82 items by Chuck Eddy

  • Two Lanes of Freedom

    Two Lanes of Freedom | ALBUM REVIEW

    Tim McGraw starts and ends this album driving the open road, but he sounds uprooted all through, in search of a fresh game plan. After two decades at Curb Records, McGraw is releasing his first LP...

    February 13, 2013 9:00 AM ET
  • Set You Free

    Set You Free | ALBUM REVIEW

    Gary Allan has long been one of country's most reliably velvet-voiced beautiful losers. But on his ninth album, the 45-year-old singer lets the crazy out - howling psychobilly on "Bones," interrupting a recovery-meeting church organ to...

    January 28, 2013 2:50 PM ET
  • "Hit Me"

    "Hit Me" | SONG REVIEW

    The Louisiana rapper, finally unincarcerated, leaks hip-hop's most blatant James Brown tribute in decades – fronting what sounds like a full funk band. Riding chicken-scratch guitar vamps, Mystikal mimics awed white folks, confl ates "Brick House"...

    January 11, 2013 3:15 PM ET
  • "Rose Tattoo"

    "Rose Tattoo" | SONG REVIEW

    Boston's blue-collar oi! boys let body ink serve as a diary of hard lives on this teaser for an early-2013 LP. Tattoos jog memories of camaraderie, piracy and devotion; mandolins, martial drums and a seafaring Celtic...

    November 20, 2012 12:05 PM ET
  • "Luv Letter"

    "Luv Letter" | SONG REVIEW

    Voluptuously highlighting "the way I mix my metaphors" and quoting "Please Mr. Postman" over a full-bodied electro-funk groove, Lady T's posthumous album teaser exemplifies the eccentric richness lost with her 2010 passing. "Might just make you...

    October 28, 2012 10:05 AM ET
  • Twins

    Twins | ALBUM REVIEW

    On his third LP of 2012, the garage-rock prodigy and burgeoning cult hero rearranges Nuggets and Nirvana echoes into moderately memorable tunes with scant help from other musicians. He obscures weedily muffled lyric snatches under waterlogged...

    October 9, 2012 12:00 AM ET
  • "RNR Affair"

    "RNR Affair" | SONG REVIEW

    Rhythmically flimsy, despite guitar and synth tricks that flash back to "Raspberry Beret," this apparent one-off offers Eighties nostalgia to match the new mini-fro Prince is rocking. The song is a tale of a suburban girl...

    September 25, 2012 4:25 PM ET
  • "The Magic Clap"

    "The Magic Clap" | SONG REVIEW

    Boots Riley, a spokesman for Oakland's Occupy movement, leads his long-standing agitprop hip-hop crew through a soul-shouted jock-rap bleacher cheer for the 99 percent. It's a political party in fine PE tradition for sure: cap salaries; fix...

    August 24, 2012 8:05 AM ET
  • Country Funk: 1969-1975

    Country Funk: 1969-1975 | ALBUM REVIEW

    This post-hippie country sampler features Nashville stars (Mac Davis, Bobbie Gentry), 1950s holdovers, and self-released space cadets working out humid hybrids of California singer-songwriting, Memphis soul and Cajun gumbo. Per Dennis the Fox in "Piledriver," it's "a...

    August 23, 2012 4:10 PM ET
  • Hot Cakes

    Hot Cakes | ALBUM REVIEW

    After seven years off, these Brits bounce right back on "Every Inch of You," the kickoff to Hot Cakes. Justin Hawkins cheekily tells his backstory: surviving on the dole till Led Zep changed his life,...

    August 21, 2012 10:00 AM ET
  • Invisible Stars

    Invisible Stars | ALBUM REVIEW

    Back in Everclear's hit-making days, Art Alexakis's lyrics focused on parenthood, divorce, moving west to find normality: Unusually adult preoccupations for alt-rock. Now he's 50, with fresh backing musicians recently accumulated, but he still sounds stuck to...

    July 20, 2012 1:25 PM ET
  • Uncaged

    Uncaged | ALBUM REVIEW

    As an unkempt, self-contained septet conquering country's clean-cut, studio-musician world, Zac Brown Band are easy to root for. But the band's third LP, Uncaged, sounds, well, caged: plenty of polite back-porch bluegrass picking, antiseptic mountain harmonies, a...

    July 16, 2012 3:10 PM ET
  • Welcome to the Fishbowl

    Welcome to the Fishbowl | ALBUM REVIEW

    Fans still find his tractor and Tiki bars sexy, but Welcome to the Fishbowl continues Kenny Chesney's trajectory away from Margaritaville and toward singer-songwriter introspection: Sad songs set in El Cerrito and New York; a title track...

    June 19, 2012 12:00 AM ET
  • The View From The Bottom

    The View From The Bottom | ALBUM REVIEW

    Post-pop-punk bro-rockers Lit – known for 1999's "My Own Worst Enemy" – return eight years after their last album, three after losing their drummer to cancer. Their ballads now get choked up over bygone glory days, while...

    June 18, 2012 10:00 AM ET
  • Lex Hives

    Lex Hives | ALBUM REVIEW

    Unlike fellow garage revisionists the White Stripes, the Hives never had any highfalutin art to live up to; the color-coordinated Swedes were here for the lulz. The peaks on their first LP in five years...

    June 5, 2012 12:15 AM ET
  • Magic Hour

    Magic Hour | ALBUM REVIEW

    The hedonistic disco–pop crew connects when it drops its guard (the cheating anthem "Year of Living Dangerously") or wigs out, but the Brit–pop and Elton John moves here feel phoned in. Moderation in pursuit of...

    May 29, 2012 10:00 AM ET
  • Picture Show

    Picture Show | ALBUM REVIEW

    Committed to modern youth and old New Wave, Neon Trees are the all-Mormon Utah four-piece who hit big with the exasperatingly sticky "Animal." On their second LP, they still favor mannered Anglophile synth pop that has somehow...

    May 8, 2012 12:00 AM ET
  • The Night The Sun

    The Night The Sun | ALBUM REVIEW

    California club pop chirper Dev’s debut is as stark as it is sweet. This is owed partly to the casually giddy lightness of her talk-singing – familiar from her slizzered 2010 cameo on Far East Movement’s smash...

    March 27, 2012 12:10 AM ET
  • Breakfast

    Breakfast | ALBUM REVIEW

    This pop-rap pair's debut LP opens with sounds of children playing, and infantile vocal snippets tie it together: twee, high-pitched, pre-verbal. The Philadelphia duo sampled MGMT's "Kids" on 2010's global hit "Opposite of Adults"; Breakfast proves that...

    February 28, 2012 12:25 AM ET
  • Resolution

    Resolution | ALBUM REVIEW

    Too brutal for thrash, too lyrically comprehensible for death metal, too purist to resort to screamo or rapcore choruses, Virginia's Lamb of God are just commercial enough to have scored three consecutive Top 10 albums. On Resolution,...

    February 23, 2012 10:00 AM ET