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Friday, October 20, 2017

“El Dorado” showcases Shakira’s golden mastery

Shakira’s eleventh LP, “El Dorado,” accomplishes a tough challenge for an artist of her stature. Being an international icon is a tough mountain to climb, with easy traps to fall into that can make...

Harry Styles’ self-titled debut shows he can stand on his own post-One Direction

Harry Styles released his first solo album since his days in One Direction. In an interview with The Sun, Styles claimed, “I wanted to put out a piece of me that I haven’t put...

Though louder, the beauty in Girlpool’s vulnerability is still electrifying on “Powerplant”

Since forming in 2012, Girlpool — Harmony Tividad, then 18, and Cleo Tucker, 17 — have adhered to the age-old maxim that honesty is the greatest policy. Vulnerability, not technical know-how, has always been...

Spencer Radcliffe & Everyone Else explore the magic of collaboration on “Enjoy the Great...

In bridging his work as a solo artist and inviting a whole gaggle of friends, Spencer Radcliffe’s acute songwriting capabilities are broadened with “Enjoy the Great Outdoors” — a suitably titled 10-track record of...

Paramore fights through loss and depression with new synth-pop album “After Laughter”

Every time a well-established band comes out with a new record, a wave of fans come out of their dark corridors and proclaim that the band have lost their way — that they don’t sound like their “old...

“Trumpeting Ecstasy” is a blistering shock wave of nihilistic rage

Before disregarding Full of Hell as a by-the-numbers grindcore, black metal, powerviolence or whatever extreme metal hybrid label you prefer (harsh grinding death is still my favorite), consider the versatility in their abrasive sonic...

“Slowdive” and the graceful maturation of ‘90s shoegaze

“Slowdive” is the final act in what the band would liken to a cinematic representation of their musical journey. Fitting, that their debut EP bore their name as well, as if to anticipate the...

“This Old Dog” movingly bridges “Salad Days” to early adulthood

    The first time I ever listened to Mac DeMarco was during the summer of 2015, just after he released his mini-LP “Another One” and just before I started my first year of college. I...

Mary J. Blige reflects on heartbreak but evokes strength in “Strength of a Woman”

Following 2014’s critically acclaimed “The London Sessions,” Mary J. Blige released her 13th album, “Strength of a Woman” on April 28. Rewritten following her divorce with now ex-husband and manager Kendu Isaacs, Blige’s new album reflects on...

Cold War Kids replicates more of the same with “L.A. Divine”

If I told you that I once saw Cold War Kids perform at my middle school’s cafeteria when I was in seventh grade, would you believe me? No? Yes? Well, it's true. See, on...