Album Of The Week

Album Of The Week: Charli XCX True Romance

By Tom Breihan / April 16, 2013 - 4:25 pm
The British singer Charli XCX emerged from the internet ether about a year and a half ago, around the same time most of us noticed Grimes, and she seemed cut from the same cloth. In her videos, she looked like a futuristic platform-booted goth-rave cyborg -- a sort of living mall-pop signifier and a living… More »

Album Of The Week: Kurt Vile Wakin On A Pretty Daze

By Tom Breihan / April 9, 2013 - 3:34 pm
Three or four years ago, I saw Kurt Vile play one of the worst live sets of my life. He was the second act on a triple-bill at Chicago's Empty Bottle, one that also featured Fucked Up and Zola Jesus, two strong and dynamic and ferocious live acts. Vile, by contrast, stood up there with… More »

Album Of The Week: Milk Music Cruise Your Illusion

By Tom Breihan / April 2, 2013 - 4:13 pm
When people describe Olympia, Washington, they usually talk about it as a deep-wooded, weeded-out hippie enclave, but I'm not sure they get across how much of a deep-wooded, weeded-out hippie enclave it really is. I spent a week there with friends nearly a decade ago, and by the time I flew back to Baltimore, I… More »

Album Of The Week: Kvelertak Meir

By Tom Breihan / March 26, 2013 - 4:51 pm
I love a lot of underground metal, but I'm a pretty bad underground metal fan. Underground metal, less a scene or even a single genre and more a vast interconnected web of global subcultures, doesn't exist as a monolitic whole. But the people who are really into it, including our own Michael Nelson, often prize… More »

Album Of The Week: Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience

By Tom Breihan / March 19, 2013 - 1:05 pm
I was worried about this one, and I was mostly worried because "Suit & Tie" sounds less like a first single and more like a work of brand maintenance. Jay-Z's indolent guest-verse was what really got the alarm bells ringing, mostly because it seemed to foretell Timberlake's own version of Kingdom Come, Jay's catastrophic attempt… More »

Album Of The Week: Rachel Zeffira The Deserters

By Tom Breihan / March 12, 2013 - 8:49 am
You have to have a lot of balls to cover My Bloody Valentine, a band nobody's ever going to match guitar swirl-for-guitar swirl. The Canadian singer Rachel Zeffira has that. But in her take on "To Here Knows When," Zeffira does things with that band's incandescent smear that I've never heard anybody try. Zeffira ha… More »

Album Of The Week: Waxahatchee Cerulean Salt

By Tom Breihan / March 5, 2013 - 4:57 pm
Some weeks, a simple and clear choice for Album Of The Week presents itself, and I don't have to spend all week racking my brains over who should get this entirely arbitrary distinction. That doesn't happen too often, though. Sometimes, I don't immediately love any of the obvious options, so I have to dig into… More »

Album Of The Week: Autre Ne Veut Anxiety

By Tom Breihan / February 26, 2013 - 4:02 pm
Interesting things are happening in R&B lately, with guys like Frank Ocean and Miguel and the Weeknd pushing the genre in directions both introspective and sonically expansive, somehow getting popular in the process. But Arthur Ashin, who records as Autre Ne Veut, isn't really a part of that. Like his buddy How To Dress Well,… More »

Album Of The Week: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Push The Sky Away

By Tom Breihan / February 19, 2013 - 1:15 pm
Even when he was a fresh-faced punk, Nick Cave never sounded like a fresh-faced punk. Back on those Birthday Party records, he sounded like a wizened, apocalyptic rage-prophet. And over the course of god knows how many albums since then, he's only grown into that voice. Cave's records might not have the same world-blasted intensity… More »

Album Of The Week: Pissed Jeans Honeys

By Tom Breihan / February 12, 2013 - 2:40 pm
Before I dug deep into Honeys, the new album from the feral Allentown scrape-rockers Pissed Jeans, I had this whole opening-paragraph riff planned about Sub Pop Records: How the label has gone through so many different permutations since its Sub Pop 100 days, how even the Postal Service/Shins era has nothing to do with it… More »

Album Of The Week: My Bloody Valentine m b v

By Michael Nelson / February 5, 2013 - 8:00 am
In the October 2012 issue of Esquire, there's a fascinating profile of the magician Teller -- the silent half of Penn & Teller -- at the center of which is the story of how a magician named Bakardy had studied and discovered the secret behind one of Teller's signature illusions, called Shadows, and was now… More »

Album Of The Week: Bleeding Rainbow Yeah Right

By Tom Breihan / January 29, 2013 - 3:17 pm
In 2010, back when they were still a duo called Reading Rainbow, the Philadelphia band Bleeding Rainbow released Prism Eyes, exactly the sort of very good indie rock album that gets overlooked all the damn time. There wasn't any grand narrative to Reading Rainbow; they were just too people who played very good straight-ahead garage… More »

Album Of The Week: Toro Y Moi Anything In Return

By Tom Breihan / January 22, 2013 - 5:00 pm
Toro Y Moi was once associated with the electronic pop subgenre and short cultural moment known as chillwave. There. That's done. As far as I'm concerned -- and I seem to be the only critic who thinks this -- Chaz Bundick's name and the c-word never need to appear in the same sentence again. Everyone… More »

Album Of The Week: Free Energy Love Sign

By Tom Breihan / January 15, 2013 - 2:31 pm
Rock critics aren't really expected to be forecasters of popular taste. And thank fuck for that, because I'm goddam terrible at it. The one time I ever wrote anything for Gawker, here's what I told them: "First things first: This Asher Roth album is going to sell. Sorry, kids... My guess is he sells 300K… More »

Album Of The Week: Dropkick Murphys Signed And Sealed In Blood

By Tom Breihan / January 8, 2013 - 4:23 pm
St. Patrick's Day 2001, I'm shipping back up to Syracuse, back to school after a spring break spent doing nothing but playing Wrestlemania 2000 on the Nintendo 64 and drinking with my friends in Baltimore. It's five in the morning, and I haven't slept. My friend Nat was supposed to pick me up the previou… More »

Album Of The Week: Chief Keef Finally Rich

By Tom Breihan / December 18, 2012 - 2:43 pm
If you're willing to publicly admit to enjoying Chief Keef's music, you're going to have to deal with a few uncomfortable realities. For one thing, he certainly presents himself to the world as a pretty loathsome human being: Pointing guns at cops, laughing on Twitter over a teenager's death, annoying everyone he works with whe… More »

Album Of The Week: Big Boi Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors

By Tom Breihan / December 11, 2012 - 11:47 am
After Speakerboxxx, after Big Boi Presents Got Purp?, after Sir Lucious Left Foot, it's now possible to say that Big Boi, the solo artist, has his very own aesthetic -- one pretty far removed from the ruminative Dungeon Family gutbucket soul-funk that animated the first three OutKast albums. Big Boi's sound builds on the anarchic… More »

Album Of The Week: Scott Walker Bish Bosch

By Michael Nelson / December 4, 2012 - 4:16 pm
If you're a regular reader of Album Of The Week, you know this space is traditionally reserved for and occupied by Tom -- every Tuesday, he picks the album and then he writes about it. This week, however, he has asked me to sub in for him on the latter half of those responsibilities. Not… More »

Album Of The Week: Solange True

By Tom Breihan / November 27, 2012 - 12:26 pm
When Jay-Z and Beyoncé showed up at a Grizzly Bear show in Brooklyn three years ago, I was working for Pitchfork and had to write a news story about it, because that's what my life is like. In my original draft, I had a joke about how you kinda have to do what your sister-in-law… More »

Album Of The Week: The Evens The Odds

By Tom Breihan / November 20, 2012 - 3:12 pm
It's hard to imagine any project of Ian MacKaye's going underrated, but there it is. Growing up as a punk kid in Baltimore, in the D.C. scene's shadow, in the '90s, that guy exerted a crazy amount of power over my imagination and the imaginations of just about everyone I knew. Entire networks of kid… More »

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