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386 items by Jody Rosen

  • "Nuclear"

    "Nuclear" | SONG REVIEW

    On the trio's first recording since 2004, the punchiest female R&B group of its generation - specialists in aggressive inspiration - exercises impressive restraint; "Nuclear" is a billowy love song, with gentle harmony vocals wafting over a...

    February 4, 2013 3:55 PM ET
  • D.A.I.S.Y. Rage

    D.A.I.S.Y. Rage | ALBUM REVIEW

    Daisy Rage, indeed. Kitty - formerly Kitty Pryde - comes on delicately, like a f lower, but this EP has a steely spine. She's an Internet rap phenom and sounds like one, packing a search engine's worth...

    January 31, 2013 12:00 AM ET
  • Future Presents F.B.G. (The Movie)

    Future Presents F.B.G. (The Movie) | ALBUM REVIEW

    With his 2012 album Pluto, Atlanta rapper Future did the improbable, combining auto-tune, Afro-futurism, power-ballad schlock, and a demented rap-singing style to make one of the most potent, and most enjoyably whacked-out, hip-hop albums in recent memory....

    January 30, 2013 8:00 AM ET
  • Believe: Acoustic

    Believe: Acoustic | ALBUM REVIEW

    You thought "Chillin' by the fire while we eatin' fondue" was the most sublimely ridiculous lyric in pop history when Justin Bieber rapped it? Wait until you hear him sing it, in a love-man croon, over...

    January 29, 2013 12:10 AM ET
  • Contrast

    Contrast | ALBUM REVIEW

    Angel-faced Conor Maynard has been called the "British Bieber," though at age 20, the Brighton, England, native is a graybeard next to his Canadian counterpart. Like Bieber, Maynard was discovered after posting cover songs on YouTube and...

    January 28, 2013 2:55 PM ET
  • Les Misérables: Highlights From the Motion Picture Soundtrack

    Les Misérables: Highlights From the Motion Picture Soundtrack | ALBUM REVIEW

    You thought Rebecca Black's "Friday" was compellingly appalling musical kitsch? Wrap your ears around Russell Crowe belting out "Javert's Suicide" like a wounded wildebeest. There are a couple of redeeming moments on this chart-topping soundtrack; Sacha Baron...

    January 25, 2013 4:50 PM ET
  • Django Unchained: Original Soundtrack

    Django Unchained: Original Soundtrack | ALBUM REVIEW

    Quentin Tarantino's soundtracks, like his films, are works of expert connoisseurship: pop-culture history lessons, assembled with a crate-digger's impeccable taste. The soundtrack for Django Unchained is typically all-over-the-place: spaghetti-Western themes, Seventies folk rock, raucous acoustic blues,...

    January 14, 2013 10:58 AM ET
  • "Suit & Tie"

    "Suit & Tie" | SONG REVIEW

    Among other virtues, Justin Timberlake's first new single in six years is utilitarian: a gift to the world's wedding DJs. It's a 21st century "Puttin' on the Ritz," an ode to dressing to the nines and...

    January 14, 2013 10:11 AM ET
  • "BBD"

    "BBD" | SONG REVIEW

    "BBD" stands for "Bad Bitches Do It" – although Azealia Banks does give a nod and a wink to that other BBD, New Jack Swing heroes Bel Biv Devoe, shouting out group leader Michael Bivins. But the...

    January 3, 2013 10:52 AM ET
  • Unorthodox Jukebox

    Unorthodox Jukebox | ALBUM REVIEW

    Bruno Mars doesn't do low stakes. He is a drama king, a man who thrives on grand statements, soap-opera plotlines and actual-opera melodrama. On his second album, Mars sings endlessly about sex – wild, wind-swept, Wagner­ian sex....

    December 11, 2012 10:10 AM ET
  • This Is 40

    This Is 40 | ALBUM REVIEW

    A.k.a. "Judd Apatow's Midlife-Crisis Mixtape." The director's quasi-autobiographical film about lurching into your fifth decade has a fitting soundtrack – mostly singer-songwriters, mostly dudes, kind of fuddy-duddy. It's as carefully curated as a Wes Anderson soundtrack,...

    December 11, 2012 10:00 AM ET
  • O.N.I.F.C.

    O.N.I.F.C. | ALBUM REVIEW

    Rampant stonerism is fine, assuming you don't get so zonked that you put out records like Rolling Papers, Wiz Khalifa's sluggish 2011 debut. The rapper apologized in an open letter to his fans, and atoned earlier...

    December 4, 2012 12:00 AM ET
  • Girl on Fire

    Girl on Fire | ALBUM REVIEW

    Call Alicia Keys old-fashioned – she does begin her fifth studio album with an instrumental that flaunts her classical piano training. But she's an iconoclast, not an anachronist, spicing her flavorful midtempo songs and gusty inspirational ballads...

    November 27, 2012 12:00 AM ET
  • "Lines"

    "Lines" | SONG REVIEW

    There's not much Dirty South in the new Big Boi single. "Lines" finds the Southern rap titan (with guests A$AP Rocky and the indie duo Phantogram) lashed by the same chill wind that howls through songs...

    November 20, 2012 12:25 PM ET
  • "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe (the LG mix)"

    "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe (the LG mix)" | SONG REVIEW

    Gaga tweeted this alternate version of a standout track from Lamar's new album. It's not quite as mesmerizing as the LP cut, but Gaga sings the hook with moody restraint, and it's cute to hear the...

    November 20, 2012 12:15 PM ET
  • The World From the Side of the Moon

    The World From the Side of the Moon | ALBUM REVIEW

    Like his name, Phillip Phillips' music often seems redundant: When we've already got Dave Matthews and Jason Mraz, why do we need another earnestly raspy balladeer with ace acoustic-guitar skills? The American Idol winner is especially hard...

    November 20, 2012 10:00 AM ET
  • Psycho White

    Psycho White | ALBUM REVIEW

    As rap-rock team-ups go, the pairing of bros-in-tattooed ­arms Yelawolf and Travis Barker is promising: The Alabama MC and Blink-182 drummer are fleeter and slipperier than your average rap-rock lunks. Their EP has its moments: "Funky Shit"...

    November 19, 2012 3:25 PM ET
  • Born to Die – Paradise Edition

    Born to Die – Paradise Edition | ALBUM REVIEW

    A year ago, Lana Del Rey was roiling the Internet with arguments about authenticity and class politics. Today, the kerfuffle, like most bygone online brouhahas, seems silly, and her debut sounds like a flawed but enjoyably...

    November 13, 2012 12:10 AM ET
  • "Unbelievers"

    "Unbelievers" | SONG REVIEW

    Vampire Weekend debuted their latest song on Jimmy Kimmel Live Halloween night, sporting ghoulish skeleton makeup appropriate to both the holiday and the post-Hurricane Sandy mood. There's a touch of the macabre in "Unbelievers," too: "We...

    November 12, 2012 10:30 AM ET
  • Dreams and Nightmares

    Dreams and Nightmares | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Rapper" is a term that doesn't quite fit Robert Williams, the talented Philadelphia MC who performs as Meek Mill. He is a barker, a bellower – an heir to the tradition of Ice Cube, unloading his rhymes...

    November 9, 2012 10:40 AM ET
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