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Jay-Z and Kanye West's 'Watch the Throne' is Opulent and Adventurous

Also: Stream new music by Jeff Bridges, Lil Wayne and Drake, Sly Stone, 3 Doors Down, Feist and Portugal. The Man.

August 16, 2011 9:40 AM ET
kanye jay-z west watch the throne otis
Kanye West and Jay-Z's 'Watch the Throne'
Album cover courtesy artist, Givenchy.

In this week's slate of Rolling Stone reviews, Jody Rosen assesses hip-hop monarchs Jay-Z and Kanye West's collaborative album Watch the Throne, which  he says is ambitious and sonically bold, but too heavily weighted on their boasts of outrageous wealth. Also, Will Hermes praises the lived-in in sound of actor Jeff Bridges' new country-rock album, J. Edward Keyes digs the vintage glam-rock sound of Portugal. The Man, and Jon Dolan slams the anthemic plodding of 3 Doors Down's latest record Time of My Life.

ALBUMS

Jay-Z and Kanye West - Watch the Throne (stream one song)

Jeff Bridges - Jeff Bridges (stream one song)

Portugal. The Man - In the Mountains in the Cloud (stream one song)

Shabazz Palaces - Black Up (stream five songs)

Hercules & Love Affair - Blue Songs (stream one song)

Sly Stone - I'm Back! Family & Friends (stream one song)

John Hiatt - Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns (stream one song)

3 Doors Down - Time of My Life (stream one song)

MellowHype - BlackenedWhite (stream one song)

SONGS

Lil Wayne featuring Drake "She Will" (stream)

Feist "How Come You Never Go There" (stream)

Pusha-T featuring Tyler, the Creator "Trouble On My Mind" (stream)

LAST WEEK: Mick Jagger's Superheavy Delivers a Summer Song For Every Beach

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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