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Jon Pareles


  • Blak and Blu

    How can a serious bluesman thrive in the age of Auto-Tune? That's the question Gary Clark Jr. grapples with on his major label debut. Since his teens, Clark has been the young titan of Texas blues, coming out of Austin in the early 2000s with a smoothly long-suffering voice and one hell of a mean […]

    • Album Reviews
  • What Makes a Great Bob Dylan Song?

    Unlocking the beautiful mystery of the singer-songwriter's best tunes

    • Music
  • Happy People/U Saved Me

    It's official: R. Kelly has split up. His latest two-CD set has two titles and two missions: Happy People aims for dancing and romancing, while U Saved Me calls for fervent prayer. Instead of trying to mix his secular and devout sides, as he did on his 2003 album, Chocolate Factory, he has chosen to […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Ghost Is Born

    Hey, what happened to the funny noises? That's bound to be any fan's first reaction to Wilco's latest metamorphosis, yet another sharp turn, in sound and mood, for a band that seems compelled to change with every album. And in its own way, it's as eerie as anything Wilco have recorded yet. Last time around, […]

    • Album Reviews
  • In The Zone

    Say goodbye to Britney the virginal tease, and say hello, bay-bee, to Britney the freakazoid. None of that "not yet a woman" stuff this time around. There's no question that Spears wants In the Zone to be erogenous, so she lays on the heavy breathing and offers herself for hookups on and off the dance […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Strays

    One of the funniest things about Nothing's Shocking, Jane's Addiction's much-ballyhooed 1988 release, was how it skewed the conventions of L.A. Sunset Strip metal, managing to be distinctively perverse in a world already saturated with bad taste and bacchanalia. At times the music was glorious, playful psychedelic metal, as Perry Farrell's avant-gypsy garb, weird eye […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Fever To Tell

    Karen O is one excitable girl. She's the lead singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the guitar-drums-gal band whose debut full-length album, Fever to Tell, proves that the New York rock renaissance runs deeper and wilder than the Strokes. Show O a hottie, or just set her up with the tensile riffs that Nick Zinner […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Midnite Vultures

    Pop culture remembers the 1970s as one big party: a nonstop, funk-pumped round of bong hits and white lines snorted via $100 bills, a circuit of mirror-balled dance floors and water beds full of obliging strangers, pre-AIDS and post-Roe vs. Wade. Just forget the recession, the gasoline shortages, the hostage crisis and the hits by […]

    • Album Reviews
  • One By One

    When Dave Grohl sings, "I See Your Ghost," in the first song on One by One, it's impossible not to think about Kurt Cobain. Grohl has now spent more years as the Foo Fighters' singer and guitarist and has made more studio albums (four) with them than he did as Nirvana's drummer. Yet he knows […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Shaman

    This is no time for Carlos Santana to have an identity crisis. Is he the leader of a global dance party or just another supplicant to the cruel demands of radio formats? From his band's beginnings in the late 1960s, Santana seemed to have a mission: to realize the one-world idealism of the Sixties by […]

    • Album Reviews