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Greg Kot


  • Blood Mountain

    Metal excess is back: exhibit A this month is Blood Mountain, the follow-up to Mastodon's 2004 breakthrough, Leviathan, which took Herman Melville's Moby Dick and refashioned it into one hell of a heavy sea chantey. The Atlanta band consists of four guys who look like tattooed auto mechanics, but they sound like they should be […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Half Smiles of the Decomposed

    Half Smiles of the Decomposed is reportedly the final Guided by Voices studio album, and like many of the band's best, it's packed to bursting with sometimes inscrutable pleasures: melodies with the whiff of half-remembered classics, misbegotten home-taping experiments, arrangements that appear to collapse before resolving in brave choruses and, in "Window of My World," […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Singles 1965-1967

    With the eleven A sides and fourteen B sides collected on Singles 1965-1967, the Rolling Stones outgrew their blues roots to become genius pop craftsmen who ran neck and neck with the Beatles. (That's despite the occasional dud: See Bill Wyman's homely, harpsichord-laced "In Another Land.") The era is a tour de force for Keith […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Rockin’ The Rhein With The Grateful Dead

    The most obsessively documented band in rock history uncorks yet another piece of live testimony from its 1972 European tour, already the subject of the definitive Europe '72 and the tightly edited Hundred Year Hall. A little editing would've helped Rockin' the Rhein, a nearly-four-hour performance from Dusseldorf, Germany, that doesn't merit the every-note-counts treatment. […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Anthology: The Sounds Of Science

    Visionaries? Once it didn't seem possible. No joke was too low, no music (hardcore punk, hip-hop, metal) above ridicule. The Beasties rode their often wickedly funny bad taste to the bank, only to later explore subject matter and craft music beyond the world of bongs, beer and groupies that made them early role models for […]

    • Album Reviews
  • 18 B Sides

    Into the soundtrack for the chill-out generation, blending gospel vocals and blues hollers with down-tempo rhythms and glacial keyboard textures. But 18 B Sides + DVD finds the grandmaster of bedroom-recording melancholy turning his inspired approach into a formula. None of these tracks break any new ground. The pretty slow-glides blend almost too seamlessly, which […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Skull Ring

    Iggy Pop may have taken up golf in Miami, but when properly motivated, he's still plenty capable of sounding like the original dead-end kid wriggling out of a straitjacket. On Skull Ring, motivation arrives in the form of Ron and Scott Asheton, the two surviving members of Pop's pioneering protopunk band the Stooges, who reunite […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Youth And Young Manhood

    Preacher's sons who grew up on the road and laid down the holy-roller boogie in churches across the South, Kings of Leon come by their scuffed, scruffy sound honestly. But the title of their debut album, Youth and Young Manhood, is slightly misleading. One would expect these little red roosters, who range in age from […]

    • Album Reviews
  • How The West Was Won

    What has been the Achilles' heel in Led Zeppelin's otherwise formidable catalog? The lack of a killer live album — something on par with the Who's Live at Leeds or the Rolling Stones' Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! The soundtrack for Zep's 1976 concert documentary, The Song Remains the Same, doesn't hold up without the movie's […]

    • Album Reviews
  • No Exit

    In the New-Wave era, Debbie harry was so much the celebrity focal point of Blondie's charge up the pop charts that the group's record label took pains to point out, "Blondie are a band." Harry deserved her props — she was a bleached-blond bombshell with a drop-dead attitude and a deadpan delivery who put a […]

    • Album Reviews