611 items by Will Hermes Will Hermes’ Profile on

  • "Hot N' Fun"

    "Hot N' Fun" | SONG REVIEW

    The slinky dance cut rocks a fat, minimalist Eighties funk groove à la Liquid Liquid's "Cavern," with Ms. Nelly on the ephemeral hook. "We wrote this for a purpose," begins Pharrell. "Get high, get money, get sex,...

    May 12, 2010 6:44 PM ET
  • High Violet

    High Violet | ALBUM REVIEW

    The National are rousing-rock sad sacks in a time-honored tradition: Joy Division, the Cure, Nick Cave. With their fifth set, perhaps the sad-sackiest yet, they embody their own era. Singer Matt Berninger's gorgeous baritone...

    May 11, 2010 12:35 AM ET
  • Backatown

    Backatown | ALBUM REVIEW

    At 24, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews is already a New Orleans MVP. Backatown is both deeply rooted and culturally omnivorous, opening with his 'bone hard-rocking a hip-hop groove, soon joined by a brass section, rock guitar and...

    May 10, 2010 11:54 AM ET
  • Planet Anthem

    Planet Anthem | ALBUM REVIEW

    The rave-schooled Disco Biscuits have been among Phish's heir apparents for a decade now, and with peers like STS9 opening for Jay-Z, maybe now is their time. Or not. At least their latest has big aesthetic balls:...

    May 10, 2010 11:48 AM ET
  • Leave Your Sleep

    Leave Your Sleep | ALBUM REVIEW

    As a member of 10,000 Maniacs and a solo artist, Natalie Merchant showed that her best traits were her refined taste and fetching, earthy voice. This handsome, long-brewing two-CD/book project flaunts both, setting poems and nursery rhymes...

    May 10, 2010 11:43 AM ET
  • So Runs the World Away

    So Runs the World Away | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Black hole," sings Josh Ritter, "are your eyes as empty as they look?" Not the best come-on, perhaps. But roughly a decade after topping a new school of singer-songwriters, Ritter hit a creative wall, and his latest...

    May 4, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • "Hold On"

    "Hold On" | SONG REVIEW

    Christopher Mercer is a Leeds producer convinced dubstep can be ecstatic as well as stoned-somber. "Woo Boost" was one hot example. This joint with Dirty Projectors main diva Amber Coffman — a pro-forma r&b come-on set to...

    April 28, 2010 12:00 AM ET
  • Trans-Continental Hustle

    Trans-Continental Hustle | ALBUM REVIEW

    After a decade-plus as bare-knuckle contenders for World's Most Riotous Live Band, Gogol Bordello step up their studio game with producer Rick Rubin, who knows how to give pop shape to reactor-grade energy. Everyone...

    April 27, 2010 12:15 AM ET
  • Emotion & Commotion

    Emotion & Commotion | ALBUM REVIEW

    Jeff Beck's emotive electric guitar has always had a voicelike quality. So it's fascinating to hear the ex-Yardbird bounce off singers here. Beck brings out the nasty in U.K. soul mama Joss Stone, and he...

    April 13, 2010 12:30 AM ET
  • Nothing's Impossible

    Nothing's Impossible | ALBUM REVIEW

    Philly-born R&B singer-songwriter-undertaker Solomon Burke has been on a revival roll since 2002's Don't Give Up On Me. Nothing's Impossible marks his debut with late Memphis producer Willie Mitchell and the latter's final album — which would...

    April 5, 2010 8:53 PM ET
  • Sigh No More

    Sigh No More | ALBUM REVIEW

    If Dexys Midnight Runners aged into boozy pub-session romantics, they might sound like Mumford and Sons, a banjo-pickin', waltz-grindin' English folk rock quartet. Marcus Mumford sings of London lonely-hearts on "Winter Winds" with words like "pestilence" and...

    April 1, 2010 12:00 PM ET
  • Valleys of Neptune

    Valleys of Neptune | ALBUM REVIEW

    Some grousing from fans greets most posthumous Jimi Hendrix studio releases. And fair enough: Hendrix can't offer his opinion anymore, and between past dubious product (i.e., the heavily overdubbed Crash Landing)...

    March 18, 2010 12:35 AM ET
  • Broken Side of Time

    Broken Side of Time | ALBUM REVIEW

    On this debut's title track, a Neil Young-ish guitar riff builds, and Swedish-British expat Petter Ericson Stakee seems to compare depression-fueled partying with fighting a war. (For real?) But the true message comes from...

    March 9, 2010 12:40 AM ET
  • Broken Bells

    Broken Bells | ALBUM REVIEW

    Part Kanye West, part Brian Eno, producer-musician Brian Burton — a.k.a. Danger Mouse — has defined himself with his excellent taste in brilliant misfits. His biggest smash was Gnarls Barkley, with whom he turned oddball former Dirty...

    March 3, 2010 12:00 PM ET
  • "Lotus Flower"

    "Lotus Flower" | SONG REVIEW

    Thom Yorke has unfurled this haunted Buddhist-tinged ballad at solo gigs lately, but the version from Radiohead's Haiti benefit show at the Fonda in Los Angeles on January 24th may be the best yet. It's simply a...

    February 18, 2010 12:45 PM ET
  • Real Life Is No Cool

    Real Life Is No Cool | ALBUM REVIEW

    Christabelle Sandoo is a nomad diva who landed in the Oslo studio of Hans-Peter Lindstrom, the electronic producer whose 28-minute 2008 "Where You Go I Go Too" posited a new genre: epic prog-house....

    January 19, 2010 12:05 AM ET
  • Glitter And Doom Live

    Glitter And Doom Live | ALBUM REVIEW

    Director Terry Gilliam recently cast Tom Waits as Satan; what better role for this seductively jive-talking fallen angel? Waits' second live retrospective plumbs his later LPs, especially 1992's Bone Machine and 2004's Real Gone; it misses classics...

    November 23, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • Bleach (Deluxe Edition)

    Bleach (Deluxe Edition) | ALBUM REVIEW

    Hot on the heels of Live at Reading is this dolled-up 20th-anniversary (!) edition of Nirvana's debut, which barely hit the radar on its initial release but whose resonance ballooned as the band scorched the earth. Now,...

    November 2, 2009 12:00 AM ET
  • "Winter Lady"

    "Winter Lady" | SONG REVIEW

    After covering the Velvet Underground and Nico for his "Record Club," dude takes on Leonard Cohen with help from Devendra Banhart...

    October 29, 2009 12:35 PM ET
  • Sainthood

    Sainthood | ALBUM REVIEW

    Tegan and Sara make catchy songs about loving not wisely but too well. They've defined themselves with sunny, self-loathing power pop, peaking with 2007's The Con. Here, the girls just wanna have fun: With...

    October 27, 2009 12:45 PM ET