552 items by Jon Dolan

  • Young & Old

    Young & Old | ALBUM REVIEW

    On their 2011 debut, husband-and-wife team Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley played miniskirt-twirling girl-group tunes about a boat trip they took down the East Coast. It's a grabby conceit they don't try to top here; they just...

    February 14, 2012 12:10 AM ET
  • "Off the Wall"

    "Off the Wall" | SONG REVIEW

    It's hard not to read the Sonic Youth guitarist's new solo joint as a reckoning with SY founders Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon’s marital split. "These days are so uncertain," Ranaldo sings. But with Wilco's Nels...

    February 9, 2012 10:00 AM ET
  • Down in the Willow Garden

    Down in the Willow Garden | SONG REVIEW

    The Celtic traditionalists and the cathedral-folk troubador get together for some creepily beautiful murder ballad magic. Even when he’s singing about sending a saber through his "dear little girl," Justin Vernon’s immolating mumble-croon can convince you he’s...

    February 8, 2012 10:00 AM ET
  • Go Fly a Kite

    Go Fly a Kite | ALBUM REVIEW

    On a series of early-2000s albums, Ben Kweller established himself as a versatile, lyrically clever power-pop whiz kid. But now he's 30, and mere talented craftsmanship will no longer do. So on his first album since 2009's...

    February 7, 2012 10:10 AM ET
  • Scars & Stories

    Scars & Stories | ALBUM REVIEW

    "I wanna kiss your scars tonight," Isaac Slade sings on "Heartbeat," a hope-rock anthem inspired by a visit to Rwanda. If it were a Lonely Island parody of an earnest rock band it'd be kind of funny....

    February 7, 2012 10:00 AM ET
  • "Love Interruption"

    "Love Interruption" | SONG REVIEW

    The solo Jack White doesn't seem entirely sure what to do with himself, and sometimes – as on this loopy little soul sketch – that's what makes him eternally interesting. "I want love to grab my...

    February 2, 2012 1:55 PM ET
  • Ringo 2012

    Ringo 2012 | ALBUM REVIEW

    Every Ringo Starr album is a concept album. The concept is: Man, Ringo, what a good dude. These nine buoyant, no-frills tunes could've been recorded anytime in the past 40 years. But they're knocked out with...

    January 31, 2012 12:20 AM ET
  • Habits & Contradictions

    Habits & Contradictions | ALBUM REVIEW

    Schoolboy Q hails from a West Coast weed-rap crew called Black Hippy, but you won't see him on the corner rocking a Dashiki. The ex-Crip's pusherman realism is emotionally hard and murky, and his tracks are dense...

    January 30, 2012 4:05 PM ET
  • California

    California | SONG REVIEW

    "I want you to move to California. . . . But not for me," Matt Vasquez sings over synth-rock swirls. It's a far cry from the band's Friday Night Lights folk benediction, "Devil Knows You’re Dead," but...

    January 20, 2012 12:00 PM ET
  • Attack on Memory

    Attack on Memory | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Essential/It'll never get old," sings Cloud Nothings' Dylan Baldi. That's the Nineties- nostalgic gospel of this Cleveland band's second record; it’s not a new idea (cf. Yuck, Mr. Dream), but these guys might have the Clinton-era moves...

    January 18, 2012 5:50 PM ET
  • Something

    Something | ALBUM REVIEW

    In 2008, these kids made the Brooklyn scene with a song that got heavy iPod-commercial rotation ("Bruises") and an album of spookily sexy, PJ Harvey-meets-Eurythmics synth pop they claim was designed for haunted houses. Four years later,...

    January 17, 2012 12:37 PM ET
  • Let's Go Eat the Factory

    Let's Go Eat the Factory | ALBUM REVIEW

    In the 1990s, Guided by Voices were like a mythic one-legged Third World distance runner who miraculously overcomes adversity to win a medal. Despite manifest deficits – lousy sound quality, half-finished songs, titles like “Kicker of...

    January 17, 2012 12:00 AM ET
  • "Tattoo"

    "Tattoo" | SONG REVIEW

    The reunited Van Halen's recent New York gig showed that the guys could share a stage without mauling each other, and rock out like it was 1984. On their new single, all the components are in...

    January 13, 2012 2:00 PM ET
  • Bangarang

    Bangarang | ALBUM REVIEW

    Skrillex is a magician. His trick is turning the elusively thwump­ing U.K. dance music called dubstep into high-fiving dance-floor heavy metal. The DJ-producer's latest EP suggests new artistic pretension with an "orchestral suite" and a woozy jam...

    January 12, 2012 4:41 PM ET
  • Echoes of Silence

    Echoes of Silence | ALBUM REVIEW

    “It’s gonna end how you expected, girl, you’re such a masochist,” Abel Tesfaye warns. That spoiler alert shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Canadian smoothie who records as The Weeknd has helped make R&B a creepier place,...

    January 4, 2012 3:18 PM ET
  • "My Valentine"

    "My Valentine" | SONG REVIEW

    Written for his new wife and performed at their wedding, this cocktail-blues piano ballad finds McCartney adrift in a Tin Pan Alley fantasy. Eric Clapton’s acoustic jazz ripples add to the wee-small-hours intimacy. It’s old...

    January 4, 2012 10:56 AM ET
  • "Born to Lose"

    "Born to Lose" | SONG REVIEW

    The adorable Brooklyn duo's 2010 debut was all slashing, distortion-mad riffs and bubblegum sass. The new single from their forthcoming LP is a dreamier beast, letting punk-rock cheerleader chants take a backseat to swaying shoegaze beauty that recalls '90s bands...

    December 30, 2011 3:20 PM ET
  • Strawberry

    Strawberry | ALBUM REVIEW

    Cincinnati's Wussy play hard-boiled, shabbily tuneful indie rock about relationships and middle-age ennui that might be look-the-other-way uncomfortable, if it weren’t so suck-you-in good. Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker are a married couple who evoke marriage on...

    December 29, 2011 9:10 AM ET
  • Immortal

    Immortal | ALBUM REVIEW

    Part remix album, part theatrical souvenir, this sequence of hits serves as the soundtrack to Cirque du Soleil's Vegas-ready Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour. There’s as much "Earth Song" as "ABC," but ex- Jackson sideman...

    December 29, 2011 9:00 AM ET
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Original Soundtrack

    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Original Soundtrack | ALBUM REVIEW

    Welcome to the multiplex of Trent Reznor's mind, where your ICEE is spiked with arsenic and there's a mind-control microchip at the bottom of every box of Goobers. Reznor's Oscar-winning soundtrack for David Fincher's The Social Network...

    December 27, 2011 12:00 AM ET