.

album reviews

April 22, 2014

Kelis

Food Ninja Tune
6

Art-pop pioneer Kelis has never been more soulful or more intimate than she is on her sixth album. The singer steps out of the EDM rocket she rode on her last LP, 2010's Flesh Tone, in favor of more earthly pleasures – equating food with sex in a way that would make George Costanza drool. Kelis pines for "that tall drink of water" over a Link Wray rumble and hopes you can make it to "Breakfast" on a passionate track that sounds like Terence Trent D'Arby auditioning for in... | More »

April 21, 2014

Brody Dalle

Diploid Love Queen of Hearts/Caroline
8

The passionate, raspy-voiced punk Brody Dalle has always known how to use anarchic guitars to cloak a massive hook, whether in her great band the Distillers or her follow-up, Spinnerette. With her solo debut (and first release after a five-year break), she experiments with new styles – piano-based power ballads, anyone? There's plenty of chaos and roiling guitars, too, but adulthood has crept in. On the phenomenal "I Don't Need Your Love," Dalle lets her voice flicker to ... | More »

April 17, 2014

The Both

The Both SuperEgo
7

The Both are a singer-songwriter collaboration that sound precisely like you'd hope. New Wave heartthrob and master songcrafter Aimee Mann gets welcome vocal and guitar snarl from Ted Leo, a post-punk heartthrob in his own right whose unfussy attack benefi ts from Mann's melodic and harmonic touch. Anyone following their aesthetic courtship on Twitter could've predicted the lyrical sparks. Alongside a tight, contrite cover of Thin Lizzy's "Honesty Is No Excuse" is the gent... | More »

Jessica Lea Mayfield

Make My Head Sing... ATO
7

Six years ago, Jessica Lea Mayfield was a precocious teenager singing simple, sullen country songs about hitting rock-bottom. On her third LP (and first without the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach producing), she's grown into a world-weary alt-rock dreamer. The set opens with the grungy "Oblivious" and its grown-up passive aggression: "I could kill her with the powers in my mind/But I'm a good humanitarian." Elsewhere, between tremulous indie textures and slow-core plucking, Mayfield ... | More »

Sohn

Tremors 4AD
7

"I died a week ago/There's nothing left": So begins "The Wheel," a standout on the first full-length album from hoodie-loving Vienna-via-U.K. singer-songwriter-producer Sohn, a.k.a. Toph Taylor. Like a soulman version of OG selfie pioneer Cindy Sherman, Sohn casts his falsetto in blues-worthy scenarios – a one-man band balancing songcraft and heady post-dubstep production better than James Blake or Rhye, two inevitable comparisons. Yet Sohn, who has remixed Disclosure and others, i... | More »

Wilko Johnson & Roger Daltrey

Going Back Home Chess
6

Guitarist Wilko Johnson, who foreshadowed U.K. punk with Seventies pub rockers Dr. Feelgood, was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year. So he and his friend Roger Daltrey have recorded vibrant, legacyburnishing versions of 10 Johnson songs backed by his sturdy touring band – brawling tunes steeped in vintage rock & roll, with Daltrey setting his maximum-R&B yowl on full bluster against Johnson's slashing attack. There's tender regret in the album's one slow num... | More »

Protomartyr

Under Color of Official Right Hardly Art
7

The Detroit guitar boys in Protomartyr totally nail the sound of youthful melancholy. Joe Casey sings every line like he's the drunkest guy in the bar, fighting to keep on his feet for one more round. All over their superbly funny second album, Protomartyr chase the post-punk guitar buzz of classic American bands like the Dream Syndicate, while also evoking raincoat-clad Brits like the Wedding Present. "Maidenhead" could be the Smiths, except with an even more miserable singer. In "... | More »

Iggy Azalea

The New Classic Def Jam/Grand Hustle
5

Iggy Azalea grew up in Australia, but you'd never know it from her accent – a curiously affected drawl that could come from Atlanta, Houston or nowhere at all. Once, such weirdness might have disqualified her from rap stardom, but that was then. Iggy swaggers through her first LP with all the zero-fucks-given zest of the Nineties baby she is, trumpeting her story on underdog anthems like "Work" and "Don't Need Y'all." Savvier still, she dresses them up in the kind of sham... | More »

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com