Latest reviews


July 7, 2015

The artistic life and awful death of Amy Winehouse at age 27 has been so exhaustively chronicled that we think we know everything about her. Think again. What makes Asif Kapadia's documentary a devastating don’t-miss dazzler — like the lady...

Album Review

Life Is Good

July 17, 2012

Nas appears on the cover of his 10th LP holding the wedding dress of ex-wife Kelis. But this is no Drake-style sob story. It's just that nowadays, he cuts his rhymes with midlife realism and daring empathy ("Could you imagine writing your deposition/Divorce...

Song Review

"Like Smoke"

November 4, 2011

The wise pop music fan learned long ago to be wary of Ambulance Chaser Music – records scrambled into the marketplace soon after the death of a beloved star. "Like Smoke," the first taste of Amy Winehouse's forthcoming posthumous album Lioness:...

Album Review

Back to Black

February 6, 2007

"Rehab," the must-hear song that opens the second album from British soul singer Amy Winehouse, is a Motown-style winner with a banging beat and a lovesick bad girl testifying like Etta James about how she won't clean up her act. It's followed by the...

Album Review

Lioness: Hidden Treasure

December 6, 2011

This is a sad record. A grab bag of outtakes, unreleased tracks, demos, covers and song sketches, these recordings feel like a gut punch. They remind you, first and foremost, of that voice – one of pop music's most instantly recognizable vocal imprints,...

Album Review


June 26, 2008

Like fellow crooners Amy Winehouse and Kate Nash, Adele Adkins polished her skills at the Brit School in south London – as good a finishing academy as American Idol. Her debut, which topped the British charts earlier this year, lacks the bad-girl...