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386 items by Jody Rosen

  • "Bow Down/I Been On"

    "Bow Down/I Been On" | SONG REVIEW

    The artwork features a tiara-wearing Beyoncé Knowles, age 10 or so, in a room crammed with trophies. The lyrics make the message clear: "I'm the number-one chick, I don't need no hype." Musically, this Hit Boy-produced...

    March 28, 2013 2:55 PM ET
  • "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe (Remix)"

    "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe (Remix)" | SONG REVIEW

    "I'm looking to be the God MC," crows Lamar. To help with that lofty aim, he's teamed up with a rap deity and reworked his most mesmerizing track, jettisoning introspection for braggadocio. As for Jay: He...

    March 28, 2013 2:35 PM ET
  • "#thatPower"

    "#thatPower" | SONG REVIEW

    Will.i.am is the master of dopey-pop: HGH-injected dance hooks with lyrics so silly they bend toward the sublime. This solo single doesn't disappoint on that front: "I'm-a take it higher and high and high and higher/I stay...

    March 28, 2013 2:30 PM ET
  • Like a Rose

    Like a Rose | ALBUM REVIEW

    Ashley Monroe grabbed country fans by the ears with her hard-drawlin' vocals on Hell on Heels, by the Miranda Lambert-helmed trio Pistol Annies. The riveting, beautifully sung, sharp-witted Like a Rose is even better. It comes on...

    March 27, 2013 12:00 PM ET
  • Girl Talk

    Girl Talk | ALBUM REVIEW

    "I'm a feminist/And if that offends you, then fuck you!" barks Kate Nash over rackety garagerock guitars. Nash's 2007 debut topped the U.K. charts, but on her third LP she's moved a long way from her old...

    March 27, 2013 11:48 AM ET
  • Native

    Native | ALBUM REVIEW

    It's unfair to criticize One Republic for the formulaic sound of their walloping ballads – it was frontman/songwriting-production ninja Ryan Tedder, who, as much as anyone else in pop, helped establish that formula. Native is catchy and...

    March 26, 2013 12:00 AM ET
  • "Whoa"

    "Whoa" | SONG REVIEW

    On his new single, the most exciting rapper in the Odd Future crew sticks to a familiar MO: a hard, unadorned beat topped with rhymes delivered in tongue-twisting configurations. Earl's pose – mildly sociopathic rebel nerd –...

    March 25, 2013 12:53 PM ET
  • I Am Not a Human Being II

    I Am Not a Human Being II | ALBUM REVIEW

    OK, fine, Lil Wayne isn't a human being. But is he a rapper? Last summer, Weezy said that rap had become "boring," and he's made noises about quitting music to concentrate on his new love, skateboarding....

    March 22, 2013 3:59 PM ET
  • The Beatles' 'Please Please Me' 50th Anniversary

    The Beatles' 'Please Please Me' 50th Anniversary | ARTICLE

    Before Beatlemania and The Ed Sullivan Show; before they met Queen Elizabeth and smoked pot with Bob Dylan; before they sprouted drooping mustaches,...

    March 22, 2013 8:05 AM ET
  • How M.I.A. Made 'Kala'

    How M.I.A. Made 'Kala' | ARTICLE

    M.I.A.'s second album was a landmark: an agitprop dance record that restyled hip-hop as one big international block party, mixing up beatbox riddims, playground rhymes, left-field samples and gunshots. It was also, against all odds,...

    March 19, 2013 12:39 PM ET
  • Same Trailer Different Park

    Same Trailer Different Park | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Merry Go 'Round," the spectacular gut-punch single from 24-year-old Texan country singer Kacey Musgraves, dropped out of the clear blue sky in September. Same Trailer Different Park proves Musgraves is for real. Although she sings just fine,...

    March 19, 2013 12:10 AM ET
  • The 20/20 Experience

    The 20/20 Experience | ALBUM REVIEW

    Justin Timberlake is such a natural entertainer – such a charismatic and effortlessly appealing singer, dancer and showman – that it's easy to ignore how weirdly, how willfully, he's gone about his career. He graduated...

    March 11, 2013 5:55 PM ET
  • Spring Break...Here to Party

    Spring Break...Here to Party | ALBUM REVIEW

    The latest from this chart-topping country frat boy is the best spring-break concept album ever recorded. It's also the worst, and probably not the last. The titles tell the story: "Suntan City," "Buzzkill," "Sorority Girl." There are...

    March 5, 2013 12:00 AM ET
  • Love, Charlie

    Love, Charlie | ALBUM REVIEW

    In his late-career resurgence, this former Gap Band singer has become R&B's great courtly gent, carrying on the tradition of balladeers like Luther Vandross and Jeffrey Osborne. Here the production is plush, the vocals ardent, the sentiments...

    February 25, 2013 11:05 AM ET
  • Fly Zone

    Fly Zone | ALBUM REVIEW

    Le1f strutted to the front ranks of New York's emerging queer-rap scene thanks to his wit, liquid flow and delectably imperious 'tude. There's plenty of smutty, funny sex on this mixtape, but mostly it's a showcase for...

    February 25, 2013 10:55 AM ET
  • "Almost Home"

    "Almost Home" | SONG REVIEW

    "Over the Rainbow" it ain't. Still, the theme song from Disney's The Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz the Great and Powerful, has its modest virtues: an instant earworm chorus, deft production by Stargate and, just where you'd...

    February 22, 2013 3:15 PM ET
  • "Hey Porsche"

    "Hey Porsche" | SONG REVIEW

    There would be no Flo Rida had there not first been a Nelly showing how to take half-sung, half-rapped party anthems to the top of the charts. Now, though, the flow of influence has reversed. "Hey Porsche"...

    February 22, 2013 3:05 PM ET
  • Rumours: Deluxe Edition

    Rumours: Deluxe Edition | ALBUM REVIEW

    If you’re one of the 45 million people who’ve bought Rumours, you know its glories – the uncanny fusion of pop hooks, 1950s rock exuberance and heavenly harmonies: Stevie Nicks, in "Dreams," revealing the poison dart...

    February 13, 2013 9:30 AM ET
  • "Started From the Bottom"

    "Started From the Bottom" | SONG REVIEW

    Drake's new single arrived on the Internet with Cliff's Notes: an open letter from the man himself. "I feel sometimes that people don't have enough information about my beginnings," he wrote. "Started From the Bottom" doesn't exactly...

    February 12, 2013 3:00 PM ET
  • Electric

    Electric | ALBUM REVIEW

    Richard Thompson albums are formulaic in the best sense. You expect virtuoso guitar, Jimi Hendrix with a Celtic tinge. You expect top-drawer songwriting – wry stories of soured romance and cruel fate, delivered in the 63-year-old's...

    February 5, 2013 12:10 AM ET
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