Reviews

SZA – ‘SOS’ Album Review

Photo Credit: Mary Ellen Matthews The run-up to SZA’s sophomore effort SOS has been long, unpredictable, and reliably confounding. Its lead single – and SZA’s first solo top-ten hit – “Good Days” arrived almost two years before the rest of the album and wouldn’t enjoy an official music video until March 2021, by which time… Read more

Nickelback – ‘Get Rollin’ Album Review

Photo Credit: Richard Beland Since their debut in 1996, or at least certainly since their multi-platinum 2001 breakthrough Silver Side Up, Nickelback has generally been perceived as an unfortunate bi-product of the early ’90s Seattle grunge sound. However, on their tenth album Get Rollin’, Nickelback seems to have more common with the dominating rock genre… Read more

Kygo – ‘The Thrill of the Chase’ Album Review

Photo Credit: Johannes Lovund EDM, perhaps more than any other genre, defined the commercial music of the 2010s. When you think about the biggest, most inescapable hits of the decade, you realize a majority of them belong to this genre – the late Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” Major Lazer, DJ Snake, and MØ’s “Lean On”… Read more

L.S. Dunes – ‘Past Lives’ Album Review

Photo Credit: Zachary Spangler The debut album of supergroup L.S. Dunes was always going to be met with impossible-to-fulfill expectations – how could a collaboration between the Circa Survive lead singer Anthony Green and My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero among others not? This sense of high expectations, and an eagerness to fulfill them, come… Read more

Gryffin – ‘Alive’ Album Review

Photo Credit: Savanna Ruedy There’s one track tucked in the middle of Gryffin’s 2019 debut Gravity that suggested the then 31-year-old could be EDM’s next great hope. “If I Left The World” begins, seemingly, as a traditional song about lost love, but in its second verse evolves into one about crushing isolation and even suicide… Read more

Gashi – ‘ELEVATORS’ Album Review

Photo Credit: RCA Records Gashi is the sort of musician you can’t help but root for. He has a deeply inspiring backstory; having turned to rap music for a salve as a refugee child struggling to adapt to the English language and life in New York. Moreover, his vision of rap music is a deeply… Read more

Matt Maeson – ‘Never Had to Leave’ Album Review

Photo Credit: Jimmy Fontaine / Atlantic Records While the cover artwork and a couple of the song titles (“Blood Runs Red,” “Lawless Dream,” “Twisted Tongue”) might suggest that it’s a heavy metal album, Matt Maeson’s second full-length album Never Had to Leave is instead a tight and compelling collection of well-produced alternative rock and folk… Read more

Ethel Cain – ‘Preacher’s Daughter’ Album Review

Photo Credit: Helen Kirbo Surely you haven’t heard a more ambitious album concept in 2022 than this: a 105-minute concept album – the first installment of a trilogy – that traces the journey of a character escaping a fundamentalist home only to meet a gruesome end at the hands of a cannibalistic psychopath. All of… Read more

Disturbed – ‘Divisive’ Album Review

Photo Credit: Travis Shinn Chicago’s Disturbed is already one of the most successful heavy metal bands to debut (on record) in the twenty-first century, boasting among other accomplishments four consecutive studio albums going to number one in the U.S. since Believe in 2002 (even Immortalized topped the charts in 2015, despite the band taking an… Read more

The Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts’ Album Review

Photo Credit: Paul Elledge During the early and mid ’90s, the Smashing Pumpkins (hailing from Chicago) became probably the most popular and influential band to come out of the alternative music boom who were not from (or connected to) the Seattle grunge scene. Lead singer/multi-instrumentalist/principal songwriter Billy Corgan dissolved the Pumpkins in 2000, but after… Read more