May 6, 2013 |
The sophomore outing from country bad-gal pals Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley picks up where their spunky 2011 debut, "Hell on Heels," left off, with a dozen new tunes happily blending don't-get-mad-get-even attitude and country piety. Their switchblade-sharp vision incorporates acute observational powers about the human condition and savvy compositional skills that come together in songs that are piercingly honest, funny and sometimes both. "Annie Up" opens with "I Feel a Sin Comin' On," which operates as the trio's mission statement.
May 3, 2013 |
Alejandro Sanz doesn't do irony. Earnestness flows like extra-sweet sangria from the Spanish singer-guitarist. Sincerity suffuses his raspy voice, a fine, soulful instrument that he showcased to striking effect during his Wednesday-night concert at the Nokia Theatre. In many of his songs, Sanz is a man alternately liberated by, and imprisoned in, dramatic passions and anguished hopes. This flamenco-tinged belter and multiple Latin Grammy Award winner is one of the few performers alive who could make Neil Diamond sound like David Byrne.
April 8, 2013 |
Drawing conclusions on the music of Tyler the Creator based on his shocking way with language is like trying to explain the plot of a comic book by noting how much red ink is used. It's not only unfair, but inaccurately draws the Los Angeles-based rapper and founder of the Odd Future crew as one-dimensional, which he most certainly is not. On "Wolf," Tyler's third solo album, the producer, rapper, comedic actor and storyteller revels in his many dimensions, and has released his best album to date - even if it's too long and too sonically flat to confirm his place as a top-rate producer.
March 4, 2013 |
Thurston Moore's new band Chelsea Light Moving is named after the avant-garde composer Philip Glass' pre-fame moving company, and that's a pretty good metaphor for the band's sound: high-minded musicians doing some dumb, brawny lifting. The band's self-titled debut comes after a gentler acoustic solo album and what appears to be a long hiatus for Sonic Youth (Moore is separating from his wife and band co-founder Kim Gordon). So it makes sense that his next move is this low-stakes, punky project whose album sounds like it was written in an afternoon - in both good and bad ways.
February 25, 2013 |
To call bassist Flea's new collaborative effort, Atoms for Peace, a departure for the versatile musician is to underestimate the scope of his talents. Over his 30-year career, he's played punk bass, slap bass, jazz bass, trance bass, arena rock bass and nearly naked tube-sock bass. On "Amok," the five-man supergroup's debut album, the artist known for his work as a nihilist in "The Big Lebowski" - oh, and as a founding member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers - provides mesmerizing doses of hypnosis bass to create some of the most groove-heavy lines of his career.
February 5, 2013 |
"Two Lanes of Freedom" is Tim McGraw's first album since he announced that he gave up alcohol five years ago. It's also his first record for Big Machine - appropriately, also Taylor Swift's home label, given her single "Tim McGraw" - and he looks hale and hearty in the album's accompanying videos. It all signals a major new start for McGraw, one of pop-country's bestselling but critically assailed figures. If only the songs on "Two Lanes" were as honed and wiry as their singer. The album should keep him atop the country commercial firmament, but doesn't really advance him as an artist.