611 items by Will Hermes Will Hermes’ Profile on

  • From His Head to His Heart to His Hands

    From His Head to His Heart to His Hands | ALBUM REVIEW

    A bar-mitzvahed Chicago son who baby-sat Muddy Waters' grandkids, Mike Bloomfield was no average Sixties guitar hero. But "hotshit player" doesn't begin to describe the underappreciated blues-rock figurehead, as this beautiful four-disc set makes clear. The 1964...

    February 4, 2014 12:00 AM ET
  • No Depression: Legacy Edition

    No Depression: Legacy Edition | ALBUM REVIEW

    Pitched as "Hüsker Dü meets Woody Guthrie," Uncle Tupelo's 1990 debut made the countrypunk notions of the Mekons, the Meat Puppets and others into a raison d'être, furthering a major movement. This expanded reissue adds Not...

    January 28, 2014 12:20 AM ET
  • No Way There From Here

    No Way There From Here | ALBUM REVIEW

    With Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark and others reshaping Nashville's singer-songwriter landscape, it may be time for Laura Cantrell, a New York banker(!) and indie-country vet shaped by but not chained to country history. Cut in Music...

    January 28, 2014 12:10 AM ET
  • Transgender Dysphoria Blues

    Transgender Dysphoria Blues | ALBUM REVIEW

    "There's a brave new world that's raging inside of me," rages Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace – formerly frontman Tom James Gabel – on "FuckMyLife666," the melodic and emotional peak of the band's first LP since...

    January 21, 2014 12:15 AM ET
  • Give the People What They Want

    Give the People What They Want | ALBUM REVIEW

    The latest by retro-soul queen Sharon Jones opens on bass-drum thunder and orchestral chimes, like an Ennio Morricone fanfare for a lawman returned to settle scores. That's appropriate for Jones, who's been battling pancreatic cancer but sounds...

    January 14, 2014 12:15 AM ET
  • Lucinda Williams

    Lucinda Williams | ALBUM REVIEW

    It's fitting that Lucinda Williams' 1988 LP was initially released by England's Rough Trade, home to the Smiths and the Raincoats – it deserves as much credit as any album for spearheading the so-called Americana...

    January 14, 2014 12:10 AM ET
  • Bad Debt

    Bad Debt | ALBUM REVIEW

    The recording project of former hardcore kid M.C. Taylor (see Ex-Ignota) blossomed on this intoxicating self-released set, a voice and an acoustic guitar recorded on a cassette player at his kitchen table in North Carolina in 2010....

    January 14, 2014 12:00 AM ET
  • "Step (Remix)"

    "Step (Remix)" | SONG REVIEW

    A rewind of the harpsichord-centric Modern Vampires of the City highlight ditches Ezra Koenig's verses to let three MCs riff. In the song's spirit, Heems flashes back to Wesleyan days, Despot quotes Robert Frost, and Danny...

    January 10, 2014 11:44 AM ET
  • "Pew Pew Pew”

    "Pew Pew Pew” | SONG REVIEW

    Conjuring both Run-DMC and Company Flow, this turned up as a bonus cut on the U.K. version of El-P and Killer Mike's double-team debut from 2013, with a menacing El-P beat and battle-grade scratching from DJ Qbert....

    January 10, 2014 11:40 AM ET
  • Sail Out

    Sail Out | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Ain't nobody here, baby, let's get wasted/We should just get naked," purrs 25-year-old Jhené Aiko on "Bed Peace," her winning hip-hop-soul tribute (with Childish Gambino) to John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 1969 anti-war "bed-ins." Of course,...

    January 3, 2014 11:10 AM ET
  • Give Me Strength: The '74/'75 Studio Recordings

    Give Me Strength: The '74/'75 Studio Recordings | ALBUM REVIEW

    Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs was Eric Clapton's Icarus flight. His next three albums – 461 Ocean Boulevard, There's One in Every Crowd and the live E.C. Was Here – were...

    December 10, 2013 12:15 AM ET
  • Live at the Cellar Door

    Live at the Cellar Door | ALBUM REVIEW

    This handsome solo acoustic set overlaps a few songs with earlier entries in Neil Young's official bootleg series. But there's no shortage of standouts, including a handful of aching After the Gold Rush tracks and...

    December 10, 2013 12:05 AM ET
  • Take Me To The Land Of Hell

    Take Me To The Land Of Hell | ALBUM REVIEW

    Guesting on a Yoko Ono LP has become like getting cast in a Woody Allen film: an artistic validation and New York City-branded right of passage. It’s also clearly a hoot: see "Bad Dancer," a giddy...

    December 3, 2013 5:55 PM ET
  • "Salt Carousel"

    "Salt Carousel" | SONG REVIEW

    The young U.K. dark-groove producer who lent next-level flavor to Yeezus drops an awesome slice of bass grind. Proof that yesterday's avant-EDM producer can be today's mainstream hip-hop beat hero.

    December 2, 2013 5:50 PM ET
  • "Tugboat"

    "Tugboat" | SONG REVIEW

    The Welsh crew delivers a spot-on cover of Galaxie 500's signature tune. When Alanna McArdle lets out a bloodcurdling scream, she drags nostalgia into now and lays it at your feet, bloodied, beautiful, new again.

    December 2, 2013 5:45 PM ET
  • Saint Heron

    Saint Heron | ALBUM REVIEW

    It's satisfying to know Solange Knowles is behind this new-school R&B-compilation-cum-label-manifesto, since the singer (and Queen B's kid sis) has been threatening big things for years now. Exploring the trippy, introspective aesthetic branded by the Weeknd, the...

    December 2, 2013 4:10 PM ET
  • Government Plates

    Government Plates | ALBUM REVIEW

    "I cop this attitude all the time" intones Stefan Burnett (a.k.a MC Ride) with irony on "Birds" – a song that, no surprise, is more about raised middle fingers than ornithology. It's the closest thing to a ballad...

    December 2, 2013 12:40 PM ET
  • Foreverly

    Foreverly | ALBUM REVIEW

    Just when you thought Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong couldn't commit a worse punk heresy than doing a Broadway musical, boo-yah! Here's a set of folk duets with the velvet-voiced Norah Jones. The year's second fine...

    November 25, 2013 12:00 AM ET
  • Tommy: Super Deluxe Box Set

    Tommy: Super Deluxe Box Set | ALBUM REVIEW

    As the first popular "rock opera," Tommy has plenty to answer for. But measured against pale 21st-century Broadway offspring, the Who's magnum opus still rules. Besides an impressive book, the news on this box is...

    November 12, 2013 12:15 AM ET
  • Inside Llewyn Davis: Original Soundtrack Recording

    Inside Llewyn Davis: Original Soundtrack Recording | ALBUM REVIEW

    There's something deliciously perverse in hearing Justin Timberlake sing – gorgeously, it must be said – old-timey roots music. He's a minor character in the Coen brothers' rich Sixties-folk-revival tale, and also on this handsomely lean...

    November 12, 2013 12:00 AM ET