Premature Evaluation

Premature Evaluation: Justice Audio, Video, Disco

By Tom Breihan / October 14, 2011 - 4:46 pm

First things first: There’s no “D.A.N.C.E.” on Justice’s sophomore album. There’s not really any “DVNO” either. Much of Justice’s original popular appeal lay in their ability to craft these ridiculously catchy, instantly memorable fizzy dance tunes, and other than a vaguely sticky little vocal line on “Newlands,” they’ve pretty much entirely left that behind now. More »

Premature Evaluation: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

By Tom Breihan / October 12, 2011 - 12:58 pm

Noel Gallagher was the man who wrote virtually all the songs for Oasis, and sang a lot of the best ones. And even though the rest of the band took Liam’s side during the contentious breakup, going off to form Beady Eye, Noel’s solo debut has been the one that’s caused the highest levels of… More »

Premature Evaluation: Björk Biophilia

By Tom Breihan / September 30, 2011 - 11:02 am

Every Björk album has some sort of overarching concept that also serves as an attention-grabbing hook — the Feminist World Warrior album, the A Capella album, the Sexy Bedtime IDM album. For an artist who’s been in the game a long time, that’s a canny approach; it keeps Björk from repeating herself, and it tur… More »

Premature Evaluation: Feist Metals

By Tom Breihan / September 27, 2011 - 11:38 am

The Reminder, Feist’s last album, blew the fuck up because it had a few good singles with great videos, because it showed up prominently in some commercials, and because it generally sounded just about perfect as a low-volume dinner-party soundtrack. That reads as extremely faint praise, but it’s not; The Reminder was a perfectly charming… More »

Premature Evaluation: Das Racist Relax

By Corban Goble / September 9, 2011 - 3:13 pm

To anyone on the Internet with even the slightest music nerd inclination, abstract Brooklyn rap group Das Racist has long been a giant, glowing orb to our mosquitolike existence; it was against our nature to avoid it. And, it’s largely been a great experience — they’ve released a pair of wicked mixtapes, yukked it upMore »

Premature Evaluation: St. Vincent Strange Mercy

By Corban Goble / September 2, 2011 - 12:10 pm

Apparently, the appeal of a girl that looks an American Doll who also happens to create manic, spastic riffs is not lost on the people. Annie Clark’s St. Vincent project has been universally admired and rhapsodized over ever since she sprung from Sufjan’s Stevens’ band (which also serves as some kind of songwriting academy). Her… More »

Premature Evaluation: M83 Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

By Tom Breihan / August 31, 2011 - 2:19 pm

Anthony Gonzalez has spent the better part of three years working on the grand, expansive double LP Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, and it shows. The new M83 album sounds incredible, and it sounds incredible in the sort of way that lets you know real work went into every single synth-plink in the album’s 1.2 hours. More »

Lil Wayne Tha Carter IV Premature Evaluation

By Tom Breihan / August 25, 2011 - 12:26 pm

For my money, Lil Wayne hit a crazy sustained peak in late 2005, when he released the great Tha Carter II, and he kept it going throughout 2006’s barrage of mixtapes and stray tracks. It felt like a privilege to witness what was happening there: A rapper working at the genre’s highest pop-cultural levels, finding… More »

The Rapture In The Grace Of Your Love Premature Evaluation

By Tom Breihan / August 23, 2011 - 2:55 pm

Five years is a long time. The Rapture’s last album, Pieces Of The People We Love, came out almost exactly five years ago, on the same day Justin Timberlake released FutureSex/LoveSounds. Pieces never found anything like the exalted reputation as Echoes, the band’s previous album, but I loved the thing. Especially heard back-to-back with Timberlake’… More »

Beirut The Rip Tide Premature Evaluation

By Stereogum / July 5, 2011 - 1:23 pm

On first listen, Beirut’s third full-length, the first since 2007’s The Flying Club Cup, glides by almost too easily. The more time you spend with it, though, the more it becomes clear The Rip Tide‘s initial easy familiarity (and subsequent deepening) is a testament to Zach Condon’s continued growth as a songwriter. He’s able to… More »

Arctic Monkeys Suck It And See Premature Evaluation

By Stereogum / May 25, 2011 - 2:10 pm

Arctic Monkeys’ James Ford-produced fourth album is consistent. “Consistency” on the Josh Homme-helmed Humbug at times equaled same-same doldrums; on Suck It And See, the sustained “vibe” contributes to an ambiance and arc that remains interesting as it picks up steam. It’s not all that difficult figuring out why: In this case, less proves more. More »

Bon Iver Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / May 18, 2011 - 3:10 pm

From those three months alone in a Wisconsin cabin to sharing a stage with collaborator Kanye West, Justin Vernon’s traveled far on the back of his angelic falsetto. When he self-released For Emma, Forever Ago in 2007 he probably didn’t expect Peter Gabriel to cover “Flume” a couple years later. Or to have West sampling… More »

My Morning Jacket Circuital Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / May 6, 2011 - 3:27 pm

My Morning Jacket’s popularity has exploded over the last few years: See, for instance, their Madison Square Garden New Year’s appearance in 2009, guest spot on American Dad, and week-long residency at Terminal 5 in 2010. All of this even though, depending on who you ask, the band’s never matched It Still Moves or Z. More »

Washed Out Within And Without Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / May 4, 2011 - 2:27 pm

It’s hard to say if the term “chillwave” actually means anything. In the age of countless one-person bands with oceans on their MySpaces, the term’s been applied to just about anybody chipping away at a hazy, nostalgic bedroom style, a style that appeared easy enough to replicate, received a ton of attention fast, has helped… More »

Okkervil River I Am Very Far Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / May 3, 2011 - 9:48 am

The temptation to enter an Okkervil River album through its lyrics is just as strong with I Am Very Far as it is with their other albums. But the tone’s different this time around: Will Sheff always impresses us with his wordplay and namedropping, but the first thing that jumps out here is the violence… More »

Liturgy Aesthethica Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / April 29, 2011 - 1:20 pm

You probably noticed that we experimented with an Editor’s Score for the past few Premature Evaluations. The feedback we received suggested these Stereogum ratings weren’t necessary, or necessarily what people liked about PE, so we decided to chop them. We’ve kept the Stereogum Readers’ Rating, though, so you can offer your feedback both via commentsMore »

The Antlers Burst Apart Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / April 26, 2011 - 5:40 pm

Hospice, the Antlers’ breakthrough album, was a lot like the ghost that lived in its songs: beautiful, frightening, a little bit stifling. You can’t fault the band for abandoning that heaviness this time around — it must have been twice as devastating to record as it was to listen to. So, yes, Burst Apart lack… More »

Beastie Boys Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / April 25, 2011 - 5:34 pm

Unlike the Beastie Boys’ instant vintage, nostalgia and cameo-heavy video for lead single “Make Some Noise,” Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 features just two guests. Both are significant, though: there’s Nas on “Too Many Rappers,” tying them to an old NYC colleague, and there’s “Don’t Play No Games That I Can’t Win” with its cameo… More »

Krallice – Diotima Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / April 21, 2011 - 3:21 pm

In four years Krallice have managed to release three complex, hypnotic, ambitious, whirlpooling albums — even with its four members performing in a dozen or so outside bands. The biggest structural shift since the early days is the increased role of bassist/vocalist Nick McMaster, who joined guitarist/vocalist Mick Barr, Warr guitarist Colin Marston, and drummer… More »

Wild Beasts – Smother Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / April 20, 2011 - 4:35 pm

Wild Beasts were winking at us when they gave us a song named “Albatross,” the slow-moving and slinky first single from the band’s third album. Hayden Thorpe’s impossibly pretty falsetto was there, as were the band’s hypnotic, looping drums, but something felt muted, missing. It made you worry for the rest of the record. Listening… More »

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