386 items by Jody Rosen

  • Push and Shove

    Push and Shove | ALBUM REVIEW

    No Doubt aren't just 11 years older than they were when they released their last LP. They're determined to be wiser. Push and Shove leans toward synthpop-flavored ballads with grown-up themes: relationship struggles, the rewards of...

    September 25, 2012 12:15 AM ET
  • Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1

    Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Hope my stories . . . keep your sons out the slums and your daughters out of orgies," raps Lupe Fiasco on his fourth album. Like a lot of firebrands, Lupe's got a messianic streak. But it's...

    September 25, 2012 12:10 AM ET
  • Album Title Goes Here

    Album Title Goes Here | ALBUM REVIEW

    You can't see the mouse helmet on the latest album from EDM superstar Joel Zimmerman. But you can hear it. Deadmau5 brings a love of spectacle – and the humor of a natural ham – to his...

    September 25, 2012 12:05 AM ET
  • Charmer

    Charmer | ALBUM REVIEW

    Beatlesque harmonies, Costello-esque bile, really bad romance: Yep, it's an Aimee Mann album. Mann's lyrics strain for cleverness, sagging under the weight of mixed metaphors. ("When you're weak, it's a Holy Grail/You're two-for-one, it's a...

    September 21, 2012 11:50 PM ET
  • The Spirit Indestructible

    The Spirit Indestructible | ALBUM REVIEW

    On her fifth LP, Nelly Furtado tries awfully hard to be Rihanna – when she's not trying to be M.I.A. or Madonna. As for trying to be Nelly: That happens in songs like (gulp) "Bucket List"...

    September 18, 2012 8:00 AM ET
  • The Truth About Love

    The Truth About Love | ALBUM REVIEW

    Pink doesn't sing songs. She mauls them, gobbling the microphone like a hyena that hasn't eaten in a week. At her best, she is pop's most galvanizing tough broad, but her sixth LP devolves into self parody....

    September 14, 2012 5:50 PM ET
  • Coexist

    Coexist | ALBUM REVIEW

    It's not what the xx put into their music. It's what they leave out. On their second LP, as on their 2009 debut, the Londoners are masters of restraint, building songs from simple chord progressions, delicate guitar...

    September 11, 2012 12:30 AM ET
  • Dedication 4

    Dedication 4 | ALBUM REVIEW

    This summer, Lil Wayne told a radio station that rap had become "boring," and that he prefers to spend time on his skateboard. Yet on much of this mixtape, he sounds less bored than he has in...

    September 10, 2012 3:15 PM ET
  • Chapter V

    Chapter V | ALBUM REVIEW

    Trey Songz's fifth album is his first to top the charts, and it makes sense: Chapter V is full of big ballads and bigger club beats that take dead aim at the pop mainstream. But Songz is...

    September 10, 2012 3:05 PM ET
  • I Know What Love Isn't

    I Know What Love Isn't | ALBUM REVIEW

    "You don't get over a broken heart/You just learn to carry it gracefully," sings Jens Lekman. Which is just what Lekman does on this quietly epic breakup album. On I Know What Love Isn't, the Swedish pop...

    September 4, 2012 10:45 AM ET
  • Welcome to: Our House

    Welcome to: Our House | ALBUM REVIEW

    Slaughterhouse – Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Royce da 5'9" and Crooked I – are less a supergroup than a collection of oddballs. Eminem turns up on two tracks and produces two more. But the group's second LP...

    August 28, 2012 12:10 AM ET
  • "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"

    "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" | SONG REVIEW

    Taylor Swift teamed with Swedish hit whisperers Max Martin and Shellback on her new single, and its hooks, plural, have a zing that's more Stockholm than Nashville. But it's unmistakably Taylor: a witty relationship postmortem, delivered in...

    August 23, 2012 2:23 PM ET
  • The Midsummer Station

    The Midsummer Station | ALBUM REVIEW

    Adam Young, a.k.a. Owl City, seems to be a nice guy, and he knows how to put together a pop song. But he's also a menace. On Young's fourth LP, he delivers universally annoying synth-pop pep...

    August 21, 2012 10:10 AM ET
  • Based on a T.R.U. Story

    Based on a T.R.U. Story | ALBUM REVIEW

    Tauheed Epps has been around since the Nineties, when he was one half of the Southern duo Playaz Circle. But he recently took up the moniker 2 Chainz, and turned into hip-hop's most promiscuous, and hilarious,...

    August 14, 2012 9:25 AM ET
  • Is Your Love Big Enough?

    Is Your Love Big Enough? | ALBUM REVIEW

    "I found myself in a secondhand guitar," sings London chanteuse Lianne La Havas on the title track of her debut album. That's not idle talk. La Havas, just 22, is a natural who uses her six-string...

    August 14, 2012 9:10 AM ET
  • Wild Ones

    Wild Ones | ALBUM REVIEW

    Flo Rida is less an MC than a delivery system for dance beats – some ingenious, many insipid, all supersize. Here he largely defers to producers (including Dr. Luke) and guest stars (Sia, J. Lo), and watches...

    August 14, 2012 9:00 AM ET
  • "Enough Said"

    "Enough Said" | SONG REVIEW

    Aaliyah fans reacted violently to the release of "Enough Said," in which a new beat, and some Drake rapping, are grafted to a vocal by the late singer. Drake's rap feels like a desecration: desultory boasting, pointless...

    August 10, 2012 4:20 PM ET
  • "Triumphant (Get 'Em)"

    "Triumphant (Get 'Em)" | SONG REVIEW

    After an eventful hiatus – one marriage, two babies, an $18 million American Idol contract – Carey has returned to her true calling: shattering stemware with falsetto trills. For most of this song she's bewilderingly AWOL,...

    August 10, 2012 4:10 PM ET
  • "Settle Down"

    "Settle Down" | SONG REVIEW

    The beat is Caribbean, with hints of Seventies funk and Eighties electro percolating up through the mix. There are burly rock power chords. The chorus is a big, delicious bubblegum flavor burst. In other words: The...

    July 31, 2012 11:55 AM ET
  • Sparkle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

    Sparkle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack | ALBUM REVIEW

    The headline-grabbers here are two Whitney Houston songs, her last-ever recordings. They're also this soundtrack's low points. "Celebrate" is forgettable disco pop, and on the gospel standard "His Eye Is on the Sparrow," Houston sings –...

    July 31, 2012 10:25 AM ET