195 items by Christian Hoard

  • Where Did the Night Fall

    Where Did the Night Fall | ALBUM REVIEW

    The fifth studio album from these British trip-hop pioneers suggests a dream sequence set in a posh club, delivering meticulously fabricated electronica full of whispery vocals and cushy synths. Tracks like "Joy Factory" a blend of busy...

    June 29, 2010 11:44 AM ET
  • "Hot Summer"

    "Hot Summer" | SONG REVIEW

    A one-off jam Prince put out in celebration of his 52nd birthday, this vaguely beach-rock tune rides chirpy organ riffs and a bright melody that feels kind of kitschy. It would be great in an ad for...

    June 29, 2010 11:14 AM ET
  • Love King

    Love King | ALBUM REVIEW

    The-Dream has said his third album is "deeper than space," but it's more like a victory lap — a plush, pleasure-packed album on which the Atlanta singer-songwriter plays the hyperconfident Lothario and avoids risks. At times the...

    June 23, 2010 11:27 AM ET
  • American Slang

    American Slang | ALBUM REVIEW

    Brian Fallon of New Jersey punk band the Gaslight Anthem grew up in Springsteen Country — one of his boyhood homes was four blocks from E Street. The 30-year-old singer (and former carpenter) is at once totally...

    June 15, 2010 8:25 AM ET
  • "I'm A Singer"

    "I'm A Singer" | SONG REVIEW

    Because tweeting the cell number of Lynn Hirschberg, the reporter responsible for an unflattering New York Times Magazine profile on her, wasn't enough revenge, M.I.A. released this dis track. Over murky electro, she calls out writers and...

    June 8, 2010 8:25 PM ET
  • Eureka

    Eureka | ALBUM REVIEW

    On their self-released third album, Rooney mix West Coast catchiness with a sense of unrest. Over music that flits between Weezer and the Eagles, Robert Schwartzman sings about alienation ("Only Friend") and being a jobless schlub ("Don't...

    June 8, 2010 4:30 PM ET
  • White Crosses

    White Crosses | ALBUM REVIEW

    In 2007, these Florida punks hooked up with producer Butch Vig for New Wave, infusing their lefty anthems with a new clarity and power. On the follow-up (also produced by Vig), some cynicism crept into Tom Gabel's...

    June 7, 2010 2:15 PM ET
  • "The Boxer"

    "The Boxer" | SONG REVIEW

    New Jersey's most buzzed-over young band drops a focused blast about a downtrodden creative type who finds "bandages inside the pen and the stitches on the radio." A hint of what's to come on Gaslight's upcoming American...

    May 25, 2010 3:25 PM ET
  • Compass

    Compass | ALBUM REVIEW

    In the mid-2000s, U.K.-born Jamie Lidell made the unlikely transformation from underground dance producer to white soulman. His fourth solo album is a disc of elegantly warped love songs: Cut with help from Beck, Feist and Grizzly...

    May 17, 2010 12:40 PM ET
  • Distant Relatives

    Distant Relatives | ALBUM REVIEW

    Having spent his last album pondering American racism, Nas takes his new one to the motherland with buddy (and Bob's son) Damian Marley. Though they decry Africa's ills, they also offer hopeful visions on the Lil Wayne-assisted...

    May 17, 2010 12:00 PM ET
  • "A Drowning"

    "A Drowning" | SONG REVIEW

    The first single from Trent Reznor's new project (his wife, Mariqueen Maandig, is on vocals) is a seven-minute slow-burner decked out with squealing horns and whispered lyrics about slipping off into oblivion. Creepy? A little. But it's...

    May 12, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • "California Gurls"

    "California Gurls" | SONG REVIEW

    Conceived as an answer to Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind," this ode to West Coast ladies is gleefully over-the-top — a thumping, synthy summer anthem that screams, "This is a summer anthem!" Snoop Dogg's lyrics are marginally...

    May 12, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • Here's To Taking It Easy

    Here's To Taking It Easy | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Apart from the things I touched/Nothing got broke all that much," sings Matthew Houck on "Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly)," a harmony-laced heartbreaker on his fifth album. Houck, the Brooklyn-via-Georgia songwriter who performs as Phosphorescent, nails...

    May 11, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • Together

    Together | ALBUM REVIEW

    A.C. Newman wanted his band's fifth album to "bridge the gap between Led Zeppelin and [Sixties psych-soul band] the Fifth Dimension." Together doesn't quite pull that off, but it is the Canadian-American group's best since 2000's Mass...

    May 4, 2010 12:45 PM ET
  • Year of the Black Rainbow

    Year of the Black Rainbow | ALBUM REVIEW

    Generation Y's version of Rush, these New York prog-rockers have used their yowling albums to chronicle the Amory Wars saga, an epic sci-fi fantasia involving a 78-planet solar system called Heaven's Fence and . . . oh,...

    April 12, 2010 8:34 PM ET
  • Habits

    Habits | ALBUM REVIEW

    Last year, the Killers plucked this Utah quartet from obscurity by bringing them on tour. As if in repayment, Neon Trees' debut plays like a ham-fisted hommage to their Vegas buddies, down to the surging synths and...

    April 8, 2010 3:32 PM ET
  • You In Reverse

    You In Reverse | ALBUM REVIEW

    You in Reverse finds idaho's Built to Spill in a familiar groove: Recorded after the band spent months woodshedding in leader/guitar guy Doug Martsch's garage, the album is a dog-eared collection of front-porch melodies and buzzy guitar...

    April 6, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • Women and Country

    Women and Country | ALBUM REVIEW

    On his last album (and solo debut), the spare, folky Seeing Things, Jakob Dylan attracted a slew of comparisons to his father, Bob — but for once, they felt earned, and, ironically, Jakob finally sounded comfortable in...

    April 5, 2010 8:49 PM ET
  • "Sexting"

    "Sexting" | SONG REVIEW

    On this Tiger Woods-skewering track, Ludacris plays a helpless, frantic sex addict, rhyming about "sitting in this rehab class / trying to get myself unhooked on ass" over simple, percolating drums. It's the rap equivalent of a...

    March 29, 2010 11:45 AM ET
  • The Dark Side of the Moon

    The Dark Side of the Moon | ALBUM REVIEW

    Just past midnight on January 1st, with confetti cannons exploding, the Flaming Lips launched into a raucous cover of Pink Floyd's 1973...

    February 18, 2010 12:00 PM ET