1. 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 ...

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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 ...

  6. '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- ...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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 ...

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

    June 27, 2014 3:35 PM EDT 0 0 0 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-two ...

  11. 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 (& ...

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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 ...

  19. '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 ...

  20. 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, ...

  21. 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, " ...

  22. 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 ...

  23. 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 ...

  24. 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 ...

  25. 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 ...

  26. Mariah Carey, 'Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse': Track-by-Track Review

    May 23, 2014 10:42 AM EDT In the nearly five years since Mariah Carey's last proper studio album, the singer has given birth to twins, served a stint on "American Idol," and reaffirmed her acting skills with a couple of films thankfully not called "Glit ...

  27. Summer Music Album Preview 2014: 30 Must-Hear LPs

    May 22, 2014 5:53 PM EDT 1.196 k 90 3 As hot as the season, these are the albums set to scorch this summer. As the weather warms and the debate over the "song of the summer" starts to rage, the new season is already jam-packed with great albums on the horizon. There are ...

  28. Coldplay's Haunted 'Ghost Stories' Album: Track-By-Track Review

    May 14, 2014 12:30 PM EDT Coldplay's sixth studio album will forever be tied to frontman Chris Martin's out-of-the-blue announcement that he and wife Gwyneth Paltrow were separating , nearly two months before the full-length's release. The timing of the brea ...

  29. Michael Jackson's 'Xscape': Track-By-Track Review

    May 13, 2014 1:29 PM EDT 1.385 k 222 0 To answer your first question: Yes, it is any good. And about your second: Better than you think.   To be sure, it's a strange project: a Michael Jackson record of vocals out of the vault and all-new music from Timbaland and Jerome &quo ...

  30. Phillip Phillips Expands His Sound on 'Behind The Light': Album Review

    May 12, 2014 1:50 PM EDT When Phillip Phillips won "American Idol" in season 11, it wasn't due to his outgoing personality. In fact, on-air interviews with the Georgia native during the Fox show's 2012 run often felt more like an exercise in single-syl ...

  31. The Black Keys Defy Radio Trends on 'Turn Blue': Album Review

    May 12, 2014 10:57 AM EDT 0 0 0 For lovers of pop music, advance word about the new Black Keys album was a bit alarming. Guitarist-vocalist Dan Auerbach, drummer Patrick Carney and returning co-conspirator/­co-producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton said in recent interview ...

  32. Weezer's 'Blue Album' at 20: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    May 09, 2014 2:25 PM EDT Roughly a month after Kurt Cobain's 1994 suicide , bummed-out rocker kids everywhere met a new potential hero. His name was Rivers Cuomo, and he was a Connecticut-born L.A. transplant with a fetish for melody and secret love of cheesy metal. ...

  33. Tune-Yards Explores Her Daring Side On 'Nikki Nack': Album Review

    May 07, 2014 5:32 PM EDT 0 0 0 About a year-and-a-half after Merrill Garbus, who records under the moniker Tune-Yards, released her breakthrough 2011 sophomore record, "whokill," a groove-inducing tour de force of looped vocals and African-inspired polyrhythms that made ...

  34. Lykke Li Dives Into Heartbreak on 'I Never Learn': Album Review

    May 07, 2014 11:10 AM EDT 0 0 0 Lykke Li has described her third album, "I Never Learn," as the final installment in a trilogy, but the lonely woman at the center of the new set is almost unrecognizable compared with the honeydew-voiced pixie who arrived with 2008's ...

  35. Santana Indulges His Experimental Side on 'Corazón': Album Review

    May 06, 2014 6:05 PM EDT 0 0 0 The best instrumentalists don't just play -- they speak. Instruments can move freely without language or diction hampering them, but that also makes it more challenging to deliver a message or establish an identity. Yet the sound of Carlos Sant ...

  36. The Cure's 'Disintegration' at 25: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    May 01, 2014 2:44 PM EDT 2.491 k 81 28 No need to check the almanac to see what the weather was like on May 2, 1989, the day the Cure released its eighth studio album. Once copies of "Disintegration" started hitting CD trays and turntables, the skies turned grey and the ...

  37. Lily Allen's 'Sheezus': Track-by-Track Review

    April 29, 2014 11:00 AM EDT 3 0 0 In 2006, Lily Allen bounced onto the scene like a cartoon bomb painted to look like a beach ball. Her debut, "Alright, Still," was equal parts sunshine and snark — a ska-pop album about skeevy pick-up artists, sexually dysfunctional exes a ...

  38. OutKast, 'Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik' at 20: Classic Track-by-Track Review

    April 26, 2014 12:25 PM EDT 0 0 0 Hip Hop in 1994, for the most part, was akin to the same government that it was at war with. You had the East Coast acting as the Republican party, leaning on classical sounds and ideologies, while the West Coast promoted the more Democratic, libera ...

  39. Blur’s 'Parklife' at 20: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    April 25, 2014 4:17 PM EDT Because Oasis wrote songs reminiscent of “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be,” they went over huge in America. Blur, their chief rivals in the Britpop wars of the mid-‘90s, were more like the Beatles in terms of inventiveness and musical ability, but they di ...

  40. Kelis, 'FOOD': Track-By-Track Review

    April 21, 2014 1:08 PM EDT For her latest career reinvention, Kelis is trying on a rock-and-soul hybrid helmed by producer Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio) with an album called "FOOD" (out Tuesday on Ninja Tune), conveniently released at the same time as she's ho ...

  41. Pixies’ 'Doolittle' at 25: Classic Track-by-Track Review

    April 18, 2014 2:35 PM EDT 0 1 0 There are some cult classics that could have been hits, and then there are albums like “Doolittle.” Released 25 years ago today, the sophomore effort from wily Boston space cadets Pixies was never going to shift major units, and the fact that it spe ...

  42. Nas, 'Illmatic' At 20: Classic Track-by-Track Review

    April 18, 2014 12:45 PM EDT 2 0 0 There are few artists in hip-hop who have ever truly matched their hype. Twenty years ago today, on April 19, 1994, Nasir "Nas" Jones became one of them. On that day he released his highly-anticipated debut album, "Illmatic." And ...

  43. Run-D.M.C.'s 'Run D.M.C.' at 30: Classic Track-by-Track Review

    March 27, 2014 11:08 AM EDT It's been thirty years since the release of Run-D.M.C.'s self-titled debut LP, which made its way to record stores on March 27, 1984. The album is a cultural landmark, introducing legendary rappers Joseph "Run" Simmons and Dar ...

  44. Shakira, 'Shakira': Track-By-Track Review

    March 25, 2014 11:12 AM EDT Love, motherhood, rock roots, a dab of country here, a drop of reggae there, and of course, Latin dance rhythms. Shakira's "Shakira," her first studio album in four years, may at first blush sound as if it could be a disparate aff ...

  45. Madonna’s ‘Like a Prayer’ at 25: Classic Track-by-Track Review

    March 20, 2014 1:05 PM EDT 6.109 k 320 19 To celebrate its 25th anniversary on March 21, here's our track-by-track look back at Madonna's classic studio album, 1989's "Like A Prayer." By early 1989, the world had come to know Madonna as a dance-pop provocat ...

  46. Foster the People, 'Supermodel': Track-By-Track Review

    March 17, 2014 1:16 PM EDT What's harder than making America dance to a song that's ostensibly about a school shooting? Figuring out how to follow that out-of-nowhere success, of course. With the 2010 single "Pumped Up Kicks," Foster the People mastermin ...

  47. Soundgarden's 'Superunknown' at 20: Classic Track-By-Track

    March 08, 2014 5:05 PM EST Soundgarden was anything but 'superunknown,' when it unleashed its epic album of that name 20 years ago today on March 8, 1994. The Seattle quartet had existed for a decade: they were among the first acts to record for Sub Pop and a le ...

  48. Nine Inch Nails' 'The Downward Spiral' at 20: Classic Track-By-Track

    March 07, 2014 4:46 PM EST Before Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor did upstanding things like marry, procreate, get ripped, and win an Academy Award , he made one of the most upsetting, misunderstood, and enduring album of the ‘90s, “The Downward Spiral,” which turns 20 ...

  49. De La Soul, '3 Feet High and Rising' at 25: Classic Track-by-Track Review

    March 03, 2014 10:20 AM EST Twenty-five years ago today (March 3), De La Soul's seminal debut LP, "3 Feet High and Rising," was released. Widely-regarded as one of the best records of its era, and now almost universally praised, it's among the finest pr ...

  50. Lea Michele, 'Louder': Track-By-Track Review

    February 28, 2014 1:52 PM EST "It's more than just an album to me," "Glee" star Lea Michele recently told Billboard about her debut album "Louder." "It's a piece of my life that I'm so glad is here for me to have for the rest ...

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