In this week’s slate of new Rolling Stone reviews, Will Hermes praises the British soul singer Adele’s fierce second album 21, noting that she has “toughened her tone, trimmed the jazz frippery and sounds ready for a pub fight.” Jody Rosen is awe of From Memphis to Hollywood: Bootleg Vol. 2, declaring the new collection of early rarities from Johnny Cash “a jaw-dropping testament to the depth of the man’s songbook.” Jenny Eliscu reviewed the sophomore album by chillwave producer Toro Y Moi, which she says is groovier and prettier than the producer’s hypnotic debut.
On the singles front, Hermes gives a thumbs up to Paul Simon’s latest single “The Afterlife,” which he says echoes the mix of wry, mellow pop and African guitars on his classic album Graceland, and Erika Berlin says that Ashlyne Huff’s melodramatic new single “White Flag” compares favorably to hits by Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry.
Adele – 21 (listen to the full album and watch a video interview)
Johnny Cash – From Memphis to Hollywood: Bootleg Vol. 2 (stream one song)
Toro Y Moi – Underneath the Pine (stream one song)
Patrick Stump – Truant Wave (stream one song)
Paul Simon – “The Afterlife” (stream)
Erykah Badu – “Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long” (stream)
Ashlyne Huff – “White Flag” (stream)