1. U2's 'The Unforgettable Fire' at 30: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    October 01, 2014 11:00 AM EDT By its third album, 1983’s War , U2 had mined its influences and forged the building blocks of its unique sound. These included Bono’s obliquely heroic lyrics, the Edge’s polished-shrapnel guitar riffs, and the charging rhythms of bassist Adam Cla ...

  2. Album Review: Former My Chemical Frontman Gerard Way Graduates to Glossy Britpop on ‘Hesitant Alien’

    September 30, 2014 4:53 PM EDT Those looking for a "Helena," or a return to the opera-rock of My Chemical Romance 's 2006 winner The Black Parade , on former MCR lead singer Gerard Way 's solo debut, Hesitant Alien , should keep the receipt. On the LP, which ...

  3. Blake Shelton, 'Bringing Back The Sunshine': Track-by-Track Review

    September 30, 2014 4:40 PM EDT On Bringing Back The Sunshine , the eighth studio disc from Blake Shelton , there are plenty of songs that will go hand in hand with weekend parties and celebrations, but if you look a little deeper into the album, you will see another side of the ...

  4. Album Review: Lady Antebellum Moves Away From Its Comfort Zone on ‘747’

    September 30, 2014 2:09 PM EDT Lady A secured its crossover star status with country- and AC-approved hits "Need You Now" and "Just a Kiss," but little in the group's repertoire has elevated it beyond midtempo maestros -- until now. Lady Antebellum Talk ...

  5. Album Review: Prince's First Two Albums In Four Years Are a Mixed Bag

    September 30, 2014 9:20 AM EDT During the first phase of his career, while under contract with Warner Bros., Prince released 18 albums in as many years. Four are absolute masterpieces; two or three others are damn close. Over the next 18 years, after emancipating himself from t ...

  6. Dave Matthews Band’s ‘Under the Table and Dreaming’ at 20: Classic Track-by-Track Review

    September 27, 2014 2:10 PM EDT For many, the idea of a “classic” Dave Matthews Band album is laughable, if not perverse. That goes for fans and non-fans alike. On one side, you’ve got hardcore Daveheads, who generally prefer stretched-out, heavily improvised live versions of so ...

  7. The Beatles' Abbey Road Turns 45: Classic Track-By-Track Review

    September 26, 2014 2:45 PM EDT On Sept. 26, 1969, 45 years ago today, the Beatles ' Abbey Road entered the world and closed the recording career of rock's most celebrated band. The existence of Abbey Road is practically a miracle -- when the Beatles emerged from the ...

  8. Lee Ann Womack, 'The Way I'm Livin': Track-by-Track Review

    September 23, 2014 6:06 PM EDT For Lee Ann Womack fans, the six-year wait comes to an end Tuesday with  The Way I'm Livin' -- the singer's first album since 2008's Call Me Crazy . Was it worth the wait or has Womack stayed away from music-making too long? T ...

  9. Album Review: Weezer’s ‘Everything Will Be Alright in the End’ Attempts Return to Peak Power-Pop Condition

    September 23, 2014 3:03 PM EDT Everything Will Be Alright in the End  may be  Weezer 's best album since 2002's Maladroit , but its competition within the band's catalog isn't exactly steep. Weezer Talks New Music at iHeartRadio Fest: 'We Wanted To Make ...

  10. Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's 'Cheek to Cheek': Track-by-Track Album Review

    September 22, 2014 4:34 PM EDT After years of running from normalcy as fast as her stiletto-clad feet would carry her, Lady Gaga is pulling a Rod Stewart and digging into the Great American Songbook. It just might save her career. This most mainstream of musical moves follows a ...

  11. Jennifer Hudson, 'JHUD': Track-by-Track Review

    September 22, 2014 11:00 AM EDT It's a difficult time for female R&B singers -- right now, Tinashe , Beyoncé and Jhené Aiko are the only three in the top 25 on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts -- and veterans face an especially tough market. Ashanti released an album earlier ...

  12. Janet Jackson's 'Rhythm Nation 1814' Revisited By Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis: Track-by-Track Review

    September 18, 2014 1:50 PM EDT 10.885 k 134 0 0 If Janet Jackson 's third album, 1986's Control , was a declaration of independence, the follow-up, Rhythm Nation 1814 , was a constitution -- a blueprint for the kind of country that this confident, sexy and newly independent 2 ...

  13. Tim McGraw, ‘Sundown Heaven Town’: Track-by-Track Album Review

    September 16, 2014 1:14 PM EDT 0 0 0 Tim McGraw has scored more than 50 top 10 hits on Billboard's Country Airplay chart during the last 20 years. On Sept. 16, the singer rolls out Sundown Heaven Town , his 13th studio album. On the disc,  co-produced by McGraw and longtime collab ...

  14. Chris Brown, 'X': Track-by-Track Review

    September 15, 2014 12:25 PM EDT 2.225 k 135 38 0 Who needs haters when you're your own worst enemy? Chris Brown has been a self-saboteur since his infamous 2009 assault of Rihanna -- a talent whose skill for hit singles and agile performances is only matched by his knack for cannon ...

  15. Arcade Fire's 'Funeral' Turns 10: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    September 12, 2014 1:11 PM EDT Arcade Fire's sprawling set-up is like a small community onstage, but at its core, the band is the songwriting duo of husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne . Both lost a grandparent during the recording of their debut album, an ...

  16. The Notorious B.I.G.'s 'Ready to Die' at 20: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    September 12, 2014 12:50 PM EDT 0 0 0 Excuse Christopher Wallace -- aka the Notorious B.I.G. and aka Biggie Smalls -- for not sounding more enthused. While recording his debut album, Ready to Die -- released 20 years ago this week, on September 13, 1994 -- the 22-year old former drug de ...

  17. Interpol's 'El Pintor': Track-by-Track Album Review

    September 09, 2014 12:50 PM EDT 0 0 0 If you’re Interpol , you must be hearing the words “return to form” a great deal these days. You’ve played the major label game, and retreated back to your original indie home, Matador Records. You lost your iconic bass player, and have struggled to ...

  18. Jhene Aiko, 'Souled Out': Track-by-Track Review

    September 08, 2014 10:45 AM EDT Jhené Aiko 's songs are intimate conversations, which have flourished since the release of her 2011 mixtape Sailing Soul(s ). Her vocals are lithe enough to seduce, while her sharp lyricism and wordplay are tools to knife through a man's ...

  19. Maroon 5 Tightens Up on 'V': Track-By-Track Review

    September 02, 2014 1:06 PM EDT 0 0 0 The guys of Maroon 5 have the art of making pop records down pat. They've been sneaking into ear canals and embedding seemingly irremovable songs in four minutes flat for more than a decade. And lately, they've been doing it spite of lead ...

  20. Oasis' 'Definitely Maybe' at 20: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    August 29, 2014 12:00 PM EDT If Blur hadn’t made it big, frontman Damon Albarn would’ve been A-OK. He’s a clever guy from a good family, and one way or another, this handsome, multi-talented Londoner was going to leave his mark on the world. The same is not necessarily true fo ...

  21. Ariana Grande Expands on 'My Everything': Track-By-Track Review

    August 25, 2014 2:57 PM EDT Ariana Grande's debut album Yours Truly was released almost exactly a year ago, and over the past 12 months, the former Nickelodeon star has transformed from pop artist you ought to know to an undeniable superstar, with three singles in the ...

  22. Brad Paisley, 'Moonshine in the Trunk': Track-by-Track Review

    August 25, 2014 2:30 PM EDT 0 0 0 Brad Paisley 's previous album, 2013's Wheelhouse , was a finely crafted effort that touched on such weighty topics as racism, domestic violence and heartbreak. It stirred controversy when he duetted with LL Cool J on "Accidental Raci ...

  23. Christina Aguilera’s Self-Titled Debut at 15: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    August 22, 2014 1:00 PM EDT 0 0 0 Once upon a time, when ex-Mouseketeers with burning ambition and blinding smiles ruled the universe, there lived two princesses. One was an iffy singer with undeniable sex appeal; the other was a secret soul diva working within record-label constrai ...

  24. Michael Jackson’s ‘Off the Wall’ at 35: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    August 08, 2014 12:40 PM EDT There comes a time in every young man’s life when he must put on a snug tuxedo and gleaming white socks and go his own way. For Michael Jackson , that time was 35 years ago, on August 10, 1979. It was then, weeks shy of his 21st birthday, that Jac ...

  25. Album Review: Electronic Producer Porter Robinson's Dramatic 'Worlds' Is Ideal Headphone Music

    August 06, 2014 6:01 PM EDT Porter Robinson’s Worlds is the product of EDM exhaustion. The 22-year-old electronic producer played nearly every major music festival in 2011 and 2012, delivering well-manicured, crowd-pleasing bangers to the masses. But the used-up arrangements ...

  26. Exclusive: Daddy Yankee's Track-by-Track Review of His 'Barrio Fino,' 10 Years Later

    August 01, 2014 12:45 PM EDT 0 0 0 The King of Reggaeton revisits each track of his album that kickstarted a global Latin movement Ten years ago this week, Daddy Yankee became the first reggaeton act to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart with Barrio Fino . It would ...

  27. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Return to Form with 'Hypnotic Eye': Track-by-Track Review

    July 29, 2014 9:00 AM EDT 0 0 0 As Tom Petty told us three decades and 10 albums ago, on Southern Accents , he’s got his “own way of talking.” He doesn’t drawl quite like the other Floridians, and among the words he pronounces in a wholly unique fashion is “town.” It comes up a lo ...

  28. Beastie Boys’ ‘Paul’s Boutique’ at 25: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    July 25, 2014 12:30 PM EDT 0 0 0 Believe it or not, there was a time when not everyone loved the Beastie Boys . It was back in the late '80s, before "Sure Shot," "Sabotage" and "Intergalactic" cemented their status as both rap and alt-rock elder s ...

  29. La Roux Finds Peace on 'Trouble In Paradise': Track-By-Track Review

    July 22, 2014 6:05 PM EDT When La Roux arrived in 2009 with its Grammy-winning self-titled debut album, the U.K. duo's music smacked of the future. Sure, the songs were rooted in British synth-pop, but the steely beats and singer Elly Jackson's unflappability sugg ...

  30. 5 Seconds of Summer Scores With Debut Album: Track-By-Track Review

    July 22, 2014 12:45 PM EDT Seconds of Summer is not One Direction -- the Australian four-piece, despite being pals with the best-selling boy band, eschews 1D's pop focus and stresses the fact that they play their own instruments. However, 5 Seconds of Summer is also no ...

  31. 'Weird Al' Yankovic's 'Mandatory Fun': Track-by-Track Album Review

    July 15, 2014 3:26 PM EDT It's hard out there for a professional parodist: nowadays, any idiot with a webcam can post his or her version of "Fancy" on YouTube, and if a master idiot like "Weird Al" Yankovic wants to get us tweeting about his send- ...

  32. Jason Mraz's 'YES!': Track-By-Track Review

    July 15, 2014 2:08 PM EDT 0 0 0 A month ahead of releasing his fifth studio album "YES!," Jason Mraz joked to Billboard about his arsenal of adult-contemporary hits. "I used to come out onstage and joke, 'Are you guys ready to light rock?!'" he quippe ...

  33. Morrissey’s ‘World Peace Is None of Your Business’: Track-by-Track Review

    July 08, 2014 12:26 PM EDT 3 1 0 To paraphrase Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, if we don’t know Morrissey by now, we will never, ever, ever know Morrissey. Last year, the famously self-absorbed former Smiths frontman released the memoir “Autobiography,” his 457-page attempt to ...

  34. Hootie & the Blowfish's 'Cracked Rear View' at 20: Classic Track-by-Track Review

    July 02, 2014 3:26 PM EDT 1 1 0 Everyone remembers Hootie & the Blowfish as a good-time, crack-a-brew, "Dude, where's my hacky sack?" sort of band, and that's a testament to the undeniable charm of two songs: "Hold My Hand" and "Only Wanna Be ...

  35. Willie Nelson Drops 'Band of Brothers,' His Best Album in Over a Decade (Review)

    June 27, 2014 3:35 PM EDT What does an 81-year old country music legend do to keep life interesting for himself? Go back to something he’s good at: writing songs. This is, astonishingly, the first Willie Nelson album to be dominated by self-penned material since the one ...

  36. Robin Thicke Reaches Out For 'Paula': Album Review

    June 27, 2014 2:58 PM EDT The begging begins about 55 seconds into "You're My Fantasy," the opening track on "Paula." Over gentle salsa strums, Robin Thicke pleads "please" seven times in a row to a woman whose absence feels ghostlike (& ...

  37. Prince's 'Purple Rain' at 30: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    June 24, 2014 2:25 PM EDT 0 0 0 In 1984, there was only one man in America more popular than Ronald Reagan. His name was Prince, and he was funky. Had Prince run for president that year, he would have certainly carried his native Minnesota—the only state Ronnie lost—and he probabl ...

  38. Ed Sheeran, 'x': Track-By-Track Review

    June 23, 2014 6:36 PM EDT From the start, Ed Sheeran has demonstrated a skill for shrugging off the conventions of mainstream pop while still managing to enjoy its successes: His breakthrough radio single focused on a crack-addled prostitute. "The A Team," from ...

  39. Linkin Park's 'The Hunting Party': Track-by-Track Review

    June 18, 2014 2:27 PM EDT There's a war going down on the new Linkin Park album, the band's first since 2003 not produced by Rick Rubin. Without the guidance of their bearded generalissimo, these Cali rap-rock commandos go rogue, flinging missiles in all directi ...

  40. deadmau5, 'while(1 <2)': Track-By-Track Review

    June 17, 2014 4:20 PM EDT 8 1 0 Joel Zimmerman – aka deadmau5 – has seen his fair share of strife and success in the two years since his last album release. From a tumultuous ended engagement with tattoo artist Kat Von D to a new record deal with Astralwerks, change has been the o ...

  41. Jennifer Lopez, 'A.K.A.': Track-by-Track Album Review

    June 17, 2014 1:40 PM EDT 2 0 0 Jennifer Lopez has long been a jack-of-all-trades, excelling in acting rolls, as an on-stage entertainer and in her assorted business ventures.  “A.K.A.” marks the eighth studio album for the songstress, and first with Capitol Records.  An eclectic ...

  42. Sam Smith, 'In the Lonely Hour': Track-by-Track Album Review

    June 17, 2014 12:17 PM EDT 0 0 0 Not even Disclosure's rise to fame as trendsetters for last year's U.K. garage revival could overshadow Sam Smith, who lent soulful vocals to the Lawrence brother's whiplashing hit "Latch." It was impossible not to notice Sm ...

  43. Lana Del Rey, 'Ultraviolence': Track-by-Track Album Review

    June 16, 2014 2:25 PM EDT 2.325 k 935 5 After the critical drubbing she withstood from late 2011 through early 2012, Lana Del Rey would have been well justified in packing up her party dresses and heart-shaped sunglasses and secluding herself in some Hollywood mansion, "Sunse ...

  44. 'Ghostbusters' At 30: A Soundtrack Appreciation

    June 08, 2014 9:10 AM EDT 2 2 0 It's spooky and it's kooky...and, no, we're not talking about the Addams Family. Thirty years ago this weekend on June 8, 1984, the world got its first taste of "Ghostbusters" -- the Ivan Reitman film starring Dan Aykroyd an ...

  45. Bruce Springsteen's 'Born In The U.S.A.' at 30: Classic Track-By-Track Album Review

    June 04, 2014 9:28 AM EDT 5.601 k 648 0 Bruce Springsteen released the record that would become his biggest-selling album of all time thirty years ago on June 4, 1984. "Born In The U.S.A." would skyrocket Springsteen to global success, get misappropriated by a President, ...

  46. Jack White, 'Lazaretto': Track-By-Track Review

    June 03, 2014 1:15 PM EDT 0 0 0 That rattle and clang can only mean one thing: Jack White 's comin' 'round the mountain, pushing his trusty rusty shopping cart of American musical artifacts and curiosities. This time, he's peddling his second solo album, " ...

  47. Lucy Hale Takes The Appealing 'Road Between': Track-By-Track Review

    June 02, 2014 1:16 PM EDT "Pretty Little Liars" star Lucy Hale is more than just another actor trying to crossover into the music world. She's been singing most of her life, and before she started spending most of her days on sets, she placed in the top 5 o ...

  48. Blink-182's 'Enema of the State' at 15: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    May 30, 2014 1:45 PM EDT 1.679 k 275 0 Five years after Green Day's "Dookie," punk purists had another platinum-selling trio to yell "Sellout!" at. But for everyone not taking themselves so seriously, there was another reason to rock out to teenaged angst ...

  49. Austin Mahone, 'The Secret' EP: Track-By-Track Review

    May 27, 2014 3:21 PM EDT Since Justin Bieber began his pop ascendence in 2009, no male teen solo star has come close to equaling (or surpassing) the Canadian superstar's ubiquity. Artists like Cody Simpson and Greyson Chance each found moderate success after the Bieb ...

  50. Aaliyah, 'Age Ain't Nothing But A Number' at 20: Classic Track-by-Track Review

    May 23, 2014 12:29 PM EDT 0 0 0 The first of Aaliyah's three studio albums is a tease, an outlier and, above all, an annunciation. The rising R&B star was just 15 years old at the time of its 1994 release, and thanks to the risqué title and sultry way she sings these doze ...

Pages