Reviewed: Britney Gets Avant-Garde; Katy Perry, Kanye are Underwhelming

Plus: Stream new music from Rise Against, the Decemberists, New York Dolls, Tyler the Creator, Nick Lowe and Cornershop

March 15, 2011 10:45 AM ET
Reviewed: Britney Gets Avant-Garde; Katy Perry, Kanye are Underwhelming

In this week's slate of Rolling Stone reviews, Jody Rosen says that Britney Spears is "pop music's stealth avant-gardist" and that her latest album Femme Fatale is her best and strangest disc yet. Will Hermes praises Nashville singer-songwriter Tristen's addictive debut Charlatans at the Garden Gate and the reissue of Nick Lowe's 1979 record Labour of Lust, Jon Dolan salutes Rise Against's fist-pumping new set Endgame and Chuck Eddy digs the early Eighties heavy metal revivalism of Cauldron.

On the singles front, Hermes says that Kanye West's guest appearance on Katy Perry's leaden new single is lazy and uninspired, while Jonah Weiner approves of the gleeful psychodrama on Tyler, the Creator's song "Yonkers."


Britney Spears - Femme Fatale (stream two songs)

Rise Against - Endgame (stream one song)

Tristen - Charlatans at the Garden Gate (stream two songs)

Nick Lowe - Labour of Lust (stream one song)

Cornershop featuring Bubbley Kaur - The Double O Groove of (stream one song)

New York Dolls - Dancing Backwards in High Heels (stream one song)

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - Tao of the Dead (stream one song)

La Sera - La Sera (stream full album)

Cauldron - Burning Fortune (stream one song)

Cowboy Junkies - Demons (stream one song)

Tabu Ley Rochereau - The Voice of Lightness Vol. 2 (stream two songs)

The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar (stream full album)


Katy Perry featuring Kanye West "E.T." (stream)

Tyler, the Creator "Yonkers" (stream)

Christina Perri "Arms" (stream)

The Decemberists "Cuyahoga" (stream)

LAST WEEK: Radiohead's Funkiest Album, R.E.M.'s Eclectic 'Collapse Into Now' and More

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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