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

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

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

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 …

Melody’s Echo Chamber, Rolling Blackouts CF, and more albums to know about this week

Melody’s Echo Chamber pushes its warped psych pop to new lands on Bon Voyage, while Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever debuts with the dreamy, mature Hope Downs, and Chromeo strikes the right balance on fifth LP Head Over Heels. These, plus Immersion and The English Beat in this week’s notable new releases.

Lykke Li, Zeal & Ardor, and more albums to know about this week

Zeal & Ardor forges an exhilarating new sound on second LP Stranger Fruit; Lykke Li turns inward on the hit-or-miss So Sad So Sexy; and bedroom pop gets a hi-fi makeover on Snail Mail’s full-length debut, Lush. These, plus Angélique Kidjo and Lily Allen in this week’s notable new releases.

Ye won’t change your mind on Kanye

In a way, Ye is what everyone wanted. The word “Trump” appears nowhere on the album. Kanye only acknowledges his risible claim that “slavery was a choice” obliquely, and with regrets (“I ain’t finna talk about it another four centuries”). He doesn’t attempt to fit the hateful rhetoric of his YouTube thought leaders in…

Father John Misty, LUMP, The Dreebs, and more albums to know about this week

Father John Misty reaches the apex of hopelessness on God’s Favorite Customer, while Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay (Tunng) embrace the surreal on LUMP, and New York no-wavers The Dreebs take pleasure in the claustrophobic on Forest Of A Crew. These, plus catching up with A$AP Rocky’s recent Testing in this week’s…

Oneohtrix Point Never goes pop, then obliterates it on the excellent Age Of

There are harpsichords all over Age Of, electronic composer Daniel Lopatin’s eighth studio album as Oneohtrix Point Never. It’s an instrument that Lopatin derides in press materials as a “perfectly dumb machine”—one that always reverberates the same, no matter how you strike the keys. That sound, reminiscent of…

The bracing, brilliant Daytona is uncut Pusha T

Pusha T came out of the gate fully evolved. He kicks off the intro to Clipse’s Lord Willin’, released in 2002, talking shit and pushing weight—“Playas we ain’t the same, I’m into ’caine and guns”—a statement of purpose from which he never wavered. He was 25. Over Clipse’s ensuing mixtapes and albums, he and brother…