611 items by Will Hermes Will Hermes’ Profile on

  • No Fools, No Fun

    No Fools, No Fun | ALBUM REVIEW

    This charming hang session with Norah Jones, jazzy singersongwriter Sasha Dobson and alt-rock session vet Catherine Popper began as three friends blowing off steam at a pool hall – think of it as a slacker...

    July 15, 2014 10:00 AM ET
  • Country Funk II 1967-1974

    Country Funk II 1967-1974 | ALBUM REVIEW

    Country has always drawn from African-American music, but as part two of this Southern-fried funk compilation series shows, that cross-genre impulse got wildly amplified in the Sixties and Seventies.

    July 9, 2014 1:30 PM ET
  • Trouble in Paradise

    Trouble in Paradise | ALBUM REVIEW

    Elly Jackson is the best kind of cyberdiva – brassy, hooky, nearly invulnerable. On La Roux's second LP, her vintage synth-pop magnificence (see 2009's hit "Bulletproof") has warmed into the sort of electro-disco drama you...

    July 8, 2014 12:00 AM ET
  • Fuego

    Fuego | ALBUM REVIEW

    Let's say you wanted to write a Phish album in 2014. You might well work in the words "rolling" (high-five, club kids!) and "wombat" (because it's a hilarious word, duh), and name-check recurring Phish-lyric...

    June 24, 2014 12:25 AM ET
  • Mutineers

    Mutineers | ALBUM REVIEW

    On the surface, this collaboration with Andy Barlow (of underrated Nineties trip-hop duo Lamb) isn't a huge leap for David Gray, a folk-rock vet obsessed with electronics at least since 2000's sleeper hit White Ladder. But Barlow,...

    June 17, 2014 12:15 AM ET
  • Band of Brothers

    Band of Brothers | ALBUM REVIEW

    A minute into Willie Nelson's new set of songs – largely self-penned for a change – it's clear the man who wrote Patsy Cline's "Crazy" 50-some years ago has lost neither verve nor cojones. Co-writing with...

    June 17, 2014 12:05 AM ET
  • Aretha Franklin Stages a Low-Key Return at Radio City Music Hall

    Aretha Franklin Stages a Low-Key Return at Radio City Music Hall | ARTICLE

    At 72, the Queen of Soul has been a royal mostly in repose, laying low over the past decade; canceled shows and reports of ill health haven't been encouraging. But with news of a major LP nearing...

    June 16, 2014 10:35 AM ET
  • Face the Music

    Face the Music | ALBUM REVIEW

    There are "musician's musicians," and there's Nils Lofgren, whom Neil Young drafted at 18 to play piano on After the Gold Rush, and who's been the E Street Band's hottest guitarist since the mid-1980s. This...

    June 16, 2014 10:05 AM ET
  • The Moon Rang Like a Bell

    The Moon Rang Like a Bell | ALBUM REVIEW

    When a loop of the words "I wish you" enters the song "Murmurs," it's completely out of sync. But the delicious moment when the song comes together is Hundred Waters at their best: a band that truly...

    June 16, 2014 10:00 AM ET
  • Platinum

    Platinum | ALBUM REVIEW

    On "Priscilla," Miranda Lambert compares herself to Elvis Presley's long-suffering wife back in the day, "married to a man who's married to attention." As elsewhere on her fifth LP, it takes a cheeky view...

    June 1, 2014 10:00 AM ET
  • Are We There

    Are We There | ALBUM REVIEW

    There's a great clip on YouTube of singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten playing "People Ain't No Good," by Nick Cave, whom she toured with last year. It's a telling footnote to her magnificent fourth LP, which grows...

    May 23, 2014 11:45 AM ET
  • The Long Goodbye: Live at Madison Square Garden

    The Long Goodbye: Live at Madison Square Garden | ALBUM REVIEW

    For a band built on dance music's in-the-moment bliss, there's an unseemly sadness about this document of LCD Soundsystem's 2011 farewell gig in New York.  At least the DVD doc Shut Up and Play the Hits...

    May 19, 2014 12:20 AM ET
  • Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions

    Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions | ALBUM REVIEW

    No band but Nirvana made more breathtakingly transformative use of MTV Unplugged than R.E.M., the only act to headline the show twice. This set of 33 songs, 11 of which never aired, revisits both...

    May 19, 2014 12:05 AM ET
  • Blondie 4(0)-Ever

    Blondie 4(0)-Ever | ALBUM REVIEW

    Why remake your own classics? For Blondie, this 40th-anniversary twofer is a way to reinsert themselves into the pop dialogue. Wisely, they don't mess with the blueprints for "Heart of Glass," "Rapture" and nine...

    May 15, 2014 11:20 AM ET
  • Nikki Nack

    Nikki Nack | ALBUM REVIEW

    On her critic-wowing 2011 breakout, Whokill, Merrill Garbus made sexy, kinetic pop out of avant-folk vocal technique and hip-hop flow. Following such head-rush originality ain't easy. But her third LP, cut with bass-minded partner Nate Brenner,...

    May 6, 2014 12:10 AM ET
  • Corazon

    Corazon | ALBUM REVIEW

    A Latin-pop version of Santana's all-star 1999 supersession, Supernatural? A great idea that's fairly well-executed here. "Oye 2014" updates Santana's 1970 cover of Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va" for yet another generation, with...

    May 6, 2014 12:05 AM ET
  • Tune-Yards Says 'There's a Bit of Michael Jackson' on 'Nikki Nack' LP

    Tune-Yards Says 'There's a Bit of Michael Jackson' on 'Nikki Nack' LP | ARTICLE

    Merrill Garbus — all wide eyes, blond-streaked hair, purple roll-away luggage, and fierce appetite — is digging into stuffed cabbage at a Ukrainian coffee shop in New York City's East Village. She's in town to audition drummers for...

    April 30, 2014 10:30 AM ET
  • Midnight Sun

    Midnight Sun | ALBUM REVIEW

    Named for a short story by partner-bandmate Charlotte Kemp Muhl, Sean Lennon's primary musical outlet has, like much of his solo work, been determinedly low-key. The Acoustic Sessions LP, from 2010, was exactly as described:...

    April 29, 2014 12:25 AM ET
  • Supernova

    Supernova | ALBUM REVIEW

    With his impeccably weathered tenor croon and mastery of Seventies singer-songwriterisms, Ray LaMontagne can often seem in danger of disappearing into his beard. So it's a blessing that he connected with producer Dan Auerbach for his...

    April 29, 2014 12:20 AM ET
  • Most Messed Up

    Most Messed Up | ALBUM REVIEW

    On this most Old 97's-ish of Old 97's LPs, the hard-partying twang-punk quartet throw a 20th-birthday bash for themselves. In the tradition of boozy anniversaries, it begins with a victory speech: "Longer Than You've Been Alive" pays...

    April 29, 2014 12:10 AM ET