veteran artist sauntering along his creative borders with glee.
Dua Lipa, “Future Nostalgia”
Lipa’s vocal dexterity and blissful pop production carry the weight of her second record.
Thundercat, “It Is What It Is”
Thundercat continues to alchemize his inimitable style as a honeyed singer, whipsmart producer, and lithe bassist.
Pearl Jam, “Gigaton”
Where “Lightning Bolt” was solid but stagnant, “Gigaton” is (ironically) more electric, a living, breathing thing giving off sparks.
Morrissey, “I Am Not a Dog on a Chain”
This album offers up some of his best performances, wryest lyrics, and most experimental arrangements in years.
The Staple Singers, “Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection”
Looking for a consolidated history of soul music in one handy package?