Album Of The Week

Album Of The Week: Future Honest

By Tom Breihan / April 22, 2014 - 4:27 pm

The first words Future says on Honest are a half-conscious mutter, but that doesn’t make them any less heartfelt: “Be bold. Smell me?” As if to show and prove on those four words, the music underneath him is not what you might expect from the intro track to the new Future album. It’s a warm,… More »

Album Of The Week: Triptykon Melana Chasmata

By Tom Breihan / April 15, 2014 - 4:38 pm

The later, post-Optimus Prime death seasons of the original Transformers cartoon took place in the distant, futuristic year of 2006, when the Decepticons’ most powerful weapon was Trypticon, an actual city that would transform into a vast purple-and-black dinosaur. Trypticon spent a lot of time fighting against Metroplex, an Autobot city that would also tur… More »

Album Of The Week: EMA The Future’s Void

By Tom Breihan / April 8, 2014 - 4:11 pm

Seven years ago, covering CMJ for the Village Voice, I tried to go see High Places at the Cake Shop in New York, and I got their early enough to see the final song of the band that was before them on the bill. That final song just about sucked my soul out through my… More »

Album Of The Week: Cloud Nothings Here And Nowhere Else

By Tom Breihan / April 1, 2014 - 4:17 pm

Listen to the god damn drums. There’s a lot to like about Here And Nowhere Else, the new Cloud Nothings album: The snot-punk hooks, the scraped-out guitar textures, the overwhelming refusal to acknowledge any musical influences from anytime after, say, 1997. But those drums are the best thing about Here And Nowhere Else. Cloud Nothing… More »

Album Of The Week: Future Islands Singles

By Tom Breihan / March 25, 2014 - 4:19 pm

One of my favorite tropes in pop music is the readymade greatest-hits album, the album so packed with perfectly crafted pop nuggets that every one of its tracks seems destined for airplay. There aren’t too many of these albums, but they all feel earthshaking when they come along: Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Def Leppard’s Hysteria, Michael… More »

Album Of The Week: YG My Krazy Life

By Tom Breihan / March 18, 2014 - 4:29 pm

One great thing about great rap albums: They can lead to more great rap albums. When he made Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City in 2012, Kendrick Lamar changed things, showing it was possible to make a rap album with great sweep and ambition that still did all the satisfyingly grandiose things rap albums are supposed to… More »

Album Of The Week: Le1f Hey

By Tom Breihan / March 11, 2014 - 10:39 am

Chances are great that you, the reader sitting at home, give barely half a fuck (if that) about SXSW. Maybe you think it looks like fun, maybe you’re hoping to go one year, maybe you’ve been before, but the particulars of which barbecue place has the scariest line and whose RSVP list filled up the… More »

Album Of The Week: The Men Tomorrow’s Hits

By Tom Breihan / March 4, 2014 - 3:27 pm

This week, two primal, grizzled, loud, messy rock albums come out, and I had a hell of a time choosing between them. I’m still not sure I made the right call. The self-titled debut from the Leeds punk band Eagulls has “Possessed,” the best song on either album, and it has a clarity and a… More »

Album Of The Week: Schoolboy Q Oxymoron

By Tom Breihan / February 25, 2014 - 3:39 pm

If you’ve ever seen Schoolboy Q live, you’ve probably seen him doing the dance he does: Both hands up, pogoing sideways, spinning, careening, head bobbling madly in every direction. It’s a chaotic, all-over-the-place dance, and I’m amazed he doesn’t accidentally whirl off the stage at least once a show. (Q started out as Kendrick Lamar’… More »

Album Of The Week: Angel Olsen Burn Your Fire For No Witness

By Tom Breihan / February 18, 2014 - 2:23 pm

Half Way Home, the 2012 album with which Angel Olsen built her name, was a great album, but its greatness was the sort that you can only really admire from a distance. Whether purposefully or as a byproduct of the way it was recorded, Half Way Home sounded like the sort of record you might… More »

Album Of The Week: Sun Kil Moon Benji

By Tom Breihan / February 11, 2014 - 1:29 pm

If you spend enough time with the new Sun Kil Moon album Benji, there is every chance that you will end up crying sooner or later. The first time I misted up to the album, it was during a relatively innocuous moment. “I Love My Dad” is one of the jauntier songs on an album… More »

Album Of The Week: Mark McGuire Along The Way

By Tom Breihan / February 4, 2014 - 2:52 pm

If you’re old enough to actually remember the 1980s, there’s a particular sound — a ticking arpeggio, a guitar made to sound like a synth or a synth made to sound like a guitar — that probably conjures an instant stomach-flutter excitement in you. It’s what you hear on the intro of the Alan Parso… More »

Album Of The Week: Actress Ghettoville

By Miles Bowe / January 28, 2014 - 4:25 pm

As you know, this is usually Tom’s column. But I’m taking over this week to talk about one of the most anticipated experimental albums of the season. Things will be back to normal next week. More »

Album Of The Week: Against Me! Transgender Dysphoria Blues

By Tom Breihan / January 21, 2014 - 3:08 pm

I’ve been working for Stereogum for something like two and a half years now, writing literally thousands of blog posts, and I’ll stand by nearly every one of them. But there’s one towering exception. When Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace came out as transgender, I was so totally shocked and taken aback — the leader… More »

Album Of The Week: Big Ups Eighteen Hours Of Static

By Tom Breihan / January 14, 2014 - 4:43 pm

There’s a moment on “TMI” where Big Ups frontman Joe Galarraga tries to talk like a robot and totally fails. He literally says, “I am a robot from the 20th century / I am designed to never feel anything” in a spaced-out monotone that seems to serve as his version of the beep-bop-borp robot voice… More »

Album Of The Week: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks Wig Out At Jagbags

By Chris DeVille / January 7, 2014 - 4:16 pm

If you don’t know Stephen Malkmus by now, you will never never never know him. The former Pavement frontman’s signature sound was cemented somewhere around 1999’s contented, side-eyed sigh Terror Twilight — the fifth and final Pavement LP in name but Malkmus’ solo debut in spirit — or if you really wanna be a dick… More »

Album Of The Week: Burial Rival Dealer

By Tom Breihan / December 17, 2013 - 12:07 pm

A little more than halfway through the 10-minute title track of Burial’s Rival Dealer EP, around the time the first titanic sawtooth bassline disappears into static and the second one comes roaring in, we hear a brief burst of Lord Finesse declaiming “you know my motherfuckin’ style.” But if that’s Burial using Finesse as hi… More »

Album Of The Week: R. Kelly Black Panties

By Chris DeVille / December 10, 2013 - 4:02 pm

Although his nearly singleminded fixation on sex has been a constant plumb line, R. Kelly’s catalog is remarkably diverse. Stylistically, over the course of a 20-year solo career he’s evolved with the times from New Jack Swing all the way to the Auto-Tune era and beyond, to the point that his latest album features a… More »

Album Of The Week: bEEdEEgEE SUM/ONE

By Tom Breihan / December 3, 2013 - 12:02 pm

There are two big reasons why SUM/ONE, the solo debut from Gang Gang Dance’s Brian DeGraw, gets the Album Of The Week nod this week. One is a simple matter of timing. The release-date calendar always gets sparse toward the end of the year, and it’s especially glaring this year, when the Eminems and the… More »

Album Of The Week: Shearwater Fellow Travelers

By Tom Breihan / November 26, 2013 - 2:18 pm

There are plenty of good reasons to listen to Shearwater: There’s the band’s admirably expansive ambitions, almost prog-level for an indie rock band. (They made their mark by releasing an actual honest-to-god trilogy of albums.) There’s the panache with which they pull up dramatic, dynamic flare-ups, their big choruses erupting out of placid stillness. There’… More »

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