1. A$AP Rocky’s 'At.Long.Last.A$AP' Is the Perfect Experiment: Album Review

    May 29, 2015 11:39 AM EDT 0 0 0 Two years after Beyonce 's self-titled coup, the term "surprise album" has become a misnomer, especially in hip-hop. In the first three months of 2015, Drake , Kendrick Lamar and Earl Sweatshirt all dropped records with little to no w ...

  2. U2 Delivers Life-Affirming Show Following Tour Manager's Unexpected Death

    May 28, 2015 3:27 PM EDT 1.038 k 181 85 To the question of whether Wednesday (May 27) night's U2 show was demonstrably more emotional than usual in response to the death that morning of longtime tour manager Dennis Sheehan, you'd almost have to ask: How would you know, ...

  3. The Who Celebrates 50 Years at Brooklyn's Barclays Center: Live Review

    May 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT 0 0 0 For someone who recently declared that he doesn't enjoy performing,  Pete Townshend  sure puts on a pretty good front…an "Eminence Front," if you will. Performing a two-hour, hits-heavy set as part of their aptly named " The Who ...

  4. Leikeli47 Does Her Own Thing At The Mercury Lounge: Live Review

    May 27, 2015 3:46 PM EDT 0 0 0 Young rapper Leikeli47 occupies a lane of her own. She announces this on her song "Miss America" ("I am an individual, I live in my own world") and she backs up the big talk. While most rappers ignore politics, this one does not. ...

  5. Boosie Badazz Presents His Post-Prison Second Chapter on ‘Touch Down 2 Cause Hell’: Album Review

    May 26, 2015 1:30 PM EDT Baton Rouge, LA., hometown hero Boosie Badazz (formerly Lil Boosie ) has always rapped with palpable urgency. His voice, ­arguably his most distinctive feature, is a piercing drawl that demands attention and drips with pathos. But after finishing ...

  6. Florence & The Machine Displays Different Kind of Vulnerability on ‘How Big How Blue How Beautiful’: Album Review

    May 26, 2015 11:30 AM EDT 1.867 k 71 0 Since Florence Welch made her debut in 2009, she has created music that turns heads and widens eyes. There's no doubt she's a ­flamboyantly imaginative writer and a captivating vocalist and performer. Yet her first two albums, with ...

  7. Drake Changes 'Madonna' Lyrics to Rihanna at Jungle Tour Opener in Houston: Live Review

    May 25, 2015 11:40 AM EDT 0 0 0 Drake knew he flubbed at Coachella. The rapper had already heard all of the criticisms of his headlining set at the festival in April. He promised that he wasn't going to have a show similar to that, one where he seemed like a boy delivering am ...

  8. SHINee Embrace Old & New Sounds on 'Odd': Track-by-Track Review

    May 21, 2015 6:15 PM EDT 0 0 0 Despite initially debuting with a R&B sound , SHINee is arguably most exciting when experimenting -- like when they mashed two album tracks together to promote the "hybrid remix" single "Sherlock" in 2012 or added a pop senti ...

  9. The Best On-Ear Wireless Headphones From $100 to $400

    May 21, 2015 10:00 AM EDT 0 0 0 Like their earbud counterparts, Bluetooth headphones offer more comfort and the option to get rid of wires. Unlike the buds, these on- and over-ear models feature increased external noise reduction and comfort, while sacrificing the flexibility that ...

  10. Shamir Serves Up Sass and Style on Disco-Inspired Debut ‘Ratchet’: Album Review

    May 19, 2015 3:47 PM EDT 0 0 0 It's not just Shamir Bailey's curiosity that makes him special. This is 2015: Shame on any young artist who doesn't love Taylor Swift , Michael Jackson and '80s noise rockers Scratch Acid -- all of whom this 20-year-old Las Vegas ...

  11. Pop Duo Twenty One Pilots Makes a Hot Mess (in a Good Way) on ‘Blurryface’: Album Review

    May 19, 2015 3:40 PM EDT 0 0 0 The great thing about being a pop duo that treats genres like a toddler treats Legos is that even your ­mistakes are fascinating. Such is the case with Twenty One Pilots ' Blurryface , the fourth album by Ohioan road ­warriors Tyler Joseph and ...

  12. Tink Shows Off Her Undeniable Versatility at NYC Showcase: Live Review

    May 19, 2015 1:48 PM EDT 0 0 0 Many young artists discover one thing they're good at it and stick to it. This is the safe play: stay with it and build a following. Tink , a Chicago-born rapper and singer who performed at SOB's in Downtown Manhattan last night as part of ...

  13. Jamie Foxx’s ‘Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses’ Is a Disjointed Outing: Album Review

    May 18, 2015 3:57 PM EDT 0 0 0 Jamie Foxx returns to music with his fifth album, Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses , and little left to prove. He's a double-threat with an Oscar, two Grammy Awards and hits like "Blame It" with T-Pain and Kanye West 's " ...

  14. Rico Love Steps Out On His Own With 'Turn The Lights On': Album Review

    May 18, 2015 11:35 AM EDT 0 0 0 In an interview in January , singer-songwriter/producer/rapper Rico Love identified a turning point in his career: a trio of ballads he wrote several years ago for Melanie Fiona ("4 AM"), Mary J. Blige ("Mr. Wrong"), and Trey Son ...

  15. Death Cab For Cutie, Muse, Florence + The Machine & More Lead KROQ Weenie Roast: Live Review

    May 17, 2015 2:38 PM EDT 0 0 0 For anyone wondering what the alternative music landscape will be in the summer of 2015, look no further than the lineup at KROQ's Weenie Roast Y Fiesta. Topping the bill were the artists with arguably the three most anticipated alternative alb ...

  16. BoA Makes a Stylish Return to Her K-Pop Throne on 'Kiss My Lips': Track-by-Track Review

    May 15, 2015 6:46 PM EDT 0 0 0 With nearly 15 years in the entertainment industry, BoA has little to prove in Korea, where she's widely regarded as a pioneer in K-pop's modern-day international platform. After delving into multiple genres throughout several territories ...

  17. Queen Latifah Is Royal as Empress Of the Blues in ‘Bessie’: Movie Review

    May 15, 2015 6:29 PM EDT Whenever Bessie Smith sang, she ­bellowed. Whenever she walked, she ­strutted. HBO's decades-in-the-making biopic, Bessie , renders the legendary blueswoman's sheer audacity in several magnetic scenes. In the film's first two minute ...

  18. Country Songwriter Chris Stapleton Copes With Loss on Triumphant Solo Debut: Album Review

    May 12, 2015 5:28 PM EDT Chris Stapleton's backstory is something out of a country myth. His dad was a coal miner; the Nashville singer-songwriter, 37, who has written for everyone from Adele to Tim McGraw , was moved to record his solo debut, Traveller , after his d ...

  19. Best Coast Outdoes Itself on Surprisingly Sharp ‘California Nights’: Album Review

    May 12, 2015 2:39 PM EDT Long past the height of their hipster popularity, Los Angeles surf-rockers Best Coast have unexpectedly served up their best album. Since the band first emerged in 2009 as a girl group-meets- Jesus and Mary Chain duo, its sound has undergone sever ...

  20. Snoop Dogg’s Pharrell-Produced ‘Bush’ Is a Half-Baked Effort: Album Review

    May 12, 2015 1:10 PM EDT 0 0 0 As an idea, Snoop Dogg 's 13th solo album, Bush , sounds great. It's his return to character after the detour of 2013's reggae hybrid, Reincarnated (recorded as Snoop Lion), and his first with a single (and ­singular) producer since h ...

  21. Soca Star Machel Montano Brings Brooklyn Home With Carnival-Inspired Show: Live Review

    May 11, 2015 4:50 PM EDT 0 0 0 Before there was Ultra or Electric Daisy Carnival, there was the original fete: Carnival. Across the world, pre-Lenten celebrations have long been among the most debauched (and the most fun). The necessity of sustaining celebrants through hours of d ...

  22. Mumford & Sons Explain Ditching the Banjos at Hard-Hitting Album Release Show: Live Review

    May 09, 2015 10:00 AM EDT 0 0 0 To celebrate their new album Wilder Mind , the lads of Mumford & Sons shared some classics, along with a plethora of new material, at New York's iHeartRadio Theater on Friday night for their album release party. The highly anticipated Wilde ...

  23. The Beatles' 'Let It Be' at 45: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    May 08, 2015 3:35 PM EDT 0 0 0 Over the course of 16 months beginning in early 1969, an ambitious project that was titled  Get Back  and intended to document the back-to-basics rebirth of the Beatles devolved into  Let It Be , a heavily fussed-over hodgepodge of live and studio c ...

  24. Ciara's First Tour in Six Years Is a 'Body Party' to Be Reckoned With: Live Review

    May 07, 2015 11:30 AM EDT 0 0 0 Ciara has always been slightly outside the pop mainstream -- an R&B princess who never ascended the throne. But with six albums under her (eternally stylish) belt, there's no doubt that CiCi's been working. The proof was in the crowd a ...

  25. Chris Stapleton Shows His Inner Stax Soul Man at Album Release Party In New York: Live Review

    May 06, 2015 1:15 PM EDT In recent years, more professional songwriters have been making the move from studio rooms to stage center. This could be due to coincidence -- a critical mass of musical talent coming of age around the same time -- but it's more likely that ...

  26. Ciara Misses an Opportunity on 'Jackie': Album Review

    May 06, 2015 12:40 PM EDT 0 0 0 Coping with an all-too public breakup often yields raw, humanizing creative boosts for music stars -- Marvin Gaye 's withering Here, My Dear is the classic -example. For R&B singer Ciara , whose sexy turn-up jams have always been more style ...

  27. Tyler Farr Goes From Bro to Brooding on Sophomore Album ‘Suffer in Peace’: Album Review

    May 05, 2015 6:06 PM EDT In country songwriting, fighting words are often leavened with robust wit. It couldn't have been lost on Tyler Farr that his first big hit, 2013's cheater-­confronting "Redneck Crazy," came off more menacing than amusing. But h ...

  28. EDM’s Forgotten History Finally Gets Its Literary Due in ‘The Underground Is Massive’: Book Review

    May 05, 2015 5:36 PM EDT 0 0 0 Dance music fans often come under fire for not appreciating its history. But given the scene's experiential nature -- it's fueled largely by festivals, clubs and raves -- some might argue that to really understand its roots, you kind of ha ...

  29. Mana Takes a Genre-Bending Left Turn With ‘Cama Incendiada’: Album Review

    May 04, 2015 4:00 PM EDT 0 0 0 On Maná 's last studio LP, 2011's Drama y Luz , the chart-topping Mexican band embraced gothic tales and angst. But Cama Incendiada (Burning Bed), despite its title -- and singer Fher Olvera's separation from Telemundo star Monica Nog ...

  30. Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea Stay Fancy on 'Pretty Girls': Single Review

    May 04, 2015 10:57 AM EDT 0 0 0 Like "bees to the hon-ayyy," as Britney Spears sings on her new Iggy Azalea collaboration "Pretty Girls," pop and pop-rap fans are likely to swarm this slick slice of electro-hop, which pulls off the blonde-bombshell pairing by p ...

  31. Movie Review: ‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’ Is a Haunted-House Ride Through the Nirvana Frontman’s Psyche

    May 01, 2015 4:51 PM EDT Montage of Heck director Brett Morgen has said that the structure of his ­documentary was inspired by Lenny , Bob Fosse's 1974 biopic about comic Lenny Bruce, another mythologized artist whose life ended tragically. The parallels are there, b ...

  32. Album Review: Mumford & Sons Rock Out But Keep Their Sentiment Intact on ‘Wilder Mind’

    May 01, 2015 4:27 PM EDT 0 0 0 Rock'n'roll transformations are as old as rock'n'roll. The Beatles made some of their best music post-moptops; Dylan incited helter skelter at the Newport Folk Festival. U2 had Zooropa, and Green Day did Broadway. Evolving -- it& ...

  33. Kehlani Releases the Year's First Great R&B Album With 'You Should Be Here'

    April 29, 2015 11:30 AM EDT 0 0 0 Rap was full of seemingly out-of-nowhere success stories last year, but the same was not true for R&B. As more types of music pilfer the genre's signature delivery -- and its singers -- for their own ends, it's tougher for R&B arti ...

  34. Tyler Farr Bares Country's Rough Edges at Irving Plaza: Live Review

    April 29, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Tyler Farr named his latest album Suffer In Peace , but don't let that fool you -- at his release show in New York City last night, there was little serenity to be found. Instead, Farr served up plenty of pugnacious guitar riffs and chest-puff ...

  35. Album Review: Blur Comes to a Personal and Professional Crossroads on ‘The Magic Whip’

    April 28, 2015 2:44 PM EDT 0 0 0 In order to finish The Magic Whip , its first album in a dozen years, Blur had to revisit the past. This wasn't the ­distant past of 1994's Parklife or 1995's The Great Escape , cheeky Britpop triumphs that branded the London foursome ...

  36. Album Review: Zac Brown Band Captures Its Onstage Madness With ‘Jekyll + Hyde’

    April 28, 2015 1:03 PM EDT On the basis of its 13 top 10s on the Hot Country Songs chart prior to Jekyll + Hyde , it's tempting to describe the Zac Brown Band as unreconstructed Southern country-rock. That pun on historical Reconstruction is deliberate, given the Geor ...

  37. Movie Review: DJ AM Documentary Gives the Late Mash-Up Pioneer His Due

    April 27, 2015 2:43 PM EDT 0 0 0 No matter where you go, there you are. That's the central theme of As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM , a documentary on Adam Goldstein, who battled addiction, obesity and depression before becoming one of the first rock-star DJs and then suc ...

  38. Album Review: Reba McEntire Forgoes Radio Fare for Mature Ballads on ‘Love Somebody’

    April 27, 2015 10:44 AM EDT There's really no template for Reba McEntire  to follow at this point. She's a star of a certain age -- 60, if you can believe it -- who's in the Country Music Hall of Fame but still has the drive to make radio-relevant music at a ...

  39. Live Review: Lee Ann Womack Presents an Alternative History of Country at New York's City Winery

    April 21, 2015 5:26 PM EDT Although she's best known for the crossover hit, "I Hope You Dance,"  Lee Ann Womack is a country traditionalist. This speaks to the distance that the genre's center has shifted in 15 years and the durability of Womack as a pe ...

  40. Album Review: Young Thug Exists In His Own Weird World On 'Barter 6'

    April 17, 2015 11:25 AM EDT 0 0 0 Most artists end up being defined by their limitations. At a certain point, songwriting will be hemmed in by imagination or ability. For rappers, voice often dictates range, and no one has more peculiar ways of using their voice than Atlanta's ...

  41. The Replacements Give the People What They Want at Hollywood Reunion Show: Concert Review

    April 16, 2015 7:04 PM EDT “Income tax deduction/One hell of a function,” sang Paul Westerberg , giving a probably inadvertent nod to Tax Day as the Replacements returned to the Hollywood Palladium for the first time since 1991. If the April 15 timing of that line was coi ...

  42. Book Review: The Godfather of Rock Criticism Looks Back With ‘Another Little Piece of My Heart’ Memoir

    April 14, 2015 5:19 PM EDT 0 0 0 In 1966, Richard Goldstein, 21 and looking 15, became America's first full-time rock critic, penning  The Village Voice 's "Pop Eye" column -- a job that was "better than sex with The Shirelles ," he writes in his vivid ...

  43. EP Review: The-Dream Shows a New Dimension on 'Crown'

    April 14, 2015 3:04 PM EDT 0 0 0 Terius Nash, the R&B singer, songwriter and producer who performs as The-Dream , specializes in creating tracks that are triumphant and crushingly melodic. Listen to " Fast Car " (2007) or " F.I.L.A. " (2010): These glistenin ...

  44. Album Review: Alabama Shakes Continue Their Southern Rock Renaissance on 'Sound & Color'

    April 14, 2015 12:05 PM EDT 0 0 0 Consider the Alabama Shakes the torchbearers for the new retro rock. The sound's first wave, sparked in the early 2000s by bands like The Strokes and The White Stripes (plus a ­thousand other groups with "The" in their names), was vie ...

  45. 'Hedwig' Tony Winner Lena Hall Takes On Zeppelin, Bowie, Hozier at NYC Concert

    April 09, 2015 10:50 AM EDT 0 0 0 Did Café Carlyle know what it was in for when it invited multi-hyphenate Lena Hall -- Broadway songstress-slash-rock band-frontwoman-slash-solo singer -- to perform? Probably not, and you could say the same of those who bought tickets for the New Yo ...

  46. Courtney Love, Nick Cave & More Pay Tribute to Allen Ginsberg's 'Howl' in L.A.: Review

    April 08, 2015 4:12 PM EDT 0 0 0 On Tuesday night, Los Angeles' Theater at the Ace Hotel saw a massive convergence of counterculture icons, as Nick Cave , Lucinda Williams , Courtney Love and more paid tribute to Allen Ginsberg's seminal poem "Howl" on its 60th ...

  47. EXO's 'Exodus' Charges Into a New Era of Boy Bands: Track-by-Track Review

    April 03, 2015 9:47 PM EDT 0 0 0 More or less, you know what to expect from your favorite boy band: Backstreet Boys give us straight-forward bubblegum; One Direction  embraces '80s-tinged, rock-pop hooks; and you can count on incredible choreography no matter what genre TVXQ! ...

  48. Haim Sisters & Their Parents Reunite 'Rockinhaim' for L.A. Charity Concert

    April 03, 2015 12:20 PM EDT I can't fathom how the show I'm about to witness is going to surpass soundcheck. But it does. In the middle of a Thursday afternoon, Rockinhaim are reunited to one security guard and a bartender. Rockinhaim are Danielle, Este and Alana ...

  49. Album Review: 'The Album About Nothing' Is Wale's Most Personal and Best Work

    April 02, 2015 2:13 PM EDT 0 0 0 Wale made his breakthrough with the Seinfeld -inspired The Mixtape About Nothing seven years ago. Since, the D.C. rapper has changed record labels, rebounding from the commercial failure of his 2009 debut, Attention Deficit , by topping the Billboar ...

  50. Havana's Daymé Arocena Bridges Gap Between Cuban & American Music

    April 02, 2015 11:15 AM EDT 0 0 0 Daymé Arocena’s vocal repertoire encompasses scatting, Afro-Cuban chanting, scratchy-throated whispers, and a deep, gusty laugh. On her cover of the classic “Cry Me A River” (not the Justin Timberlake track), the 22-year-old from Havana sings to a r ...

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