.

Contributor

55 items by Joe Gross

  • "Keep Watch"

    "Keep Watch" | SONG REVIEW

    The first single from Wu-Tang's maybe-it'll-ship-on-time 20th-anniversary album, A Better Tomorrow, probably would not have raised any eyebrows back in '97. But today's rap is so far removed from the dense, scuzzy, classic Wu-Tang...

    April 4, 2014 11:15 AM ET
  • "Stay With Me"

    "Stay With Me" | SONG REVIEW

    The British crooner du jour opens this slow-burn, piano-soul monster with "'Cause it's true, I'm not good at a one-night stand" like he knows the line is money in the bank (which, c'mon, it is)....

    April 4, 2014 11:00 AM ET
  • "Wild Wild Love"

    "Wild Wild Love" | SONG REVIEW

    This Dr. Luke-produced cut continues Pitbull's chart-domination campaign, complete with hooks sung by a girl group newer than some of the food in your freezer. When the Miami MC shouts 'em out at the end ("G.R.L./What better...

    March 7, 2014 11:15 AM ET
  • "M.A.A.D City  (James Blake Harmonimix)"

    "M.A.A.D City (James Blake Harmonimix)" | SONG REVIEW

    Electro-mope maestro Blake tacks a Madchester keyboard melody onto Kendrick's tense 2012 cut and folds stuttering drums in and out; suddenly lyrics such as "seem like the whole city go against me" sound like the kind...

    March 7, 2014 11:05 AM ET
  • "Senile"

    "Senile" | SONG REVIEW

    This track from Young Money compilation Rise of an Empire is imperious indeed – Minaj brags, "All these rappers is my sons, and I'm always nine months," and Weezy tells us he can "make a lion...

    March 7, 2014 11:00 AM ET
  • English Oceans

    English Oceans | ALBUM REVIEW

    The ringer on this stripped-down rock set is guitarist Mike Cooley. Instead of his standard two to four tunes per album, Cooley wrote six out of 13 here – and batted 1.000, moving successfully from...

    March 4, 2014 12:15 AM ET
  • "Highway to Hell"

    "Highway to Hell" | SONG REVIEW

    In which Bruce and crew run through an AC/DC stone classic with revelatory results. New blood Tom Morello, veteran Nils Lofgren and Springsteen himself all take quick solos, and the Australian audience loses its mind....

    February 21, 2014 10:50 AM ET
  • "Fancy"

    "Fancy" | SONG REVIEW

    Sicker than your average supermodel, Azalea has a licorice-sweet flow on the latest leak from her forever-delayed debut, The New Classic. The Aussie gal deftly handles the ratchet beat while Charli XCX's earworm hook holds it...

    February 21, 2014 10:30 AM ET
  • "Girls"

    "Girls" | SONG REVIEW

    The chorus of this semichill, ratchet club jam ("At the end of the night/Girls just wanna have fun") raises two important questions. One: Is J. Lo using the first half of the line the way others...

    February 7, 2014 10:15 AM ET
  • "Love Letters"

    "Love Letters" | SONG REVIEW

    Hearing this indie-pop mash note to classic AM gold, it's tough to remember that these Brits started out as electronica wiseacres. Over earnest organ pump and trumpet, singer Joe Mount blends Abba voices and...

    February 7, 2014 10:00 AM ET
  • Rave Tapes

    Rave Tapes | ALBUM REVIEW

    Few Nineties rock bands were better prepared than Mogwai for the movie-trilogy blocks of music allowed by the iPod. Over the past 18 years, the Scottish outfit moved from making bombastic explosions in the sky to crafting...

    January 21, 2014 12:10 AM ET
  • Beyond Inversion

    Beyond Inversion | ALBUM REVIEW

    Great underground rock compilations – the D.C. hardcore classic Flex Your Head or the Eighties Homestead Records sampler The Wailing Ultimate – feel vibrantly alive. The 23 bands on this excellent anthology, a benefit for homeless advocates...

    January 9, 2014 10:10 AM ET
  • Shulamith

    Shulamith | ALBUM REVIEW

    On some level, Poliça – led by singer Channy Leaneagh and producer Ryan Olson – couldn't sound more like they were from Minneapolis. On their second album, the followup to 2012's buzzy Give You the Ghost,...

    November 18, 2013 1:25 PM ET
  • Peace Sword

    Peace Sword | ALBUM REVIEW

    This six-song EP sounds like a warm cocoon shedding itself. The title track – a very Lips-ish slice of made-of-stars melody and Wayne Coyne's voice multitracked to infinity – was written for the film version of...

    November 18, 2013 12:40 PM ET
  • Internal Sounds

    Internal Sounds | ALBUM REVIEW

    "We are the blessing and the curse," head Sadie Dallas Good sings on "The Very Beginning," but most of this band's 16(!)-album output has been a blessing. The Sadies have, with less fanfare than they deserve, been...

    November 18, 2013 12:20 PM ET
  • The Paradigm Shift

    The Paradigm Shift | ALBUM REVIEW

    On 2011's The Path of Totality, these California nu-metal lifers threw a Hail Mary and added dubstep wub to their hell-is-all-around thud. Here, the news is guitarist Brian "Head" Welch's return after an eight-year absence, so we're...

    November 4, 2013 2:10 PM ET
  • Brass

    Brass | ALBUM REVIEW

    Royal Bangs have slid from the noisy toe-tappers of earlier records to a brighter pastiche of styles heard on their fourth album – a transformation not unlike the Black Keys', whose Patrick Carney produced Brass. But...

    October 18, 2013 12:15 PM ET
  • Defend Yourself

    Defend Yourself | ALBUM REVIEW

    This trio, once the platonic ideal of indie rock's ragged, guitar-blasting side and its mopey, acoustic no-fi side (see also their self-parodic 1991 single "Gimme Indie Rock!"), hasn't put out an album since 1999. As lead singer...

    September 23, 2013 5:15 PM ET
  • "Bitter Rivals"

    "Bitter Rivals" | SONG REVIEW

    The Brooklyn distorto-riff/break-beat duo edge closer to airplay while keeping their sound intact. Those opening finger snaps could bring Middle Eastern peace, singer Alexis Krauss belts fluff-pop clichés, and the riff stays louder than a bomb.

    September 10, 2013 10:00 AM ET
  • Coming Apart

    Coming Apart | ALBUM REVIEW

    Kim Gordon has had a rough few years. Her marriage disintegrated at the same time as Sonic Youth, the band she and philandering ex-husband Thurston Moore shared for three decades. With Body/Head, the noisy duo the...

    September 10, 2013 12:00 AM ET
www.expandtheroom.com