Heartthrob is deeply wounded and most of it is sad. Its emotional palette is reds and pinks, raw and tender, skin scrubbed too fiercely. But for all its sadness, all its discussion of never-going-to-work relationships, it’s an incredibly hopeful album. Not optimistic, per se but determined, teeth-gritted and snarling. Hope’s necessary for that, even if it is in small and ragged quantity. And hope’s never really stronger than when it’s down to its last shreds.
February 21st, 2013
February 7th, 2013
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here are songs that celebrate life instead of mourning love, and do so with aplomb.
January 22nd, 2013
The listener is held in suspended emotional animation, waiting for a push in one direction or another, but destined to be disappointed in that regard.
January 2nd, 2013
Andre Williams spits out his philosophy against a background of organs and supporting vocals that evoke a blend of both haunted house and gospel house, spirits and the spiritual.
December 13th, 2012
After a high-pitched intro reminiscent of the entry into a horror film, the bass explodes into pulsing heavy distortion as gratifying as a welcome plot twist. Vocals blur into a winsome crackle of low and high notes that can only be experienced as emotional entreaties rather than explicit ones. As sense of the song is jettisoned, there is ascension into a state of pure rhythm.
October 3rd, 2012
Probably the most pleasant piece of difficult listening ever, it slightly reminds me of early Tori Amos records for combining relatively hard topics with pop sensibilities to an eerie effect.
August 6th, 2012
James plays on her small-sounding voice a lot, which I found increasingly grating the more I listened to the album. It’s partly a personal intolerance for grown women playing twee but also there’s something frustrating about ambitious, wide instrumentals, whose breathy intimacy didn’t need any greater emphasis, being somewhat reduced by a vocal not always interesting enough to accompany them.
August 3rd, 2012
Recently turned 18, he’s already released a dense, interesting EP of smooth, electronic hip hop where sparkling synths and sax clash with clattering beats and sampling.
July 30th, 2012
But like hunting for proof of Nessie or Bigfoot, these moments of inspiration that you took a smudgy photo of in your excitement vanish all too quickly, and you are left wondering if anything exciting actually happened at all.
July 20th, 2012
We can never rediscover the true weirdness of the 1960s psychedelic movements without abandoning our own prohibitive – and inhibitive – self-awareness.
July 20th, 2012
There are not an enormous number of 20-year-old, Native American, childhood-in-a-cult surviving, queer, female rapper/singers around currently. Given the cult stuff, you’d hope not. Angel Haze is, though and she’s about to be one of the biggest things in the world.
by Dan Fields
July 13th, 2012
It is more than just one of the all-time greats, grouped with the likes of Casablanca and The Wizard Of Oz. Singin’ In The Rain is also an off-the-wall lesson in Hollywood history.
July 13th, 2012
Childish Gambino is the not-really-a-side-project rap persona of multiple-threat megatalent Donald Glover. What he’s most famous for depends on your perspective but before the Gambino project took off he won an Emmy for writing on the third season of 30 Rock, launched a stand up career and starred as Troy Barnes in the very deeply brilliant Community. He’s 28.
July 9th, 2012
dancing in the summer seems masochistic. Yet In Our Heads by Hot Chip may very well inspire the unsuspecting listener to engage in precisely that dangerous, sweat-inducing activity.
July 6th, 2012
It fails as a sexy album, a dance album and definitely as any kind of character rehabilitation.
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