"Song Reader crystallizes the maturation of the white indie set to the new ruling class—an arc traced by Beck’s own career. This is a world of people who are mellow, organized, emotive within reason, a little retro, and graced with just a zest of modernity."
— Mike Powell reviews Song Reader, which features artists including Jarvis Cocker, Jack White, and Jeff Tweedy interpreting songs from Beck’s sheet music project from 2012.
"These aren’t condescending ‘Real Hip-Hop’ platitudes: This is a call to arms for hip-hop’s creative fringe to snatch the reins from a power structure more interested in self-preservation than the advancement of the culture."
— Craig Jenkins reviews the second album from avant-rap futurists Shabazz Palaces, Lese Majesty.
"Zach Braff’s most vaunted position in pop culture circa 2014 isn’t as the actor who played the annoying guy on the TV show your college roommates watched all the time, or as a fervent Redditor who once assisted in helping someone propose to their girlfriend online, or as a distant blood relative to Mitt Romney. Arguably, he’s not even most known as the guy who directed Garden State—he’s the guy who put together the Garden State soundtrack, and so the question surrounding Wish I Was Here is a strange one that most films aren’t subject to: What does it sound like?"
— Larry Fitzmaurice reviews the soundtrack to Zach Braff’s Garden State follow-up, Wish I Was Here.
"In response to the idea that punk subcultures are inherently a series of petty squabbles, United Nations have built The Next Four Years as an elaborate joke. The punchline, in the end, might be that poking punk hypocrisy in the eye feels as familiar and unsurprising as punk itself."
— Jayson Greene reviews The Next Four Years, the convulsive new album by conceptual hardcore band United Nations, led by former Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly.
"World Peace Is None of Your Business is a deeply sour record, even for Morrissey."
— Marc Hogan reviews Morrissey’s 10th solo studio album.
"When an artist like Riff Raff comes along, listeners jump to the obvious conclusion: as a white artist, he must have agency. He must be faking it, perhaps mocking black expressionism. But what if he isn’t?"
— David Drake reviews NEON iCON, the debut album from rap absurdist RiFF RAFF.
"What would shoegaze sound like if it had its eyes on the sky?"
— Lindsay Zoladz reviews Sea When Absent, the latest album from genre-busting sextet A Sunny Day in Glasgow—and a Best New Music pick.
"Tom Krell is informed by genre but driven by expression; in his mind, pop music is anything that aspires for the most immediate and impactful connection, even if it risks embarrassment in the process. As a result, his transcendent third LP "What Is This Heart?" is a pop album of the highest caliber."
— Ian Cohen reviews How to Dress Well’s new album, our latest Best New Music pick.
"On Familiars, frontman Peter Silberman cements himself as one of indie rock’s most compelling and distinctive singers, capable of projecting a wide, complex range of emotions."
— Larry Fitzmaurice reviews the new album from Brooklyn’s the Antlers.
"White Lung aren’t subtle—but then again, neither is the doorman who assumes every woman with a band is either a groupie or the merch girl. Nor is your average comments section in response to just about any article posted about a female artist. Nor are the standards of physical beauty, relationship dynamics, and personal happiness promulgated by pop culture. Nor is drug addiction. Nor is the #notallmen hashtag. Nor is questioning Sky Ferreira about how much her breasts are responsible for her success, nor are authorities liable to ask ‘what were you wearing’ to every accuser of sexual assault. White Lung’s bracing third LP Deep Fantasy is a product of its environment, that environment being “the real world in 2014,” filled with people who refuse to be a part of the solution because they won’t even admit there’s a problem."
— Ian Cohen reviews White Lung’s Deep Fantasy, our latest Best New Music pick.
"Ultraviolence sounds tragic and beautiful—a Concept Album from a Concept Human."
— Mark Richardson reviews Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence.
"Niggas on the Moon finds Death Grips drawing from themselves rather than pushing things forward, a deviation from their mission statement. Anyone familiar with the band’s mix of aggressive electronics, barked non-sequiturs, and collapsing song structures will find plenty to like here, but after three years of aiming to confuse and shock, Death Grips are approaching reliability, and the presence of truly thrilling moments has decreased accordingly."
— Larry Fitzmaurice reviews Death Grips’ Niggas on the Moon.