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591 items by Will Hermes Will Hermes’ Profile on

  • See You There

    See You There | ALBUM REVIEW

    Glen Campbell's last LP, 2011's surprising Ghost on the Canvas, set him up impressively with songs by Paul Westerberg, Robert Pollard and other offspring. This set combines new songs with remakes of Campbell's signature singles. Surprise again:...

    August 13, 2013 12:15 AM ET
  • The Civil Wars

    The Civil Wars | ALBUM REVIEW

    Taylor Swift disses exes with singalong choruses, Rihanna duets with her abusive beau, but no pop act makes outsize romantic dysfunction sound as extravagantly pretty as the Civil Wars, the folk-pop-country-rock duo of Joy Williams...

    August 1, 2013 12:10 PM ET
  • "Black Beauty"

    "Black Beauty" | SONG REVIEW

    "I paint my nails black," begins this sparse anthem of goth solidarity by the mutable pop princess – a taste, maybe, of more indie-minded fare on her second album. With shiny organ tones, minimalist drum fills...

    August 1, 2013 11:35 AM ET
  • "Love More"

    "Love More" | SONG REVIEW

    The title is coy: Over muscled "Beez in Tha Trap"-style beats, Brown declares, "Till we get it right, we goin' fuck some more." It's business as usual, but with a hot 16 from Minaj, who...

    August 1, 2013 11:10 AM ET
  • "Best Song Ever"

    "Best Song Ever" | SONG REVIEW

    Uh, not? But unless you're a hard-boiled negative creep, this new one – the lead single from 1D's upcoming third LP – is pretty irresistible, a corporate megahit about dancing all night that actually makes you...

    August 1, 2013 11:05 AM ET
  • All People

    All People | ALBUM REVIEW

    Grizzled fans of Michael Franti's formative punk rap (the Beatnigs, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy) may flinch to hear him rhyme "Like Jay Z, Beyoncé/Come be my fiancée" amid Flo Rida-style whistling on "I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like)."...

    July 30, 2013 12:05 AM ET
  • Don't Look Down

    Don't Look Down | ALBUM REVIEW

    Holly Brook Hafermann is a lifer: She made folk LPs with Mom (see Generations), went solo in a Sarah McLachlan vein, and co-wrote Eminem and Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie." Skylar Grey is her...

    July 29, 2013 5:45 PM ET
  • Songs Cycled

    Songs Cycled | ALBUM REVIEW

    Van Dyke Parks' first new material in almost 20 years shows his kooky-genius orchestral Americana (see his work on Brian Wilson's Smile and Joanna Newsom's Ys) to be as inspired as ever. A companion to his...

    July 29, 2013 5:30 PM ET
  • Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

    Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros | ALBUM REVIEW

    Edward Sharpe is a sort of fictional spiritual leader dreamed up by L.A. bandleader-vocalist Alex Ebert. And on his outsize folk-rock band's big-tent third LP, he's in full-on love-drunk messiah drag. "I've seen better days/Dripping down your...

    July 23, 2013 12:15 AM ET
  • Bosnian Rainbows

    Bosnian Rainbows | ALBUM REVIEW

    "The world is worthless," announces frontlady Teri Gender Bender on this goth-pop set with ex-Mars Volta guitar hero Omar Rodriguez Lopez. Things don't get much cheerier, and vocal thrills notwithstanding, the songs don't ignite. Rodriguez Lopez is...

    July 15, 2013 2:40 PM ET
  • Nothing Can Hurt Me

    Nothing Can Hurt Me | ALBUM REVIEW

    This soundtrack to the fine documentary on the classic-rock era's greatest cult band makes Big Star's fame-fumble sting anew. The selections, all "previously unissued," include most of the band's best songs. If the alternate versions aren't...

    June 25, 2013 12:00 AM ET
  • "Bring The Noize"

    "Bring The Noize" | SONG REVIEW

    It takes big huevos for an MC to name their song after Public Enemy's agit-rap landmark. But there you go. Spitting bare-knuckle rhymes over turret-gun electro-beats, she's still hurling psychedelic firebombs ("do ya like my perfume?...

    June 18, 2013 12:45 PM ET
  • "Family Reunion"

    "Family Reunion" | SONG REVIEW

    This feel-good BBQ jam samples the O'Jays' "Family Reunion" to celebrate 20 years in the rap game and eulogize Ol' Dirty Bastard. Does any MC do sentimental better than Ghostface Killah?

    June 18, 2013 12:35 PM ET
  • "Waiting in Vain (Jim James remix)"

    "Waiting in Vain (Jim James remix)" | SONG REVIEW

    My Morning Jacket's frontman contributes this minimalist reworking to the dubious Legend remix project, keeping Marley's original vocals foregrounded and largely intact, adding squishy old-school keyboards, burly drums and little else. A smart move...

    June 18, 2013 12:30 PM ET
  • "Cousins"

    "Cousins" | SONG REVIEW

    The U.K. folkies flip Vampire Weekend's hyperactive, bachata-flavored rocker, starting it as a slow ballad, then shifting into a beery polka. Bonus points for the claw-hammer-banjo breakdown and the Peter Gabriel-via-Dave Matthews vocal impression.

    June 18, 2013 12:30 PM ET
  • "Man"

    "Man" | SONG REVIEW

    The country-rock firebrand returns with a roaring bit of gender theory, riding on M. Ward's silvery guitar lines, reminding a lover of who wears the pants. "I am the man in the fucking moon," she sings. "...

    June 18, 2013 11:15 AM ET
  • Southeastern

    Southeastern | ALBUM REVIEW

    "I sobered up and I swore off that stuff, forever this time," sings Jason Isbell on "Cover Me Up," a world-weary love song that shows the Alabama native isn't averse to autobiography. It also suggests that rehab...

    June 17, 2013 6:40 PM ET
  • May 1977

    May 1977 | ALBUM REVIEW

    The Grateful Dead's May 8th, 1977, gig at Cornell University is widely considered the ne plus ultra of Dead bootlegs. This 14-disc set, packed in a psychedelic sarcophagus, documents five gigs from later that month....

    June 17, 2013 6:35 PM ET
  • Pokey LaFarge

    Pokey LaFarge | ALBUM REVIEW

    Unrepentantly old-school, with a nasal vibrato that can recall Jack White's, this 30-year-old is a perfect fit for the re-formed White Stripe's label. LaFarge taps into Western swing, Twenties jazz and country blues, with hot brass, banjo,...

    June 17, 2013 6:25 PM ET
  • Mon Pays

    Mon Pays | ALBUM REVIEW

    The son of late Malian bluesman Ali Farka Touré has worked his next-generation guitar magic with artists from Israel's Idan Raichel to Virginia's Dave Matthews. Here, in the wake of an anti-music fundamentalist coup in his country,...

    June 17, 2013 6:15 PM ET
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