Album Of The Week

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 »

Album Of The Week: Roc Marciano Reloaded

By Tom Breihan / November 13, 2012 - 1:43 pm
Here are the things I remember about the Flipmode Squad, Busta Rhymes' late-'90s rap crew: Rah Digga, the female rapper with the supremely tough and husky voice, who went on to a pretty decent solo career years after she came close to bodying Lauryn Hill on the Fugees' own "Cowboys." Spliff Star, the antic hypema… More »

Album Of The Week: Prince Rama Top 10 Hits Of The End Of The World

By Tom Breihan / November 6, 2012 - 12:39 pm
It's not like I've spent a vast chunk of my life thinking about Brooklyn deep-psych sister-act Prince Rama, but when I have thought of them, I haven't always thought the nicest of things. At their inception, the Larson sisters always struck me as collegiate art-stoners who wore their Floridian Krishna-commune upbringings like cooler-than-you badges. That'… More »

Album Of The Week: Neil Young & Crazy Horse Psychedelic Pill

By Tom Breihan / October 30, 2012 - 2:57 pm
Sometimes, in the course of writing this column almost every week for the past year, I've had the following response to hearing a great album for the first time: "Fuck, now I have to decide if this is better than this other great album." The whole Album Of The Week idea is, admittedly, entirely a… More »

Album Of The Week: Kendrick Lamar Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City

By Tom Breihan / October 23, 2012 - 12:20 pm
As little as five days ago, I was worried about this album, and I had plenty of cause to be. Rappers, for the most part, don't make great major-label debuts anymore, and nobody much expects them to. They might make great mixtapes, but the actual album-release is where label expectations start to come into play,… More »

Album Of The Week: Godspeed You! Black Emperor Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

By Tom Breihan / October 16, 2012 - 3:42 pm
I may have heard these songs before. "Mladic" and "We Drift Like Worried Fire," the two 20-minute slabs of epicness that make up the meat of Godspeed You! Black Emperor's new album Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!, were in the band's live rotation when they blinked out of existence in 2003. That year was also the… More »

Album Of The Week: Converge All We Love We Leave Behind

By Tom Breihan / October 9, 2012 - 3:38 pm
This week is a big one for new albums, especially if you like the sounds that electric guitars make when they're turned up loud. I'm not as besotted with Tame Impala's new Lonerism as a lot of people seem to be, but the album does a nice job turning '70s bongwater-psych into a prettily fractal… More »

Album Of The Week: Miguel Kaleidoscope Dream

By Tom Breihan / October 2, 2012 - 2:46 pm
Before I get into this absolutely lovely new Miguel album, I'd like to say a quick word about the Mountain Goats. The Mountain Goats are quite possibly my favorite band on the face of the earth, but their albums almost never reveal themselves to me right away. It takes months, maybe years, for them to… More »

Album Of The Week: Empty Flowers Six

By Tom Breihan / September 25, 2012 - 2:51 pm
The first song on Six, the first album from the Connecticut band Empty Flowers, begins with a rising, chiming drone: Single-chord guitars wrapping themselves slowly around a metronomic drum beat, intensity gradually rising, no words beyond a few barely-audible mumbles buried deep in the track. And then, two and a half minutes in, there's a… More »

Album Of The Week: Grizzly Bear Shields

By Amrit Singh / September 18, 2012 - 4:34 pm
It's not to say that the Album Of The Week selection for this second week of September has always been a foregone conclusion. This slate on September 18th is actually full of great efforts by a broad set of worthy artists, all situated in the upper echelon of their respective niches -- see the laptop-enabled… More »

Album Of The Week: Cult Of Youth Love Will Prevail

By Tom Breihan / September 4, 2012 - 3:11 pm
This is a big day for new albums: Animal Collective's Centipede Hz, Cat Power's Sun, Jens Lekman's I Know What Love Isn't, the Fresh & Onlys' Long Slow Dance, plenty of others. And all the albums I named have good things going on. But other than the stunning Cat Power album, which I've already writtenMore »

Album Of The Week: Swans The Seer

By Tom Breihan / August 28, 2012 - 3:01 pm
As a music dork, two of the most transcendent, quasi-religious experiences you can have are going to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Neurosis live. And after I saw Neurosis a few years ago, something occurred to me: The two shows are pretty much negative mirror images of each other. Both bands are full of… More »

Album Of The Week: Jessie Ware Devotion

By Tom Breihan / August 21, 2012 - 2:53 pm
I spent something like five seasons recapping American Idol, so I feel like I can tell you some things about backup singers. Along with church wailers and vocal instructors and major-label refugees and yarly bar-rock frontmen, backup singers are fixtures on shows like Idol, and they almost never work out. Obviously, they can sing the… More »

Album Of The Week: Dead Can Dance Anastasis

By Tom Breihan / August 14, 2012 - 1:45 pm
My wife, just now: "Are you listening to monk music up there?" Close enough! Among the vampire-pop auteurs who first gave 4AD Records its signature sound, Dead Can Dance were the ones whose music sounded the most ancient and ritualistic, and that was certainly by design. The Australian duo pulled from different ancestral-music traditions from… More »

Album Of The Week: Redd Kross Researching The Blues

By Tom Breihan / August 7, 2012 - 2:25 pm
Culturally, at least, it's hard to imagine a worse cultural moment for a Redd Kross comeback. Think about all the strains of underground rock currently running shit -- orchestral chamber-pop twinkle, dazed reverb-damaged whoosh, elegant pop-soul groan, muffled post-chillwave thump -- and you'll notice that none of them have the tiniest bit to do with… More »

Album Of The Week: Nachtmystium Silencing Machine

By Tom Breihan / July 31, 2012 - 2:43 pm
I've already written in this space that black metal, by and large, is just a thing that I don't get. The tinny guitar tones, the hummingbird-fast drum assault, the total abandonment of recognizable song-form -- none of it makes a whole lot of sense to me. But the one straight-up black metal album that grabbed… More »

Album Of The Week: The Gaslight Anthem Handwritten

By Tom Breihan / July 24, 2012 - 2:57 pm
When the Gaslight Anthem first crossed my radar four years ago, I remember being overjoyed that a punk band like this could still exist, that there was still gold left in them thar hills. The Gaslight Anthem that recorded The '59 Sound, their ridiculously great 2008 breakout, were proud inheritors of a brawny, no-bullshit Jersey… More »

Album Of The Week: Baroness Yellow & Green

By Tom Breihan / July 17, 2012 - 2:35 pm
Even amidst the ridiculously fertile and fun Georgia metal scene, Baroness have always stood out because they've figured out how to be heavy and approachable at the same time. Debut LP Red Album brought sledgehammer riff-churns, but it married them to a sense of reaching-for-infinity melodic lift that few other underground metal bands even attempt,… More »

Album Of The Week: Twin Shadow Confess

By Tom Breihan / July 10, 2012 - 3:13 pm
You may have already noticed this, but we're having a big week for new music. It seems weird to think that the big-leap sophomore album from a young, hyped-up Brooklyn '80s pastiche-artist might fly under the radar, but that's happening just a tiny bit with Twin Shadow's Confess. Confess happens to land on the same… More »

Album Of The Week: Old Man Gloom NO

By Tom Breihan / July 3, 2012 - 11:48 am
Some release weeks are just slow. I try to find something to get amped about every week, but this time I just couldn't do it. Last week, by contrast, was a pretty busy one. DIIV, R. Kelly, and eventual winner Ty Segall all released seriously strong albums, albums that had pretty much nothing in commo… More »

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