Music Reviews
Music Reviews

Review: Brockhampton Play to Their Strengths in New Album, "ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE"

Brockhampton blend different sounds, moods and themes into something that emerges as revelatory and reflective of the complexity of emotion

Brockhampton

There has been a lot of awful quarantine content. Like, a lot.

From the early days of the celebrity "Imagine" video to quarantine albums that should have stayed in the vault (sorry, Nick Jonas; we're looking at you), it's been a tumultuous year and music has followed suit.

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Music Reviews

Culture Vulture Justin Bieber Is at It Again with His Surprise Gospel EP, "Freedom"

Justin Bieber has not learned from his last album's criticism and is back with a Gospel EP to take on cancel culture.

Should've kept this one in drafts JB

Justin Bieber has not learned his lesson. After releasing his most recent album Justice, Justin received backlash for using clips of MLK speeches to add the illusion of activism to an album which was ostensibly just full of love songs to his wife.

Despite repurposing Martin Luther King Jr. speeches in a vague overture to social awareness, Justice failed to actually say anything meaningful. The record was admittedly his best since Purpose, but the haphazard combination of love songs and pseudo-activism was problematic at best and willfully ignorant at worst.

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Lana Del Rey

NME

Lana Del Rey's "Chemtrails Over The Country Club" has been released.

It's yet another hazy, escapist offering from a star who is known for her nostalgic — and sometimes regressive — portraits of American lore. Few musicians have woven so many American symbols into their music, but that's always been a part of Del Rey's modus operandi. From Jesus to Elvis, her music was always a tribute to something or someone located out of reach but made immortal by mythology and fame.

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Music Features

Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” Has Passed the Test of Time

On the six years anniversary of its release, TPAP is still as relevant as it was in 2015

Hearing To Pimp a Butterfly for the first time was revelatory.

From the symphonic production to the dynamic, energetic rap flow, Kendrick did not pull any punches. Undeniably a work of protest, the dense theatre of the album hit hard, imbued with equal parts mournfulness and hope.

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Music Reviews

Justin Bieber Using MLK Speeches in “Justice” Is Not the Activism He Thinks It Is

Justin Bieber's new album feels part pop, part christian rock, and part … social activism?

In his latest album, Justice, Justin Bieber seems to think his love for Hailey Bieber and God (in that order) will change the world.

Following the theme of his Grammy nominated 2020 album Changes, Justice is a series of love songs. However, the new album differs in its focus. His love for Hailey is still devotional, but it's less about desire and more grounded, focused on forgiveness and redemption.

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Music Reviews

Jonas’s “Spaceman” Is Sanitized and Unsatisfying

The new Nick Jonas album is perfect ambient noise and not much else

Nick Jonas in "Spaceman"

The formula is simple: Leave your boyband; shave your head; release an evocative, sensual debut album.

For male teen stars looking to transform into commercial artists, breaking out of the tween-box means redefining their appeal for a more grown up audience. Justin Timberlake did it when leaving N'SYNC, Zayn Malik did it after his One Direction era, and Nick Jonas did it after leaving the Jonas Brothers to strike out on his own and release his eponymous album, Nick Jonas in 2015.

It's a tried-and-true formula that transformed Nick from the curly-haired drummer and secret weapon of the band to the clear star of the trio. His debut was preceded by the addictive singles "Jealous" and "Chains," which set a high bar that the album lived up to in spades. From the explosive leading tracks to the practiced seduction of tracks like "Close" and "Teacher" and the ungarnished emotion of "Santa Barbara" and "Push," Jonas showed off his maturity and range.

Since his debut, Nick Jonas has done everything from a stint on Broadway, pursuing his acting career, getting married, and even getting the band back together. But his most recent album, written mostly in quarantine, sees him venturing out on his own again, this time a Spaceman.

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