612 items by Will Hermes Will Hermes’ Profile on

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
  • Pigeons

    Pigeons | ALBUM REVIEW

    Here We Go Magic began as a dreamy bedroom chamber-folk experiment, but on their second release, leader Luke Temple emerges with a full-on band, unfurling rich harmonies and sharp-elbowed melodies over Peter Hale's antsy, inventive drumming. The...

    August 2, 2010 3:04 PM ET
  • An Airplane Carried Me to Bed

    An Airplane Carried Me to Bed | ALBUM REVIEW

    "I was 22, alone with nothing to do," sings Adam Young on "I Live Alone." That's roughly the story of Sky Sailing, which preceded his other one-man band, the multiplatinum Owl City. The latter resembled the Postal...

    August 2, 2010 2:57 PM ET
  • Foundling

    Foundling | ALBUM REVIEW

    'Head spinning, mouth open,' sings tonsured Englishman David Gray on the tipsy 'Only the Wine,' the lead track of his handsomely tousled ninth LP. It's a promising start from a guy whose tastefulness too often trumps the...

    August 2, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • Crazy for You

    Crazy for You | ALBUM REVIEW

    After a string of low-fi pop singles last summer, indie-rock teen prodigy Bethany Cosentino — cat lover, foodie, Breeders fan — decided on a simple recipe for her debut LP with partner Bobb Bruno: Beatles-ish drums, Ramones-ish...

    July 27, 2010 9:30 PM ET
  • "You Are Not Alone"

    "You Are Not Alone" | SONG REVIEW

    Jeff Tweedy produces an album by a gospel-soul legend at Wilco's Chicago headquarters and writes her a couple of songs to boot. An odd pairing? Perhaps. But this first taste, a simple soul-folk tune à la Bill...

    July 21, 2010 12:30 PM ET
  • Body Talk Pt 1

    Body Talk Pt 1 | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Don't fuckin' tell me what to do," chants reformed teen-pop prodigy Robyn. No worry, girl, things are under control. With help from Klas Åhlund — who co-wrote her 2005 cred-maker, Robyn — the singer drops a near-perfect...

    July 19, 2010 12:40 PM ET
  • "Jonathan Low"

    "Jonathan Low" | SONG REVIEW

    Finally, the marketing strategy behind Vampire Weekend's name becomes clear: A remarkably anthemic song for the soundtrack to Eclipse, this week's edition of the teen-baiting Twilight vampire saga. With 12-string acoustic guitar, swelling strings, and lyrics that...

    June 29, 2010 11:36 AM ET
  • "Macon"

    "Macon" | SONG REVIEW

    Coinciding with a fierce set at this year's Bonnaroo, Jamey Johnson offers another peek into his sprawling, two-CD The Guitar Song, due in September. "Macon" gives voice to a wired, pedal-to-the-metal trucker achin' for his woman, joining...

    June 29, 2010 11:35 AM ET
  • "Goodbye Girl"

    "Goodbye Girl" | SONG REVIEW

    The latest in a sweet freebie MP3 series via Levi's jeans (hail the new music industry!) gets James Mercer back with his pre-Broken Bells group for a perfect Squeeze cover, guitar jangle replacing new-wave keybs while the...

    June 29, 2010 11:31 AM ET
  • "Ready to Start"

    "Ready to Start" | SONG REVIEW

    Relentless snare thwaps; a bass-line melody that would fit in an Eighties goth-pop tune. Enter Win Butler: "The businessmen drink my blood/Like the kids in art school said they would," Butler croons. (Damn you, art-school kids: always...

    June 29, 2010 11:24 AM ET
  • "Everybody Loves the Sunshine"

    "Everybody Loves the Sunshine" | SONG REVIEW

    The Brazilian singer with the killer Bowie covers (see The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou) wraps his chocolate baritone around this blissed-out '76 Roy Ayers jam while Beastie Boys producer Mario Caldato Jr. makes the vintage synths...

    June 29, 2010 11:12 AM ET
  • The Sellout

    The Sellout | ALBUM REVIEW

    Like Erykah Badu's kooky big sis, Macy Gray has been balancing freakiness and mainstream shine since 1999. Despite the title, her new album is a softer sell — and more appealing — than 2007's Will.i.am-assisted Big. "Beauty...

    June 22, 2010 11:20 AM ET
  • Broken Hearts and Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine

    Broken Hearts and Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine | ALBUM REVIEW

    Johnny Cash listened to John Prine songs for inspiration; Bob Dylan called them "Midwestern mind trips to the nth degree." Letting loose a new generation of rock-folk-country misfits like My Morning Jacket, Conor Oberst, Bon Iver's Justin...

    June 21, 2010 3:25 PM ET
  • "Mr. Peterson"

    "Mr. Peterson" | SONG REVIEW

    On this ballad, Seattle newcomer Mike Hadreas conjures Morrissey as a haunted teen. "He made me a tape of Joy Division," Hadreas mewls, sketching a suicidal pedophile. Gus Van Sant: Your music supervisor needs to check this...

    June 8, 2010 8:28 PM ET
  • "Dear God 2.0"

    "Dear God 2.0" | SONG REVIEW

    "This moody jam remakes the Monsters of Folk gospel-soul joint, adding fat ?uestlove beats and Black Thought's missive to God: "They said, 'He's busy, hold the line, please.'" Maybe try Twitter?

    June 8, 2010 11:00 AM ET
  • To The Sea

    To The Sea | ALBUM REVIEW

    Jack Johnson's sun-kissed acoustic-guitar melodies, stoner-dude tenor and unfailingly positive vibrations are like a fresh piña colada with a paper umbrella: You've experienced this before, it's a little corny, but it's pretty much impossible to hate. His...

    June 1, 2010 3:15 PM ET
  • "Swoon"

    "Swoon" | SONG REVIEW

    Beloved British rave stalwarts rock the melancholy with indecipherable vocals and an awesomely squishy, spangled, descending-tone sample that hits your gut like cresting a roller coaster. A tune that definitely lives up to its title, for a...

    May 25, 2010 2:35 PM ET