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Mike Powell


  • 40 Saddest Country Songs of All Time

    Cry, Cry, Cry: From George Jones to Brad Paisley, the biggest weepers ever

    • Music
  • The True Love Story Behind the Making of 'Carol'

    How a cult book based on a moment of romantic fantasy became the source of misguided shame for its author — and one hothouse flower of a movie

    • TV & Movies
  • 50 Rock Albums Every Country Fan Should Own

    From the 'Sweetheart of the Rodeo' to the Kings of Leon, 50 LPs that rock the jukebox

    • Music
  • ...And Star Power

    Neo-psychedelic crew gets ambitious in the worst way

    • Album Reviews
  • Lost in the Dream

    The War on Drugs make archetypal road-trip music: shimmering, steady, gritty as pavement and open as the sky. Longer on instrumental texture than songwriting, their third album recasts the blue-collar fantasias of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen as earthy ambient music, better to soak in than to scrutinize. As usual with T.W.O.D., these songs are […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Young Money: Rise of an Empire

    The first compilation from this hip-hop powerhouse – 2009's We Are Young Money – featured rising stars Drake and Nicki Minaj. This time out, we're introduced to a charming talkrapper named Euro and not much else beyond some diverse but mundane urban contemporary music dominated by familiar players. Contractually, Drake and Minaj are here; artistically, they've […]

    • Album Reviews
  • The Last Mardi Gras

    This two-night 1978 set is an excellent entree to an artist whose live dates were often more vital than his studio ones. The storied New Orleans pianist leads his band through 18 songs that codify blues, jazz, boogie-woogie and rock & roll into a language familiar and yet quintessentially regional. Does the Professor feel pain? […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Burn Your Fire for No Witness

    The Missouri singer-songwriter's second full-length expands the dim folk of her 2012 debut into compact, passionate indie rock with shades of country and psychedelia – wringing maximal yearning out of minimal arrangements in three minutes or less, like some no-budget Roy Orbison. Not that romantics like Olsen think in terms so practical. "I don't know […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Benji

    Folk singer Mark Kozelek's remarkable sixth album as Sun Kil Moon feels less like a collection of songs than a series of eulogies delivered in real time. "Carissa was 35/You don't just raise two kids and take out your trash and die," he protests – then admits he didn't know Carissa all that well, anyway. […]

    • Album Reviews
  • 7 Days of Funk'

    The former Snoop Dogg (here calling himself "Snoop­zilla") joins L.A. producer Dam-Funk, whose rubbery tracks are marked by an off-kilter grace more intimate, cooled-out and Californian than his ancestors in Parliament or Zapp. And while Snoop's voice is an easy match for the sound – both are low-key but hard-hitting – most of the tracks […]

    • Album Reviews