Review: Alicia Keys Offers Best Album in a Decade with ‘ALICIA’

Exactly one year and one day ago, Alicia Keys gently kicked off the ALICIA album era. Though we didn't know it at the time, "Show Me Love" - her amorous collaboration with Miguel - ended up being the lead single, and the first of many on the long road to ALICIA. After the thumping "Time…

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Review: Sara Bareilles Offers ‘More Love’ in ‘Little Voice’ Concept Album

Sara Bareilles has kept us all guessing a lot in the last decade, continuing to surprise us as she ventures into uncharted territory time and time again. She's expanded from pop music to writing books -- Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) In Song -- and composing music for musicals -- Waitress; see also…

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The Weeknd Updates ‘After Hours’ Album With 3 New Bonus Tracks

Ten days ago, The Weeknd released his long-awaited new album, After Hours. It’s an impressive record, and has launched the singles “Heartless,” “Blinding Lights,” and "In Your Eyes" – each with a music video. The Weeknd already surprised fans when he updated digital versions of the album to include five bonus tracks, including four remixes and…

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Review: Green Day’s ‘Father Of All…’ Is Fun But Underwhelming

Green Day has been my favorite band for the last 15 years. American Idiot ushered me in, and while I went back and enjoyed their earlier albums, I also found myself loving each album that has come out since then. Yes, even the trilogy, which was polarizing among fans and casual listeners alike. So when…

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Hear Previously Unreleased Hoobastank Song, “Force Feed Me”

Today, Hoobastank released the 15th Anniversary version of their celebrated album, The Reason. The band prepared fans by first sharing a new lyric video for their bonus track, “Right Before Your Eyes,” then unveiling an acoustic version of the title track. Now that the album is out, fans can finally hear a previously unreleased song from those…

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Review: Lana Del Rey Shines On Refreshing ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’

Lana Del Rey began the Norman Fucking Rockwell era almost an entire year ago when she released both "Mariners Apartment Complex" and "Venice Bitch" in September 2018. They came just over a year after her 2017 album, Lust For Life, and indicated a continuation of some of the sounds we heard on that record. While…

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Review: Natasha Bedingfield Makes Superb Return With ‘Roll With Me’

It's been nine years since Natasha Bedingfield released her last album, Strip Me. And although many may think of her new album, Roll With Me, as a comeback, Natasha doesn't see it that way. Indeed, she never stopped making and playing music. She was writing and recording songs regularly, even though fans only got to…

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Review: Of Monsters And Men Expertly Marry Contrasting Sounds In ‘Fever Dream’

It's been four years since Of Monsters And Men released their last album. Following Beneath The Skin in 2015, the Icelandic band made their comeback with "Alligator" this May. Already, the single promised a new, more energetic sound for the group. On Fever Dream, Of Monsters And Men expertly blend their familiar folk rock style…

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Review: ‘III’ Is BANKS’ Most Daring & Dynamic Album Yet

Before working on her third album, BANKS needed a bit of a break. After the whirlwind of her first two album eras - we got Goddess in 2014 and The Altar in 2016 - she deserved some time to absorb everything and live more freely. The break didn't last too long, but it did give…

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Review: Editors’ ‘Violence’ Tracks Reimagined On ‘The Blanck Mass Sessions’

Last February, Editors revealed they would be releasing The Blanck Mass Sessions, an album of reimagined takes on the songs fans first heard on their 2018 album, Violence. While Violence offered a masterful blend of Editors' rock and electronic sides, the songs didn't always sound so balanced. The band first sent their recordings to Blanck…

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Review: Sara Bareilles Shines On Honest & Rich ‘Amidst The Chaos’

It's been six long years since Sara Bareilles released her last pop album, The Blessed Unrest. After gracing the world with songs like "Brave" and "I Choose You," Sara took an unexpected turn into books and theater. In October 2015, Sara released a memoir, Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) In Song. She also…

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Review: Avril Lavigne Makes Triumphant Return With ‘Head Above Water,’ Her Best Album Yet

It's been over five years since Avril Lavigne released her eponymous fifth album, the longest gap between records in her career. But that time off was necessary, and far from a simple break. Early in 2015, Avril revealed she was battling Lyme Disease and had been bed-ridden for months. It took her years to recover,…

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See “Lithium” Performance From Evanescence’s ‘Synthesis Live’ DVD

Two months ago, Evanescence released their new live album and DVD, Synthesis Live, featuring performances of the band's beloved back catalogue reimagined in a new style. It only came out physically at the time. Today, to celebrate the live album's new availability in digital formats, Evanescence just shared a video of their "Lithium" performance. "Lithium"…

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Review: Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness Captures Nostalgia With Vivid Storytelling On ‘Upside Down Flowers’

Today, just one year after releasing his second album, Zombies On Broadway, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness dropped his impressive new album, Upside Down Flowers. This marks Andrew McMahon's third album under his Wilderness moniker. Although his previous bands, Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin, each stopped after their third albums, with Upside Down Flowers, Andrew…

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Review: Muse Strikes Perfect Balance On Grand ‘Simulation Theory’

After a year and a half of singles and hype, today Muse released their 8th studio album, Simulation Theory. In an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, frontman Matt Bellamy stated that by releasing singles as they recorded them, he felt their album would be stronger in the long run. "I think it’ll be…

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Review: Ghost Proves Undying Magnetism On ‘Prequelle’

Coming off of heightened success and a few tumultuous years, Ghost is back with a new album, Prequelle! After their 2015 LP Meliora, their Popestar EP in 2016, and a live album called Ceremony And Devotion last December, Tobias Forge has returned with a brand new lineup of sorts. Papa Emeritus is out as the leader, and Tobias…

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Review: Hoobastank Revisits Funk On Refreshing ‘Push Pull’

It's been six long years since Hoobastank released their last album, but finally they're back in action. The band began recording the new music in fall 2016, but a few returns to the studio to record additional tracks delayed its release. Produced by Matt Wallace, Push Pull is the long-awaited followup to Fight Or Flight, and…

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Review: Janelle Monáe Crafts Pop Masterpiece With ‘Dirty Computer’

It's been 5 long years since Janelle Monáe released her last album, 2013's The Electric Lady. But it's clear that her new record, Dirty Computer, was well worth the wait. From the dual lead singles we got in February through the very last track on the album, Janelle truly outdid herself. February brought a double-whammy…

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Review: Green Day Frontman Returns To Rollicking, Simple Fun With New Band The Longshot’s ‘Love Is For Losers’

Billie Joe Armstrong is best known as the frontman for Green Day, but he's always churned out extra music with his various side projects. He started playing with Pinhead Gunpowder in the early 1990s; he and his Green Day bandmates formed two side bands in the 2000s: The Network and Foxboro Hot Tubs. Billie Joe…

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Review: Editors Masterfully Blend Rock & Electronic Sides On ‘Violence’

Editors are a unique band that have long balanced two opposing sides that make up their repertoire. In 2005, they launched their career with energetic, guitar-driven music, a band-oriented sound that fit with modern British rock of the time. But after a second album in that same style, Editors were ready to explore new territory.…

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Review: Michelle Branch Is Reborn On Long-Awaited Comeback ‘Hopeless Romantic’

At the beginning of the century, you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing a Michelle Branch song blasting through the speakers. Songs like "Everywhere," "All You Wanted," and a Santana collaboration called "Game Of Love" were pop rock staples that appeared, well, everywhere, from MTV to popular romantic comedies. But Michelle left that all behind…

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Review: The Weeknd Shines Bright On ‘Starboy,’ One Of The Best Albums Of 2016

The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) is one of those rare talents that seemingly comes out of nowhere before entrancing you with his original and consistently striking music. He suddenly appeared on the music scene in 2010 with a series of mixtapes - eventually packaged as the compilation Trilogy in 2012 - before releasing his first studio album,…

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Review: Bruno Mars Trades In Charm For Riches On ’24K Magic’

Bruno Mars has had an enviable career so far. After writing songs for other artists as he struggled to be taken seriously as a performer himself, he took the world by storm with his debut album, Doowops & Hooligans. “Just The Way You Are” was a stellar first single that showed both quality writing and…

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Review: Metallica ‘Hardwired… To Self-Destruct’: Thrash Is Back!

Hardwired... To Self-Destruct is arguably the most anticipated metal album of 2016. It’s been 8 years since Death Magnetic came out, and Metallica has some good excuses for the long gap. They founded their own record label, released a full length album with Lou Reed, released a self-produced movie, and of course toured around the…

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Review: Alicia Keys Navigates Personal & Social Issues Earnestly On ‘Here’

Ever since Alicia Keys burst onto the music scene 15 years ago, she's had important things to say with the inspired music to back them up. Although her last two albums have felt a bit predictable and safe, her latest record brings back some of her early spark. Her sixth album, Here is Alicia's biggest statement…

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‘Liberman Live’ Is Vanessa Carlton’s First Live Album

Vanessa Carlton has finally come out with her first ever live album. Liberman Live was released on October 21st. Liberman Live is a beautiful showcase of Vanessa's siren-like voice and soft, earthy melodies. The intimacy of her small performance can be heard through the speakers, as if you were there with her. Liberman's hypnotizing music is conveyed perfectly in…

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Review: Banks Boasts Vulnerability & Defiance On Dazzling ‘The Altar’

Banks emerged quietly yet suddenly, impressing with her 2014 debut album, Goddess. It followed a series of EPs the year before, taking songs from those while adding some new ones in, too. Goddess wasn’t just one of the best debut albums of the year; it was one of the best albums of the year, period. And…

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Ghost Releases Eclectic ‘Popestar’ Covers EP

Ghost just released their third album, the Grammy-winning Meliora, one year ago. Now the Satanic band is back with their second EP, Popestar. The five new songs are also included in the newly-released deluxe edition of Meliora. As with their 2013 If You Have Ghost EP, Popestar is comprised mainly of eclectic covers. And as…

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Review: Simple Plan’s ‘Taking One For The Team’ Perfectly Blends Familiar Pop Punk & New Experimentation

Simple Plan's new album, Taking One For The Team, has been long in the making. The band first started writing for it in 2014, and after premiering "Boom" live at the end of the year, they kicked off 2015 by entering the studio to officially begin recording. Since last spring, Simple Plan has released a…

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Top 15 Albums Of 2015

While most entertainment publications rushed to release their year-end lists by the first of December, we decided to wait until all the year's albums had actually been released before making our final ranking. It's good that we did, too, because one of our favorite records was released right around the time kids were getting out of…

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