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CD Reviews
  • Get Hurt
    It's always been there under the New Jersey grit, but this band fully unleashes its inner Who on its fifth studio album. "So what you wanna say is/My head is a hurricane?" singer-guitarist Brian Fallon howls in "Rollin' and Tumblin'," sounding like the '73 Roger Daltrey, with the cutting, lyric...
  • Smokey & Friends
    On this duets album, the R&B legend rerecords some of his classic hits with indebted singers, from Steven Tyler to Sheryl Crow to John Legend. The balance of respectful tributes and reimaginings recalls John Fogerty's similarly structured 2013 collection, Wrote a Song for Everyone. "My Girl," done with Miguel, Aloe...
  • Benjamin Booker
    "Fucking up on a five-year bender," Benjamin Booker growls on "Violent Shiver," a song that sounds something like the Strokes if they'd been suckled on moonshine in a juke joint. A New Orleans-based, Jack White-endorsed 25-yearold with an open sore of a voice and a love of distorted boogie-blues shredding,...
  • Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Mötley Crüe
    Does the thought of Rascal Flatts covering "Kickstart My Heart" have you buzzing like a visit to Dr. Feelgood's office? Then this down-the-middle Mötley cöuntry compilation was made for you. Unfortunately, few of the 15 featured artists do anything more than rehash their assigned song – often omitting even the...
  • Space Invader
    Gene Simmons has claimed that Ace Frehley doesn't deserve to wear Kiss Kabuki clown paint, but the former Spaceman's first solo LP in five years says otherwise. Sure, the guitars don't always give off Frehley's trademark flames, and there isn't anything as catchy as his '78 solo smash, "New York...
  • Television Man
    Naomi Punk, the thrashing sons of Olympia, Washington, don't just play their instruments; they pummel and maul songs out of them. The trio specialize in moments of meditative bliss found amid jerky noise, and their second album captures the full-throttle attack of their live show – dabbling in staticky feedback...
  • Yes!
    "Fall out of bed and catch a fading star/Fancy I woke up before my alarm," Jason Mraz sings over bouncy strumming on "Hello, You Beautiful Thing." The adult-contemporary singer has won huge success radiating glazed contentment on songs like his reggae-tinged 2008 hit "I'm Yours." His fifth LP is his...
  • Warby Parker Presents Song Reader: 20 Songs by Beck
    What's most amazing about these all-star performances of Beck's 2012 sheet-music book Song Reader – complete with a corporate sponsor, just like King Biscuit Time – isn't how much they sound like Beck songs but how much they sound like the artists who cover them. This is fitting for songs...
  • LP1
    This 26-year-old British singer-producer broke through in 2013 with a pair of EPs that were so sleepy and diaphanous they seemed like apparitions. That was part of the appeal for many fans, but her debut LP is far more substantial. Twigs' deconstructed shards of U.K. grime and garage land heavier,...
  • I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss
    "I wanna be a real, full woman," Sinéad O’Connor sings on "How About I Be Me," whose title references her previous album, 2012’s How About I Be Me (And You Be You?). Unfortunately, O’Connor’s music doesn’t reflect the independence she aspires to: Ten albums into her career, she’s single-mindedly obsessed...
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