November 12, 2012 |
** stars (out of four) One look over the tracklist for Crystal Castles' third album, which features the titles “Plague,” “Sad Eyes” and “Child I Will Hurt You,” should be enough to reassure any listener that the electronic duo has not abandoned its generally grim aesthetic. If anything, it may serve as a warning that Crystal Castles have absorbed some of the lessons of their successors in the past couple years, mining heavy bass and washed out vocals for a dark atmosphere rather than relying on in-your-face abrasiveness.
April 11, 2013 |
*** (out of 4) During the middle of Jay-Z's verse on "3 Kings" last year, he had a bar where he just sneered, sniffed, sniveled. That's all it was: "King H-O, y'all should know by now/ and if you don't, uh-- *sniff*. " It was the best part of the song, and today's "Open Letter" embodies that line, only in an entire song. It's both a direct response to the recent controversies surrounding Hov (the illegal-but-actually-legal vacation to Cuba, people clowning on his share of the Nets, his friendship with Obama)
June 17, 2013 |
Last night during the NBA Finals, Jay-Z debuted a three-minute commercial for the Samsung Galaxy phone and in the process revealed the following: Jay-Z is making a new album! The name of the album is "Magna Carta Holy Grail. " The album will be released on July 4, 2013 ... kinda. Producers Rick Rubin, Timbaland, Swizz Beats and Pharrell are involved! In what capacity is still to be determined, but still. Kanye West was in attendance during this session but wasn't shown on camera.
November 19, 2012 |
*** (out of 4) Rihanna's new album “Unapologetic,” her best since “Good Girl Gone Bad” and maybe her best ever, finds the singer conflicted. She explores both tragic love and her general badassness in a way that hints at some interior reality. (This vulnerability, and the power of hope in a place fractured by love, contrasts with the impregnable ice fortress of pop stardom Rihanna has built around her.) With that mission in mind, the singer's A-team of collaborators offers a varied range of ideas that Rihanna handles...
March 14, 2013 |
***1/2 (out of four) When you're in love, there's no way to look cool. In theory, love's a graceful, sophisticated experience, but in practice it's full of silly pet names and stupid inside jokes - things that make the other person laugh and onlookers roll their eyes. In the seven years since his last album, “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” Justin Timberlake has staked out a career on being an impeccably cool dude--single-handed championship of the pork pie hat aside. So the recently married singer's gushing, lovestruck third solo album, “The 20/20...
July 30, 2013 |
*** (out of 4) Since Robin Thicke broke through as a songwriter in the late '90s, he's always hung around the cusp of stardom, never quite breaking through for himself. That never stopped him from hanging out with some real stars though, keeping the company of guys like Lil Wayne, Jay Z and the Neptunes. So it's fitting that finally, in 2013, when his No. 1 hit "Blurred Lines" earned him a standing invite to all the coolest parties, he had to be dropped off by Pharrell, who is experiencing something of a renaissance himself this year (with...