.

Contributor

590 items by Will Hermes Will Hermes’ Profile on

  • 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
  • Here Before

    Here Before | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Is it too late/To do it again?" asks Glenn Mercer on "Nobody Knows," opening this comeback by one of the greatest guitar bands of CBGB's Seventies heyday. "Fuck, no" is the obvious answer. Picking up pretty much...

    April 12, 2011 12:05 AM ET
www.expandtheroom.com