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589 items by Will Hermes Will Hermes’ Profile on

  • The Sound of Sunshine

    The Sound of Sunshine | ALBUM REVIEW

    "They can take away my job but not my friends," sings Michael Franti on his new disc, which suggests a musical activist's job — especially in hard times — is about celebration as much as agitation. Coming...

    September 21, 2010 10:50 AM ET
  • Maximum Balloon

    Maximum Balloon | ALBUM REVIEW

    Even dystopian rock dudes need to shake it sometimes. For his solo debut, Dave Sitek adds schwing to his smeared synths and swarming guitars, while an A list of New York voices rock midtempo goth-soul beats. TV...

    September 20, 2010 10:45 AM ET
  • "If It Wasn't for Bad"

    "If It Wasn't for Bad" | SONG REVIEW

    Russell is an Oklahoma-bred singer who wowed John 40 years ago and later fell off the map. The lead track from their duets album is a wise-cracking lament, with John echoing Russell's distinct nasal twang. The song...

    September 19, 2010 12:58 PM ET
  • Band of Joy

    Band of Joy | ALBUM REVIEW

    Robert Plant's 2007 album with pop-bluegrass songbird Alison Krauss, Raising Sand, did something 25 years of solo records never quite managed: It fully transformed him from former Led Zeppelin golden god into a roots singer. Plant had...

    September 14, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • TAB at the TAB

    TAB at the TAB | ALBUM REVIEW

    The septet Trey Anastasio tours with between Phish gigs are about as chops-heavy as his regular band, as this Atlanta gig shows. Anastasio's guitar rips (natch), and the horn section adds nice R&B color. But the reggae-fied...

    September 13, 2010 4:00 PM ET
  • The Guitar Song

    The Guitar Song | ALBUM REVIEW

    Jamey Johnson's fourth album opens in a bar, the singer talking to a workingman. When Johnson offers him a drink, the guy orders a double, then puts the singer's problems in perspective. "It may be lonely at...

    September 13, 2010 3:45 PM ET
  • Fields

    Fields | ALBUM REVIEW

    The folk pop of Swedish-Argentine singer José González is seductive, especially his covers: See his gorgeous take on the Knife's "Heartbeats." But the music he makes with his old band is doubly so. Mostly dormant since 1999,...

    September 13, 2010 3:30 PM ET
  • Kaleidoscope Heart

    Kaleidoscope Heart | ALBUM REVIEW

    "I've got a thick tongue," sings 30-year-old Sara Bareilles on "Gonna Get Over You," a playfully sexy bit of doo-wop pop. It's the high point on the follow-up to 2007's Little Voice and its megahit, "Love Song."...

    September 7, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • Familial

    Familial | ALBUM REVIEW

    Jonny Greenwood writes orchestral scores; Thom Yorke programs glitch beats. Drummer Phil Selway, evidently, spends his time off from Radiohead as a closet art-folkie. His debut reveals a delicate high-tenor voice (akin to Yorke's but less tortured),...

    August 31, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • Familial

    Familial | ALBUM REVIEW

    Jonny Greenwood writes orchestral scores; Thom Yorke programs glitch beats. Drummer Phil Selway, evidently, spends his time off from Radiohead as a closet art-folkie. His debut reveals a delicate high-tenor voice (akin to Yorke's but less tortured),...

    August 31, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • The Orchard

    The Orchard | ALBUM REVIEW

    "A mother so cold and gray/And though she gives you one, she takes one away," sings Wes Miles in "Massachusetts," clearly referring to the ocean that claimed bandmate John Ryan Pike prior to...

    August 24, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • Fidelity!

    Fidelity! | ALBUM REVIEW

    "I found my perfect lover, but he's only half my age," sings Chrissie Hynde on Fidelity!, a collaboration with JP Jones, a Welshman who is indeed half her age but not her lover. From an old rock...

    August 23, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • Pauper's Field

    Pauper's Field | ALBUM REVIEW

    Raised by a country songwriter dad amid old-school guitarists in Shreveport, Louisiana, 20-year-old Dylan LeBlanc can't help but let his roots show on his debut, with brooding songs built around pedal steel and fingerpicked acoustics. He's got...

    August 23, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • "Imagine"

    "Imagine" | SONG REVIEW

    "Imagine there's no heaven/It was easy when I tried," sings Antony in his startling warble, reshaping John Lennon's melody amid spare guitars. Then he sends that falsetto "you" into the sky like a white dove. An unlikely,...

    August 19, 2010 12:00 PM ET
  • God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise

    God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise | ALBUM REVIEW

    For a folkie, Ray LaMontagne has always had a deep groove sense. But it's a hot surprise to hear him open his fourth LP with a Meters-style funk grind ("Repo Man"). His band freshens up his sound...

    August 16, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • No Better Than This

    No Better Than This | ALBUM REVIEW

    John Mellencamp's 25th album, No Better Than This, continues the thread of American archaeology that he began on Trouble No More, a self-produced 2003 set of traditional songs and covers. But where Trouble was a first brush...

    August 16, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • "Mine"

    "Mine" | SONG REVIEW

    Yes, we know: It's tough watching the kids grow up. And here's Taylor Swift, once the voice of heartbroken fifteen year olds everywhere now singing about living in sin with a college dude, imagining "a drawer of...

    August 11, 2010 12:00 PM ET
  • 
Arcade Fire Go Big at Madison Square Garden

    Arcade Fire Go Big at Madison Square Garden | ARTICLE

    A few years back, U2 used Arcade Fire's recording of "Wake Up" to pump up arena crowds before they hit the stage. Last night, indie rock's number-one overachievers had the chutzpah to headline one of the world's...

    August 5, 2010 9:25 AM ET
  • "Wake Up Everybody"

    "Wake Up Everybody" | SONG REVIEW

    "Wake Up Everybody" turns back the clock in all the right ways: The lead single from Legend's album with the Roots is a sparkling cover of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' 1975 hit. Over string-drenched retro-funk,...

    August 3, 2010 12:30 PM ET
  • Between the Sounds

    Between the Sounds | ALBUM REVIEW

    With the deaths of Big Star's Alex Chilton and Andy Hummel, it's been a bad year for fans of Seventies power pop. Some small good news: this taut 10-song debut. Leader Josh Lattanzi has played with Fountains...

    August 2, 2010 3:08 PM ET
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