Articles tagged: album review


Leisure

SZA’s SOS pushes R&B boundaries in her vulnerable exploration of self-worth

SZA’s musical and lyrical brilliance work together to create an album that was well worth the five-year wait.

Leisure

Meghan Trainor’s Takin’ It Back is a little bit of a trainwreck

As could be inferred by its not-so-subtle title, Takin’ it Back tries to take us back to Trainor’s glory days.

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If Joji’s SMITHEREENS accomplishes anything, it’s making his audience cry

The majority of SMITHEREENS feels reminiscent of (and even indistinguishable from) Joji songs we’ve already heard. 

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Growing up, not growing old: Phoenix shimmers on Alpha Zulu

Ultimately, the band maintains their expressive, ambiguous lyricism but showcases it against a glitzier background.

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Cavetown’s worm food is for deteriorating and decomposing—in a (mostly) good way

In general, Cavetown’s music has an almost otherworldly quality, like a reality slightly suspended from this one, and his latest album worm food is no different.

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Noah Kahan’s Stick Season dives headfirst into who we are and where we come from

Despite his rising popularity, Kahan’s latest album is undeniably authentic in its depiction of coming of age in small-town New England.

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The 1975 revisits their roots in Being Funny in a Foreign Language

The band has figured out how to cut to the point without getting lost in the details.

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On Midnights, all of Taylor Swift’s late-night thoughts come alive

But on the darkly mysterious Midnights, Swift uses the vulnerability of the late night to reflect on these raw emotions.

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Marcus Mumford’s (self-titled) is a meditative and powerful solo debut

On (self-titled) (2022), Mumford doesn’t need to reinvent; he explores, reflects, and reveals his individual artistry. 

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Post-therapy revelations: Hold the Girl (2022) is Rina Sawayama’s love letter to healing

Coupled with electropop instrumentals, Hold the Girl humanizes Sawayama; on her 14-track album, Sawayama holds a light to her past pain and current healing. 

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HDTV brings Tai Verdes’ genre-bending music into high definition

Though both of his albums are musically and thematically lighthearted, Verdes elevates HDTV through experimentation with new sounds.

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Beyoncé, rebirthed: What Renaissance means for her legacy and more

But it’s on Renaissance where Beyoncé proves there’s no need to top herself—she instead transforms the musical geography altogether.

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State Champs’ Kings of the New Age artfully improves on what makes pop punk captivating

State Champs’ Kings of the New Age (2022) is an anthemic punk album ready-made for summer—all while being a life-affirming, thoughtful dive into issues of love, loss, paranoia, and moving... Read more

Leisure

Rx (2022) shows ROLE MODEL revived in a whirl of passion, devotion, and vibrant sensation

Rx surges forth in a journey from struggle and vulnerability toward a place just as open and honest, but cushioned by love.

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We gave Lizzy McAlpine a minute and five seconds flat is the remarkable result

five seconds flat firmly side-steps the sophomore slump with mature production, stellar lyricism, and fearless creativity.

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Rex Orange County’s Who Cares? puts an optimistic spin on feeling aimless

While the title may seem fatalistic, Rex (Alex O’Connor) puts a cheerful twist on the question with his fourth album.

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Fame, femininity, and flamenco: On MOTOMAMI, Rosalía is not the pop star you think she is

On MOTOMAMI, Rosalía is both more playful and vulnerable than ever before, offering meditations on love, fame, and womanhood. 

Leisure

Halsey’s If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power (Extended Version) demystifies pregnancy and fame

When Halsey first announced that their fourth studio album would be about pregnancy, she faced intense fan resistance. In an Internet age where teenagers and young adults are a cornerstone... Read more

Halftime Leisure

Albums we love: Phrazes for the Young

The year 2022 marks the upcoming thirteenth anniversary of Julian Casablancas’ debut solo album Phrazes for the Young (2009). Why is this significant? It’s not, really; I just wanted a... Read more

Halftime Leisure

Looking back: Madonna’s Ray of Light 24 years later

On February 22, 1998, singer-songwriter Madonna released Ray of Light, her seventh studio album. An introspective, psychedelic, and electronica-influenced album which reflected Madonna’s study of Hindu scripture and conversion to... Read more