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591 items by Will Hermes Will Hermes’ Profile on

  • Magnetic Man

    Magnetic Man | ALBUM REVIEW

    Like Massive Attack, Magnetic Man are a British act taking an underground scene at critical mass - in this case, the low-frequency freakouts of dubstep - to aboveground masses. The trio of Benga, Skream and Artwork have...

    May 24, 2011 12:00 AM ET
  • Codes and Keys

    Codes and Keys | ALBUM REVIEW

    There are no stalkers or out-of-control brush fires on the latest by Death Cab for Cutie, immediately making it a more uplifting affair than 2008's Narrow Stairs. Instead, there's a soulful dude, voice often wrapped...

    May 23, 2011 3:20 PM ET
  • 2011

    2011 | ALBUM REVIEW

    Proud garage-rockers through the heydays of Eighties synth-pop and Nineties grunge, New Jersey's Smithereens have kept it going, seemingly determined to be the Platonic ideal of a grizzled bar band that you might find...

    May 23, 2011 12:15 PM ET
  • This Is Country Music

    This Is Country Music | ALBUM REVIEW

    Brad Paisley's thematic 10th album embraces all of what country music is today — its soul, its vivid storytelling, and, yes, its genre clichés. The lead singles, uncharacteristically, are ads more than songs: The self-congratulatory title track...

    May 23, 2011 11:27 AM ET
  • Jai Paul, 'BTSTU (edit)'

    Jai Paul, 'BTSTU (edit)' | BLOG ENTRY

    "Don't fuck with me," coos this 22-year-old in a parched Smokey Robinson falsetto, until a dirty, throbbing synth pulse sweeps in, rendering more nuanced emotion unintelligible. It's the first single from a U.K. laptop-rocking soulman (see: James...

    May 18, 2011 10:55 AM ET
  • "BTSTU (edit)"

    "BTSTU (edit)" | SONG REVIEW

    "Don't fuck with me," coos this 22-year-old in a parched Smokey Robinson falsetto, until a dirty, throbbing synth pulse sweeps in, rendering more nuanced emotion unintelligible. It's the first single from a U.K. laptop-rocking soulman (see:

    May 18, 2011 9:15 AM ET
  • A Woman Falling Out of Love

    A Woman Falling Out of Love | ALBUM REVIEW

    The good news is that Aretha Franklin, who just turned 69, is recording, and that her magnificent instrument, though thinning a bit, retains plenty of its power and agility. She's calling her own shots here, as...

    May 17, 2011 12:05 AM ET
  • Rome

    Rome | ALBUM REVIEW

    It's nice when dreams come true, and even better when the person has dreamed big. Superproducer Danger Mouse has for years been talking privately about a project inspired by 1960s-70s Italian film scores, and he didn't cut...

    May 12, 2011 6:30 PM ET
  • Simple Math

    Simple Math | ALBUM REVIEW

    Manchester Orchestra wunderkind Andy Hull crystallizes a moment when "indie rock" isn't afraid to shout its personal failings to the upper arena tiers (see also: Arcade Fire, My Morning Jacket). Simple Math is more intimate...

    May 10, 2011 12:05 AM ET
  • The Ultimate Collection

    The Ultimate Collection | ALBUM REVIEW

    Few singers have the consistency of vision to produce a career retrospective that doubles as a seamless "let's make out on the carpet" mixtape. From 1985's jazzy "Smooth Operator" to tracks from last year's excellent Soldier of...

    May 3, 2011 12:05 AM ET
  • Tell My Sister (Reissue)

    Tell My Sister (Reissue) | ALBUM REVIEW

    Kate & Anna McGarrigle, from 1975, is a singer-songwriter session up there with Joni Mitchell's Blue and Neil Young's Harvest, though unlike either in style (or sales). Funny and heartbreaking, informed by French-Canadian parlor songs...

    May 3, 2011 12:00 AM ET
  • I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive

    I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive | ALBUM REVIEW

    Between acting (The Wire), fiction writing (his novel arrives in May) and psychedelic calls to arms ("The Revolution Starts Now"), it's easy to forget that Steve Earle is a country singer. He reminds you here. Produced by...

    April 26, 2011 12:10 AM ET
  • All at Once

    All at Once | ALBUM REVIEW

    "It comes like a punch in the gut," sings Mikel Jollett on the title track of his band's second album. It's a fair description of ATE's approach, which up-ramps utilitarian folk rock into anthems that address serious...

    April 26, 2011 12:05 AM ET
  • Live at the Aragon

    Live at the Aragon | ALBUM REVIEW

    Mastodon's 2009 LP Crack The Skye is mad-knotty metal, long on virtuoso licks and neck-snap time-signature shifts. Performed in full on this crushing live DVD/CD, recorded in Chicago, it left little room for embellishment or stage...

    April 25, 2011 12:35 PM ET
  • Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi (feat. Jack White), 'Two Against One'

    Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi (feat. Jack White), 'Two Against One' | BLOG ENTRY

    Jack White's most ear-grabbing outburst since the end of the White Stripes ain't punk blues. But it's some kinda blues, one of two leaks — Norah Jones' Nancy Sinatra-ish "Black" is the other — from Danger Mouse's...

    April 21, 2011 5:03 PM ET
  • Two Against One

    Two Against One | SONG REVIEW

    Jack White's most ear-grabbing outburst since the end of the White Stripes ain't punk blues. But it's some kinda blues, one of two leaks — Norah Jones' Nancy Sinatra-ish "Black" is the other — from...

    April 14, 2011 2:15 PM ET
  • My Morning Jacket, 'Circuital'

    My Morning Jacket, 'Circuital' | BLOG ENTRY

    A shimmering curtain of Eno-incensed atmospherics, a muted kick drum, a dry guitar figure. Then Jim James, dressed in reverb, declares he is "going back to my childhood way." And so he does on a track that...

    April 13, 2011 3:05 PM ET
  • Losing Sleep

    Losing Sleep | ALBUM REVIEW

    This is the sound of a midlife panic attack when it's informed by a near-death experience and a bone-deep love of old R&B 45s. Ex-leader of the influential Scottish band Orange Juice Edwyn Collins suffered two brain...

    April 13, 2011 1:55 PM ET
  • "Circuital"

    "Circuital" | SONG REVIEW

    A shimmering curtain of Eno-incensed atmospherics, a muted kick drum, a dry guitar figure. Then Jim James, dressed in reverb, declares he is "going back to my childhood way." And so he does on a track that...

    April 12, 2011 5:11 PM ET
  • Tomboy

    Tomboy | ALBUM REVIEW

    Noah Lennox makes music swathed in so much synth noise, ambient voices and ricocheting stereophonic WTFs, it can feel like you're swept into a tidal wave of bong water. But life can feel that way too. The...

    April 12, 2011 12:30 AM ET
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