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386 items by Jody Rosen

  • My World 2.0

    My World 2.0 | ALBUM REVIEW

    My World 2.0 begins with 16-year-old Justin Bieber raising his pipsqueak voice in a wordless croon: "Oh- oh, whoa, ah-ah-ah." If it sounds...

    April 1, 2010 12:00 PM ET
  • Beat the Devil's Tattoo

    Beat the Devil's Tattoo | ALBUM REVIEW

    Five studio albums in, California psych-garage trio Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are still religious zealots — worshippers in rock's Gothic cathedral. The song titles tell the tale: "Bad Blood," "War Machine," "River Styx." In...

    March 9, 2010 12:50 AM ET
  • Today Was A Fairytale

    Today Was A Fairytale | SONG REVIEW

    Fairy tales, princes, damsels in distress — yep, it's a Taylor Swift song. Her costume-drama vision of romance may get old someday. But for now, her tunes are so shapely that you hardly notice. Her latest,...

    February 18, 2010 12:25 PM ET
  • Fall Be Kind

    Fall Be Kind | ALBUM REVIEW

    At their best, Animal Collective combine shapely pop hooks with mind-broadening sonic freakery. At their worst, the sonic freakery is mind-numbing. Like most of their work, this five-song EP contains all of the above: The opening "Graze"...

    November 23, 2009 3:59 PM ET
  • Fall Be Kind

    Fall Be Kind | ALBUM REVIEW

    At their best, Animal Collective combine shapely pop hooks with mind-broadening sonic freakery. At their worst, the sonic freakery is mind-numbing. Like most of their work, this five-song EP contains all of the above: The opening "Graze"...

    November 23, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • For Your Entertainment

    For Your Entertainment | ALBUM REVIEW

    "I was born with glitter on my face/My baby clothes made of leather and lace," crows Adam Lambert. The American Idol runner-up is on a mission to revive the camp theatricality of glam, one lip-liner stroke and...

    November 23, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • Rated R

    Rated R | ALBUM REVIEW

    The cover of the new Rihanna album features a severe black-and-white head shot of the star. She has her hand clapped over her right eye; her left eye, surrounded by a raccoon ring of mascara, glares back...

    November 23, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • She Wolf

    She Wolf | ALBUM REVIEW

    Shakira is the strangest of all international pop titans: As soon as you dig beneath the surface of her sexed-up divatude, things get kooky. Featuring six Neptunes productions, She Wolf is her most blatant overture to American...

    November 23, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • Battle Studies

    Battle Studies | ALBUM REVIEW

    John Mayer — what a curious case. As a pop personality, the guy's abarrel of laughs. He's a tabloid fixture who wears his celebrity with a wink: modeling Borat's onesie swimsuit, starring in goofy YouTube videos, and...

    November 10, 2009 2:57 PM ET
  • Sonic Boom

    Sonic Boom | ALBUM REVIEW

    The new Kiss record is a chamber-pop concept album about the plight ofmigrant workers. Just kidding. On their 19th studio effort, the glam-rockwar horses smear on the greasepaint and blast out odes to rocking all nightand partying...

    October 26, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel

    Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel | ALBUM REVIEW

    Mariah Carey, comedian? Jokeshave never been Carey's forte, but on her 12th album, she gets in touch with her funny bone, adding a cheeky marching-band coda to the thumping club jam "Up Out My Face," threatening to...

    September 28, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • The Resistance

    The Resistance | ALBUM REVIEW

    Many art rockers have symphonic pretensions, but ittakes gumption to compose a "symphony." Enter Muse: The British trio's fifth album closes with "Exogenesis: Symphony," a three-part suite full of grandiose orchestral swells and lyrical koans like "Why...

    September 15, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • The Blueprint 3

    The Blueprint 3 | ALBUM REVIEW

    "What more can I say?" asked Jay-Z in 2003, on his vaunted "retirement"record, The Black Album. The question has haunted the great —arguably, greatest — MC ever since, from his comeback dud KingdomCome (2006) and soundtrack curio...

    September 14, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • I Look to You

    I Look to You | ALBUM REVIEW

    It takes a while — nearly 25 minutes — for the proverbial Big Whitney Houston Moment to arrive on I Look to You, the singer's sixth studio album. It's a doozy, though. "I Didn't Know My Own...

    August 31, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • American Classic

    American Classic | ALBUM REVIEW

    Willie Nelson may be America's greatest balladeer, capable of making any song sound like a standard. For all his genius, Nelson can be kind of lazy, and this disc — a sequel of sorts to his beloved...

    August 24, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies)

    The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies) | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Tutti Frutti." "Da Doo Ron Ron." "Wannabe." "Macarena." "Who Let the Dogs Out." There is a hallowed place in music history for dumb songs — a shrine in the high church of pop, ringed with Roman candles,...

    June 8, 2009 2:07 PM ET
  • Secret, Profane & Sugarcane

    Secret, Profane & Sugarcane | ALBUM REVIEW

    What is is this time? Schubert lieder? Balkan fusion? Elvis Costello's genre-hopping can be exhilarating and, often, exhausting. But here he's in one of his comfort zones, rootsy Americana, reunited with T Bone Burnett, who produced the...

    June 8, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • The High End of Low

    The High End of Low | ALBUM REVIEW

    At a time when extreme sex and violence are available 24/7/365 at the click of a mouse, Devil Incarnate is a career choice that pays increasingly diminishing returns. But Marilyn Manson still wants the gig. In 1996,...

    May 26, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • White Lies for Dark Times

    White Lies for Dark Times | ALBUM REVIEW

    These 13 songs by Ben Harper and his new backing band surround Harper's voice with a revved-up racket — rippling blues-guitar leads, rumbling bass and busy, inventive beats from drummer Jordan Richardson. The noise is welcome, but...

    May 26, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • Amanda Leigh

    Amanda Leigh | ALBUM REVIEW

    The title is taken from the singer's real first and middle names, the acoustic instrumentation emits a cozy campfire glow, and the album was recorded in a modest basement home studio. Message: This is real music, not...

    May 26, 2009 12:00 AM ET
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