Skip to main content

Ann Powers


  • Murray Street

    How do you respond to unnatural disaster? That question is a prime motivator for Sonic Youth. In the Eighties the band rose from punk and postmodernism to survey the battered beauty of late-century civilization, gravitating toward such subjects as teen angst and serial killers, artfully jacking in to the world's confusion. Most of all, Sonic […]

    • Music
  • Maladroit

    By all logic, Weezer's musical pileups should end up in a drawer somewhere. Rivers Cuomo — the maladjusted, misanthropic mind behind the band — scribbles muddled diatribes about life and love's utter futility, and splatters the lyrics against a wall of classic-rock quotations. He then adds more disorder via vocal parts that suggest a crazed […]

    • Music
  • Up

    Rock ballads are the songs you play after the night has burned itself out. Soft music takes you down from the party, filling the dawn's empty breathing space with forgiving beauty. "As the sun comes up, as the moon goes down, these heavy notions creep around," sings Michael Stipe in "Walk Unafraid," one of the […]

    • Music
  • Mechanical Animals

    For pure American pathos, nothing matches The Jenny Jones Show when it turns its sights on Marilyn Manson fans. These gentle suburban children, owlish and soft beneath their meticulous black finery, are so eager to serve their Antichrist Superstar that they let their confused parents drag them before the warrior queen of pastel conventionality. And […]

    • Music
  • Me'Shell Ndegeocello: Black & Blue

    The singer fights for your rights on 'Peace Beyond Passion'

    • Music
  • Holy Roller: Joan Osborne

    The blueswoman turned hit maker finds salvation in God and good sex

    • Music
  • The Score

    The Fugees are a Neapolitan treat, sweet in three layers: rhyme, sample and groove. On its second album, the hip-hop threesome cops a grim veneer but escapes gangsta clichés by playing around with the formulas. Witticisms like singer and rapper Lauryn "L" Hill's description of a mean lover — "He tried to burn me like […]

    • Music