Album Of The Week

Album Of The Week: Janelle Monáe The Electric Lady

By Chris DeVille / September 10, 2013 - 4:07 pm
The Electric Lady imagines a hypothetical future, one where humans and androids love whomever they want, where water turns to wine just in time for the party, and where every trip to the dance floor is as spine-tingling as watching the Four Horsemen ride across the sky. But Janelle Monáe, the Kansas-born, Atlanta-based, pompadoured soul… More »

Album Of The Week: Volcano Choir Repave

By Tom Breihan / September 3, 2013 - 4:00 pm
This wasn't supposed to happen. Volcano Choir wasn't supposed to become a real band who make great albums. By this point, I'd come to understand Justin Vernon as the type of great artist who only gets around to making great art after he's already exhausted every form of procrastination he can find. Four years separated… More »

Album Of The Week: Forest Swords Engravings

By Tom Breihan / August 27, 2013 - 2:48 pm
If you're a hawkeyed, dangerously obsessive Stereogum reader, you might have noticed that I didn't start posting until late on Friday morning. That's because I was in the parking lot of my neighborhood Trader Joe's, loitering and trying not to look creepy while I waited for the tow truck that would take my non-starting car… More »

Album Of The Week: Superchunk I Hate Music

By Tom Breihan / August 20, 2013 - 11:22 am
Superchunk don't hate music. We know this. The North Carolina band have been making it for more than two decades, and the music that they've made has way too much joy and desperation and impossible need in it for them to have anything but the most fervent love for the stuff. And then there's the… More »

Album Of The Week: Washed Out Paracosm

By Tom Breihan / August 13, 2013 - 2:24 pm
There's no nice way to say this, but during a busier week, Paracosm, the second album from Washed Out, wouldn't have gotten that Album Of The Week nod. During next Tuesday's new-release avalanche (Earl Sweatshirt! Superchunk! No Age! A$AP Ferg!), it would've been immediately lost in the shuffle. And indeed, it seems almost expressly designedMore »

Album Of The Week: Annie A&R

By Tom Breihan / August 6, 2013 - 1:39 pm
Thanks to years of label drama and just the simple passage of time, it's easy to forget the various ways that Anne Lilia Berge Strand changed the way dorks on the internet listened to, and thought about, music. When Pitchfork named Annie's "Heartbeat" the #1 track of 2004, Scott Plagenhoef, then the site's editor i… More »

Album Of The Week: AlunaGeorge Body Music

By Tom Breihan / July 30, 2013 - 1:38 pm
R&B is different in England. Some of it is that old, stereotypical British reserve, but a lot of other factors are at work, too. In the UK, the music doesn't have nearly the church pedigree that it does over here, and it doesn't have the same weight of historical importance; it's not struggle music, exactly. More »

Album Of The Week: Fuck Buttons Slow Focus

By Tom Breihan / July 23, 2013 - 12:10 pm
Of all the moderately popular bands with the word "fuck" in their band name, Fucked Up is and will always be my favorite. But London's Fuck Buttons, now three albums deep into a career that turns noise into planetarium music, do the most to earn their "fuck." The "fuck" in Fuck Buttons' name doesn't remotely… More »

Album Of The Week: Ka The Night’s Gambit

By Tom Breihan / July 16, 2013 - 1:14 pm
A week and a half after Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail went out to a million Samsung users, another long-pedigreed Brooklyn rapper found an unconventional way to release an album. But this one was different: A few cardboard boxes of CDs and vinyl, carted out to a West Village street corner. Before the Brownsville rapper/producer… More »

Album Of The Week: Daughn Gibson Me Moan

By Tom Breihan / July 9, 2013 - 4:37 pm
Sometime in the late '80s or early '90s, David Lynch and cartoonishly handsome honky-tonk revivalist Chris Isaak inexplicably became good buds. Lynch used Isaak songs in Blue Velvet and Wild At Heart and directed a lesser-seen video for Isaak's immortal "Wicked Game" (the one without Helena Christensen in it). Then, Isaak played whatever passed for… More »

Album Of The Week: El-P & Killer Mike Run The Jewels

By Tom Breihan / July 2, 2013 - 4:05 pm
The parallel is both obvious and ludicrous, and I kind of hate myself for making it, but just bear with me for a minute. Two years ago, a ferocious veteran rapper and a boundary-smashing, synth-addicted rapper/producer, two guys who'd been friends and collaborators for a long time, got together, as a duo, to make a… More »

Album Of The Week: Smith Westerns Soft Will

By Tom Breihan / June 25, 2013 - 2:35 pm
In the mid-'60s, when garage rock was first starting to be a thing, bands weren't trying to play garage rock. They were trying to be the Beatles, or (more often) the Rolling Stones. But their sloppy approximations had their own headlong charm, and years later, when Lenny Kaye assembled the first Nuggets compilation, they were… More »

Album Of The Week: Austra Olympia

By Tom Breihan / June 18, 2013 - 1:39 pm
Music critics make mistakes all the time, and I made one two years ago, when I reviewed Austra's debut album Feel It Break for Pitchfork. I gave that album a positive review, but it was one of those wait-and-see positive reviews, like, "They're onto something here! Let's see what they can do next time around!"… More »

Album Of The Week: Boards Of Canada Tomorrow’s Harvest

By Tom Breihan / June 11, 2013 - 2:51 pm
It's been the year of grand returns, of nerd-beloved touchstones coming back after long silences and cranking out the cohesive studio products that we'd learned to stop expecting from them long ago. Studio-rat geniuses who haven't given us proper albums in seven or nine or 22 years, people who'd been occupying themselves with side project… More »

Album Of The Week: Disclosure Settle

By Tom Breihan / June 4, 2013 - 1:56 pm
Has there ever been a great single-artist UK garage album? Garage, the skittery dance subgenre that crossed over in Britain around the turn of the millennium, was mostly a singles-driven genre. Built on shiny R&B hooks and tricky, propulsive drum programming, it cranked out anthem after anthem between 1999 and 2001, before it gradually morphed… More »

Album Of The Week: Kylesa Ultraviolet

By Tom Breihan / May 28, 2013 - 2:26 pm
Thanks to the thundering two-drummer onslaught of their live shows and the basement-punk fury of their 2009 album Static Tensions, Savannah's Kylesa were probably already my favorite active metal band by the time they released Spiral Shadow two and a half years ago. But that album only deepened my love of this band, since it… More »

Album Of The Week: Majical Cloudz Impersonator

By Tom Breihan / May 21, 2013 - 3:29 pm
You never, as a music dork, stop learning this lesson, but the truth behind it stands: It's always, always a bad idea to dismiss an artist based on a terrible name. That rule is right up there with "horrendous rappers get better all the time, so stop believing it can't happen," and we break the… More »

Album Of The Week: Dungeonesse Dungeonesse

By Tom Breihan / May 14, 2013 - 3:36 pm
You haven't always been able to hear it in the actual music that comes out of the city, but Baltimore's DIY-heavy indie rock scene has always been a beautifully unsnobby and pop-happy sort of place. I haven't lived there in nearly eight years, and haven't spent nearly enough time there since I moved out, but… More »

Album Of The Week: Savages Silence Yourself

By Tom Breihan / May 7, 2013 - 4:21 pm
The music made by Savages, the four-piece London band who released their debut album Silence Yourself today, is a direct and linear thing. It's easy to get the sense that the band plots out its arrangements on graph paper, figuring out the intricacies of guitar/bass interplay with mathematical precision, or that its reduced every element… More »

Album Of The Week: Coliseum Sister Faith

By Tom Breihan / April 30, 2013 - 3:54 pm
This used to be what indie rock sounded like. During the 1990s, Elephant 6 and Belle And Sebastian were outliers, and the genre (which really was more genre and less loose lifestyle appellation) hadn't erased all traces of the get-in-the-van '80s hardcore that helped birth it. As late as a decade ago, when the Louisville… More »