Tag » album
  The title of Queens of the Stone Age’s new album will certainly provoke giggles given that this is their first new release since 2007, but it’s as if Josh Homme and company never left. …Like Clockwork is a welcome continuation of QOTSA’s syrupy groove, but the band also does all sorts of little things to establish a new chapter on this record. While the core of the group remains the same, Homme has widened his influence—there are guest appearances from Trent Reznor and Sir Elton John, in addition to usual suspects like Dave Grohl. Read More
Sean Tillmann, aka Har Mar Superstar, is a veteran musician who should be more famous than he is, given that he’s a stellar singer/songwriter with a sublime set of pipes. On Bye Bye 17, his fifth album under the Har Mar moniker, Tillmann takes a detour from 2009’s disco-infused Dark Touches and delves into full-on classic R&B, Sam Cooke-style soul, and early ’70s-era Al Green-inspired tunes. On the opener, “Lady, You Shot Me,” bombastic horns support Tillmann’s woeful tale of heartbreak. Read More
Actual pyramids are bottom-heavy, just like Brightest Darkest Day, the debut from a duo made up of vocalist Drea Smith and OK Go’s Tim Nordwind. The two concoct a range of sonic textures which sometimes captivate and other times get lost in the fray. Album closer “Nothing I Can Say” staggers under a feedback loop as dreary as a rainy day in Manchester. About half the album is bogged down in these kinds of post-punk genuflections—a pity, because Smith’s voice smoldered in the less forbidding climate of 2011’s Human Beings, the band’s poppy EP. Read More
  It wasn’t so long ago that Charles Bradley was a struggling James Brown impersonator, but after Daptone Records—Brooklyn’s answer to Motown—discovered him, the 64-year-old soul singer’s career finally achieved liftoff. On Victim of Love, the follow-up to his dazzling 2011 debut No Time for Dreaming, the R&B crooner sounds undeniably confident, trading his heartache for love and channeling Al Green more than the Godfather of Soul. Read More
  Lisa Germano’s albums always remind me of a car accident—her lyrical stories contain elements that both attract and repel, like she can’t stop picking at certain wounds, even if it hurts a little. Her newest album No Elephants is rife with similar dualities. Germano’s breathless voice is simultaneously ecstatic and on the verge of a meltdown, especially when she sings lyrics like, “All is not well outside.” A multi-instrumentalist, she accompanies herself on piano on many songs, and demonstrates her skillful violin work on “Diamonds. Read More