521 items by Jon Dolan

  • Imperfect Harmonies

    Imperfect Harmonies | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Here's my song for the free/No, it's not about praise and publicity," Serj Tankian sings. He ain't kidding: Serj Tankian is beholden to no master beyond his own outsize ambitions. The System of a Down frontman's second...

    September 28, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • Lonely Avenue

    Lonely Avenue | ALBUM REVIEW

    Bob Dylan wrote most of Desire with a playwright, but collaborations between musicians and literary figures are usually pretty painful. This one isn't without promise: Nick Hornby's novel High Fidelity is a music-geek classic, and Ben Folds...

    September 27, 2010 7:10 PM ET
  • Everything in Between

    Everything in Between | ALBUM REVIEW

    Imagine if Sonic Youth's noisy classic "Teen Age Riot" had been written by actual teenagers — high on hormones, petulant, giddy. That's what you get from this L.A. art-punk duo, whose 2008 breakthrough, Nouns, turned SY's oceanic...

    September 27, 2010 7:04 PM ET
  • Majesty Shredding

    Majesty Shredding | ALBUM REVIEW

    On their first disc in nine years, these indie-rock greats mix the anthemic tumult of their punky early Nineties with the realism and songcraft of their mature late Nineties to come up with a Blood on the...

    September 27, 2010 7:00 PM ET
  • Wilderness Heart

    Wilderness Heart | ALBUM REVIEW

    Black Mountain are a little bit Hobbit and a little bit Orc. The Vancouver quintet play flower-brained folk and Satan-friendly hard rock to evoke that moment when the hippie dream got creepy. Their third disc is their...

    September 27, 2010 6:57 PM ET
  • Sit Down, Man

    Sit Down, Man | ALBUM REVIEW

    If all you knew of Himanshu Suri and Victor Vazquez was their stoned spoof "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell," you might dismiss the rap surrealists as an amusing waste of a liberal-arts degree. In fact, their...

    September 27, 2010 6:45 PM ET
  • False Priest

    False Priest | ALBUM REVIEW

    Over 10 records, Of Montreal have gone from twerpy indie pop to twee-R&B kink machine. This time, frontman Kevin Barnes is putting more flesh on his fantasies, camping up a Prince falsetto over psychedelic soul and New...

    September 14, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • Hurley

    Hurley | ALBUM REVIEW

    Rivers Cuomo has done battle with his fans, his record label, success itself. But the title of Weezer's eighth album is an olive branch to the ride-or-die nerd side of his audience: A Weezer record named after...

    September 14, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • Lisbon

    Lisbon | ALBUM REVIEW

    Despite their roots on the scrappy New York post-punk-revival scene of the early 2000s, the Walkmen's sweeping visions often imply wide-open spaces, or at least the skyscraper diaspora as the Grand Canyon. On Lisbon's opening track, "Juveniles,"...

    September 13, 2010 2:30 PM ET
  • "Devil in a New Dress"

    "Devil in a New Dress" | SONG REVIEW

    First he apologized to Taylor Swift. Now the contrite-Kanye trend continues on this bit of gorgeously swirling soul. Kanye confesses to being an asshole, then calls himself "the LeBron of rhyme." A year ago that...

    September 10, 2010 7:04 PM ET
  • "Radioactive"

    "Radioactive" | SONG REVIEW

    Lesser men than the Kings of Leon might follow up an arena-rock blockbuster like 2008's Only by the Night with a scrappy bid for street cred — something akin to the horny garage rock of their early...

    September 7, 2010 1:37 PM ET
  • All Delighted People EP

    All Delighted People EP | ALBUM REVIEW

    Some artists think big. Sufjan Stevens thinks long — whether it's the 20-word song titles or the orchestral suite about the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. This EP features two monster opuses: the Simon and Garfunkel-quoting "All Delighted People," and...

    August 23, 2010 1:00 AM ET
  • The Black Keys Rock Central Park

    The Black Keys Rock Central Park | ARTICLE

    The Black Keys Central Park SummerStage New York, New York July 27th, 2010 As the sun set on Central Park, the...

    August 19, 2010 4:55 PM ET
  • "Drink the Kool-Aid"

    "Drink the Kool-Aid" | SONG REVIEW

    In the video, Cube wears a T-shirt with a gangsta-fied Kool-Aid smiley face — a great metaphor for his journey from N.W.A to TBS. The gutbucket beat is crackin', but Cube wastes time dissing "young bucks" who...

    August 18, 2010 12:00 PM ET
  • Release Me

    Release Me | ALBUM REVIEW

    The Like load up their sharp, peppy tunes with zillions of pop references — Tracey Ullman, the Four Tops, Toni Basil, Duran Duran, just to name a few. And with good reason. They're children of the music...

    August 16, 2010 6:32 PM ET
  • Rated R (Deluxe Edition)

    Rated R (Deluxe Edition) | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, Ecstasy and alcohol/C-c-c-c-c-cocaine." With those words, Josh Homme introduced excess to a metal landscape lousy with mook thumb-suckers. Weaving the stoner rock of Homme's old band Kyuss with Blue Öyster Cult evil and...

    August 12, 2010 4:50 PM ET
  • "Black Rain"

    "Black Rain" | SONG REVIEW

    Cut in 1991 but never released (it'll be on Soundgarden's forthcoming best-of), this grunge nugget finds Chris Cornell rocking like Sammy Hagar on a three-state killing spree. Obscure demo? No way — this burns as much flannel...

    August 12, 2010 12:00 PM ET
  • King of the Beach

    King of the Beach | ALBUM REVIEW

    It's telling that Nathan Williams, a.k.a. Wavves, is a poor speller. His hazy California pop punk is all about skipping school and riding your bong to the ocean. On the third Wavves full-length, a one-man bedroom experiment...

    August 2, 2010 3:06 PM ET
  • It'll Be Better

    It'll Be Better | ALBUM REVIEW

    Francis Farewell Starlite is a smart 28-year-old songwriter in love with Eighties R&B at its slickest, whitest and oddest — he sings a little like Peter Gabriel and mixes cutting jazz-piano chords and clever pop constructions like...

    August 2, 2010 2:57 PM ET
  • Lazers Never Die

    Lazers Never Die | ALBUM REVIEW

    White-beat pirates can come home from Jamaica with riddim realness, or sand in their shorts. Producers Diplo and Switch, a.k.a. Major Lazer, definitely do JA right. Recorded at Kingston's legendary Tuff Gong studios, this EP twists dancehall...

    August 2, 2010 2:13 PM ET