Author Archives: R.J.

The Life of Pablo

Band: Kanye West Album: The Life of Pablo Best song: “No More Parties in L.A.” Worst song: “I Love Kanye West” is dumb. The Life of Pablo was finally released Sunday — two days after it was supposed to be released and three days after a pretty weird fashion show/listening party at Madison Square Garden — and […]

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Abyss

Band: Chelsea Wolfe Album: Abyss Best song: “Iron Moon.” “Grey Days.” “Carrion Flowers.” “Crazy Love.” Worst song: “Maw” isn’t as strong as the other songs. What can I say about Chelsea Wolfe that I haven’t already said? The California-based singer/songwriter is my favorite current artist and someone about whom I’ve sung overwhelming praise. Her fifth (or sixth, […]

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Kitsune

Band: Marriages Album: Kitsune Best song: “Ride in my Place” Worst song: “Pelt” is the least conventional, but the album plays like one giant song. My lack of writing in this space exposes two things. The first is that I’m a lazy sack of crap and need to work more on getting more reviews up. A scant […]

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Carrie & Lowell

Band: Sufjan Stevens Album: Carrie & Lowell Best song: “Fourth of July” Worst song: “Drawn to the Blood” is not as strong as the rest of the record. There’s a conversation to be had about Sufjan Stevens, his religiosity, his skillset, his campiness and his general whiteness (I believe Pitchfork touched on the whiteness of the indie […]

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Singles

Band: Various Album: Singles Best song: “Birth Ritual” and “Would?” are classics. Worst song: “Waiting For Somebody” is so so dumb. Part of being old is the mistaken belief that the thing from one’s youth are the best things to have ever existed. I’ve written about it a million times, but — if I can pat myself […]

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Prism

Band: Katy Perry Album: Prism Best song: “Roar,” I guess. Worst song: “Unconditionally” is bad. Despite my general disdain for the National Football League, I really like having a party for its biggest event. I would agree with what Natalie Shure said this year. Super Bowl Sunday parties are a good reminder that my love of Doritos […]

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St. Vincent

Band: St. Vincent Album: St. Vincent Best song: “Digital Witness” is certainly the smartest of the songs on the record. Worst song: “I Prefer Your Love” is good, but nothing special. It’s that time of the year: Everyone with a voice is talking about their favorite things of 2014. I don’t make “Albums of the Year” a […]

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Mic City Sons

Band: Heatmiser Album: Mic City Sons Best song: “Plainclothes Man” is among Elliott Smith’s best songs. Worst song: I am lukewarm on “Eagle Eye.” I’ve referenced this before, but Patton Oswalt has a track on his record Werewolves and Lollipops called “At Midnight, I Will Kill George Lucas With a Shovel.” The premise is that if we […]

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Electric Guitar One

Band: Emma Ruth Rundle Album: Electric Guitar One Best song: “For Paul” Worst song: “Dialogue Preceding” One of the self-evident parts of fandom is the strange reality of coming near the subject of said fandom. I suspect it’s not a real thing for super duper mainstream artists. Let me back up. I’ve interviewed a bunch of musicians […]

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Wildflowers

Band: Tom Petty Album: Wildflowers Best song: The title track is one of my favorite Petty songs. Worst song: “Hard on Me” isn’t the best. After the Concert for Valor, I had an interesting conversation with my boss (a big Springsteen fan) about a certain brand of straight rock and roll and its place in society. He […]

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