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612 items by Will Hermes Will Hermes’ Profile on

  • "Life Round Here"

    "Life Round Here" | SONG REVIEW

    Introspectively free-associating Chicago MC Chance the Rapper was inspired to write "Cocoa Butter Kisses" by listening to Blake's music on acid. Here he returns the favor, jumping on the U.K. cyber-soulman's blues, weaving between lines on the...

    October 10, 2013 3:00 PM ET
  • CBGB: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Omnivore

    CBGB: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Omnivore | ALBUM REVIEW

    Any half-wit with Spotify could compile a best-of-CBGB-bands playlist. But this soundtrack to the film about the New York rock club features wild cards from punk forefathers (New York Dolls, MC5, the Stooges) and scene B-teamers (Tuff...

    October 7, 2013 5:05 PM ET
  • Seasons of Your Day

    Seasons of Your Day | ALBUM REVIEW

    If "In the Kingdom" – an organ-driven gem off Mazzy Star's new, 17-year-wait LP – seems to echo indie darlings Beach House, it's because the sound blueprinted by these L.A. dream-pop somnambulists looms large over a new...

    September 24, 2013 12:15 AM ET
  • Negativity

    Negativity | ALBUM REVIEW

    John McCauley is a workaholic – if you call being a boozy, (formerly) crack-smokin' alt-rock star work. Slotted between side projects, his main crew's latest is a reckoning after 2011's unhinged Divine Providence. Tight songs flash their...

    September 24, 2013 12:05 AM ET
  • Hide

    Hide | ALBUM REVIEW

    Another cartoon DJ act with light-up headgear, Italian headbanger Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo is known for rocked-out, stadium-scale EDM. His second LP has bigger ambitions than his appealingly heavy-handed debut – and is worse for it, yoking...

    September 23, 2013 5:25 PM ET
  • Live at the Academy of Music 1971

    Live at the Academy of Music 1971 | ALBUM REVIEW

    In these days of near-instantaneous, shit-sounding YouTube bootlegs, it's hard to recall how great live recordings can be. Rock of Ages is indeed a great live recording – in his 1972 Rolling Stone review, included in this...

    September 23, 2013 5:20 PM ET
  • Wise Up Ghost

    Wise Up Ghost | ALBUM REVIEW

    Another dubious Elvis Costello genre exercise? Actually, this collab is something sturdier and more interesting: a pained set about decaying culture long on verbose vitriol and (obviously) wicked grooves – think a dyspeptic What's Going On...

    September 17, 2013 12:20 AM ET
  • "New"

    "New" | SONG REVIEW

    Macca's latest sounds old, title notwithstanding, but in the best way. A Beatlesque pop confection with tasty production by retro-modernist Mark Ronson, "New" rides along on a bouncy harpsichord-flavored melody line and a touch of brass...

    September 10, 2013 10:20 AM ET
  • "Berzerk"

    "Berzerk" | SONG REVIEW

    Marshall Mathers returns in rabid, pop-hook-baiting form. With both Dr. Dre and Rick Rubin on board, this metal-rap rant conjures License to Ill-era Beasties – even biting the "Kick it!" from "(You Gotta) Fight for...

    September 10, 2013 10:15 AM ET
  • Feels Like Home

    Feels Like Home | ALBUM REVIEW

    Sheryl Crow is nothing if not versatile: A former Michael Jackson backup singer who mixes pop, country, R&B and classic rock, she's built a career as an outspoken singer-songwriter and a Grammy-friendly go-to collaborator. Her eighth...

    September 10, 2013 12:30 AM ET
  • Fuse

    Fuse | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Wish I could take a cab down to the creek/And hang a disco ball from an old oak tree," sings Keith Urban on "Little Bit of Everything," the tweakin'-on-the-tailgate single from his latest album, which tricks...

    September 10, 2013 12:20 AM ET
  • Stay Trippy

    Stay Trippy | ALBUM REVIEW

    You don't look to Mr. "Slob on My Knob" for deep wisdom. But the Three 6 mafioso does have a way with words, and following last summer's strip-club anthem "Bandz a Make Her Dance" (included here), his...

    September 9, 2013 4:20 PM ET
  • Elvis at Stax

    Elvis at Stax | ALBUM REVIEW

    Elvis' 1973 sessions at Stax Studio, the Southern-soul crucible in his Memphis hometown, freed him a bit from the biz-y group-think that cheesed-out his later work. The remarkable results, originally scattered across middling LPs, get bundled...

    September 9, 2013 4:05 PM ET
  • Down Fell the Doves

    Down Fell the Doves | ALBUM REVIEW

    A multi-talented fiddler schooled in Western swing as a whippersnapper member of the Texas Playboys, Amanda Shires nowadays writes and sings dark, deceptively pretty songs as a solo act. Here, she works with Jason Isbell, who she...

    September 5, 2013 12:02 PM ET
  • The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You

    The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You | ALBUM REVIEW

    Once merely a third of the New Pornographers' indie-rock-Avengers front line and a solo act with country-rock leanings, ginormous pipes and comedy-club-stage banter, Neko Case has grown into one of America's best and most ambitious...

    September 3, 2013 12:05 AM ET
  • Surrounded

    Surrounded | ALBUM REVIEW

    As he's proved over a record-making career that came into full bloom on 1997's Devotion + Doubt, Buckner is a folk-style modernist with an intoxicating tenor and an abstractly heart-wrenching sense of poetics – think of his...

    September 3, 2013 12:00 AM ET
  • Higher!

    Higher! | ALBUM REVIEW

    A fusionist from the get-go, with an outsize, mixed-race-and-gender band, Sly Stone was less interested in genre blurring than in the hot glory of multiple styles played simultaneously. Check his 1964 solo jam "Scat Swim," a surf-pop...

    August 27, 2013 12:25 AM ET
  • I Hate Music

    I Hate Music | ALBUM REVIEW

    The title is bullshit – the kind people spit when dodging pain. "I hate music/What is it worth?/It can't bring anyone back to this Earth," snarls Mac McCaughan on "Me & You & Jackie Mittoo," an indie-rock...

    August 20, 2013 12:15 AM ET
  • "My Story"

    "My Story" | SONG REVIEW

    "I'm from that Chi-town dirt/I went from being broke to sleeping in Versace shirts," begins Kells over a silken trap groove. While there's a bit more to it than that, the story, the teller and the...

    August 15, 2013 2:00 PM ET
  • "Your Life Is a Lie"

    "Your Life Is a Lie" | SONG REVIEW

    The forthcoming LP by these merry pranksters should be a wild ride. Following the floaty psychedelia of "Alien Days," the set's second single is a two-minute skull-fuck pop nugget that makes the title's argument with such earwormy...

    August 15, 2013 1:55 PM ET
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