386 items by Jody Rosen

  • "Bollywood"

    "Bollywood" | SONG REVIEW

    Is Liz Phair serious? As tabla-laden electro tinkles behind her, Phair tells a tale of music-biz misadventure, "rapping" in a voice that sounds like a soccer mom impersonating Ke$ha. The results are an insult to rappers everywhere,...

    July 22, 2010 12:00 PM ET
  • Teflon Don

    Teflon Don | ALBUM REVIEW

    In the past two years, Miami MC Rick Ross has been dissed by 50 Cent, mocked as a phony gangsta when photos surfaced of his tenure as a corrections officer, and slapped with a $10 million lawsuit...

    July 20, 2010 9:30 PM ET
  • Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

    Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty | ALBUM REVIEW

    Big Boi's first official solo album is a stunning reminder of the OutKast rapper's hall-of-fame skills: He's got an inimitably slick and speedy flow and a personality bigger and more forceful than anything his producers can throw...

    July 6, 2010 10:58 AM ET
  • Streets of Gold

    Streets of Gold | ALBUM REVIEW

    "We could do an album or we could do it viral/Spread it like an STD you got back in high school," boasts Sean Foreman. Give the Colorado "crunkcore" duo accuracy points: Streets of Gold is about as...

    June 22, 2010 3:48 PM ET
  • Recovery

    Recovery | ALBUM REVIEW

    What is an Eminem album in the post-Eminem era? It's a problem the rapper has been grappling with for some time now. For a few years — from the release of his major-label debut, The Slim Shady...

    June 21, 2010 8:15 PM ET
  • Thank Me Later

    Thank Me Later | ALBUM REVIEW

    It's a shock to hear how softly — sluggishly, even — Drake announces himself on his official debut. The tempos are slow, the beats are awash in gauzy atmospherics, and Drake raps (and, surprisingly often, sings) in...

    June 15, 2010 8:45 AM ET
  • "The Suburbs/Month of May"

    "The Suburbs/Month of May" | SONG REVIEW

    "2009, 2010/Wanna make a record how I felt then," sings Win Butler on "Month of May." As usual, the Arcade Fire frontman is feeling a lot. Childhood nostalgia, suburban ennui, parenthood, war, death — these are just...

    June 8, 2010 8:35 PM ET
  • "Beautiful Monster"

    "Beautiful Monster" | SONG REVIEW

    There's a problem with Ne-Yo's girlfriend. "You're a knife, sharp and deadly," he sings. In lieu of couples therapy, superproducers Stargate lend a jittery Euro-house beat. It's more goofy than scary, but Ne-Yo's so amiable you root...

    June 8, 2010 8:33 PM ET
  • Up on the Ridge

    Up on the Ridge | ALBUM REVIEW

    Country hunk Dierks Bentley's sixth album is an excursion into bluegrass, which jettisons his usual power chords and booming choruses in favor of sawing fiddles and coal-miner ballads. His voice is too plain to deliver the pathos...

    June 8, 2010 2:00 PM ET
  • The Black Dirt Sessions

    The Black Dirt Sessions | ALBUM REVIEW

    Deer Tick's John McCauley has a wobbly voice and a wobblier sense of self. "Raindrops like bullets on my fragile skin/Insecurities I've had are creeping within," he croaks on "Twenty Miles" over chiming guitar and swelling backing...

    June 8, 2010 11:10 AM ET
  • Rokstarr

    Rokstarr | ALBUM REVIEW

    American R&B has long had a Europhile streak, boosting beats from clubs in London, Stockholm and elsewhere. Now the U.S. charts are making room for actual Europeans: U.K. singer-producer Taio Cruz's single "Break Your Heart" crashed in...

    June 2, 2010 5:20 PM ET
  • The ArchAndroid

    The ArchAndroid | ALBUM REVIEW

    Janelle Monáe likes to hover outside categories, with a sound and a look that are both visionary and retro, steeped in OutKast-style hip-hop while hearkening back to Cab Calloway and Fifties doo-wop and James Brown. Her full-length...

    May 24, 2010 1:30 PM ET
  • This Is Happening

    This Is Happening | ALBUM REVIEW

    James Murphy, the disco-punk auteur who records as LCD Soundsystem, has become a star by doing the seemingly impossible: making his midlife crisis danceable. Early on This Is Happening, LCD's third album, Murphy laments, "Every night's a...

    May 17, 2010 11:25 AM ET
  • Night Train

    Night Train | ALBUM REVIEW

    Keane collaborating with rappers? On their fourth album, the erstwhile Brit-pop whimperers join forces with K'Naan on "Stop for a Minute," where the Canadian MC rhymes while Tom Chaplin belts out one of the band's patented big,...

    May 10, 2010 12:00 PM ET
  • Court Yard Hounds

    Court Yard Hounds | ALBUM REVIEW

    Court Yard Hounds are sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire — two-thirds of the Dixie Chicks, not a bad place to start for a country duo. Toss in plentiful two-part harmonies, a few ringing love songs ("The...

    May 4, 2010 2:40 PM ET
  • Reasons to be Excited About Music: Pop Divas Rock the Charts

    Reasons to be Excited About Music: Pop Divas Rock the Charts | ARTICLE

    Has pop music ever been so in touch with its feminine side? The upper reaches of the charts seem to be exclusively the dominion...

    April 29, 2010 12:45 PM ET
  • B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray

    B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray | ALBUM REVIEW

    Atlanta MC Bobby Ray's debut album can be filed next to those by Wale and Kid Cudi: He's a left-of-center rap hero whose skills lag somewhere several miles south of his hipster bona fides. The guest list...

    April 26, 2010 12:00 PM ET
  • Shame, Shame

    Shame, Shame | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Where'd all the time go?" asks a fuzz-guitar-strafed ballad on Dr. Dog's latest. The Philadelphia quintet have spent much of their career looking back to the pop of the Beach Boys and the...

    April 6, 2010 12:55 AM ET
  • I Learned The Hard Way

    I Learned The Hard Way | ALBUM REVIEW

    Is I Learned the Hard Way a record or a museum exhibit? On the fourth album by Brooklyn's leading soul revivalists, the details are period-perfect: Every guitar scratch and brass blast sounds like it was...

    April 6, 2010 12:35 AM ET
  • Here Lies Love

    Here Lies Love | ALBUM REVIEW

    Here David Byrne turns an unwieldy premise — a musical dramatization of former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos' early life — into dizzy fun by setting 22 songs to Fatboy Slim's lush and...

    April 6, 2010 12:20 AM ET