Premature Evaluation

Premature Evaluation: Björk Biophilia

By Tom Breihan / September 30, 2011
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
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
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, yukkedMore »

Premature Evaluation: St. Vincent Strange Mercy

By Corban Goble / September 2, 2011
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). More »

Premature Evaluation: M83 Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

By Tom Breihan / August 31, 2011
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
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
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
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… More »

Arctic Monkeys Suck It And See Premature Evaluation

By Stereogum / May 25, 2011
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 prove… More »

Bon Iver Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / May 18, 2011
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… More »

My Morning Jacket Circuital Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / May 6, 2011
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
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
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
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
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
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 it… More »

Krallice – Diotima Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / April 21, 2011
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
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. More »

Jamie Woon – mirrorwriting Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / April 19, 2011
Someone might have introduced Jamie Woon to you as “the next James Blake.” They have different strengths -- Woon the superior falsetto, Blake the better songs. Early into mirrorwriting you’d think they also shared the same sense of restraint. “I’ve acquired a taste for silence” Woon sings on the Burial-co-produced opener “Night Air.” Like… More »

Battles – Gloss Drop Premature Evaluation

By stereogum / April 18, 2011
Beginning today we'll be publishing Premature Evaluations more frequently, and in a briefer format. These posts will also feature point ratings via a 5 Star System, but we'll consider a more flexible alternative down the road. You should submit your own album rating (and hopefully a comment explaining your rationale) after you read our reviewMore »

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