Lil Wayne’s long-overdue Tha Carter V, plus High On Fire and more in this week’s music reviews

Lil Wayne’s long-delayed Tha Carter V has enough highlights to carry it through, while metal vets High On Fire offer one of their most ass-kicking albums yet, and Philly DIY rockers Swearin’ return restless and reflective on Fall Into The Sun. Plus, we look at the third LP from Death Valley Girls, Darkness Rains.

Cher does ABBA, BROCKHAMPTON sprawls out, and more in this week’s music reviews

Of course Cher pulls off the ABBA tribute Dancing Queen. Elsewhere BROCKHAMPTON continues to reveal new shades on Iridescence, and The Joy Formidable’s Aaarth boasts its most off-kilter anthems yet. Plus, we take a look at Chicago indie-rocker Lillie West’s second outing as Lala Lala.

Jóhann Jóhansson embraces the void on the doom-metal influenced Mandy soundtrack

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Although the film’s aesthetic owes just as much to bad-trip ’70s psychedelia, the phrase you’ll hear most often when describing the psychotronic new Nicolas Cage vehicle Mandy is “heavy metal.” (In his review for The A.V. Club, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky says it has “enough vintage MTV fog machines to kill a hair metal…

Spiritualized’s grand goodbye, Joey Purp’s live-wire mixtape, and more new music reviews

Spiritualized leaves us (maybe, but probably not) with the essential And Nothing Hurt, while Chilly Gonzales’ Solo Piano trilogy ends on a contemplative note, and Chicago MC Joey Purp sounds better than ever on his third mixtape. Plus, we take a look at the latest from Mothers and Ava Luna.

Ariana Grande and Mogwai lead a stellar week in new music

Ariana Grande illustrates once again that she is an unparalleled pop chameleon on Sweetener, while KIN splits the difference between late-period Mogwai and the band’s previous film work, and Midori Takada & Lafawndah pair up for the tightly conceived and elegantly performed Le Renard Bleu. Plus Interpol, The Lemon…

Mitski is alone in the middle of the dance floor on the playful Be The Cowboy

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Mitski makes music about inexpressible emotions—urgent, intimate dispatches that seem to come from her very soul. At least, that’s how many, including this writer, have characterized her past work. And there’s something romantic about the idea that someone has captured the secret fears and desires that perch on the…

Florence + The Machine, Gorillaz, and more albums to know about this week

Florence + The Machine open up old wounds (and stick to old sounds) on High As Hope, while both Gorillaz’s The Now Now and what should be Teyana Taylor’s breakout moment, K.T.S.E., feel unfocused and undercooked. These, plus Panic At The Disco, Jim James, and Dirty Beaches’ Alex Zhang Hungtai in this week’s notable…

Don’t let the preposterous flood of major rap releases make you forget Jay Rock

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It’d be hyperbolic to say this has been the biggest month in hip-hop history, but the sheer wattage of Beyoncé and JAY-Z, Kanye West, Nas, Kid Cudi, Drake, Future, and Pusha T all releasing major new efforts within the span of a month has to be something of a record. This is not even taking into account the regular…

Nine Inch Nails, Kamasi Washington, and more albums to know about this week

Bad Witch is a thin, if rewarding, listen from Nine Inch Nails; while Kamasi Washington’s cinematic soul-jazz is more ambitious than ever on the awe-inspiring Heaven And Earth; and Gang Gang Dance turn in a somewhat too-impeccable sixth LP with Kazuashita. These, plus Martyn and The Orb in this week’s notable new…

Everything Is Love is big enough for Beyoncé and JAY-Z both

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It’s tempting to view Everything Is Love as the conclusion of a trilogy begun with Lemonade, Beyoncé’s revelatory 2016 exploration of JAY-Z’s infidelity. But that narrative didn’t need a sequel, let alone a trilogy; it was self-contained, resolution and all. Jay told his side of the story on last year’s sober, soulful …