Review: Kelly Clarkson’s ‘When Christmas Comes Around…’ Proves She’s Still Queen of Christmas

★★★★ In the past eight years, Kelly Clarkson has positioned herself as a modern queen of Christmas music. Her 2013 holiday album, Wrapped In Red, was dazzling and fresh, especially for the five original songs it featured. Since then, Kelly has released a handful of festive singles, yet it was still a small surprise when…

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Review: Garbage Reach New Heights on Superb ‘No Gods No Masters’

I had high hopes when Garbage officially announced their new album, No Gods No Masters, in March this year. After teasing the project for a few years, and suggesting that it would be "cinematic" and "poppier" than usual, I could tell that album #7 would be a special one. The three singles did not disappoint,…

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Alicia Keys Offers Previously Unheard Tracks on ‘Songs In A Minor’ 20th Anniversary Edition

20 years ago, Alicia Keys released her monumental debut album, Songs In A Minor. The album is best known for launching Alicia's first hit, "Fallin,'" and it won five Grammys in 2002. This seminal debut led to a hugely successful career for the R&B singer. A decade ago, Alicia offered some new goodies on its…

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Sara Bareilles Celebrates Live Album Release with “Brave” Video From the Hollywood Bowl

Today, Sara Bareilles released her new live album, Amidst The Chaos: Live At The Hollywood Bowl. In the past month, we've already gotten to hear Sara's opening performance (an intro of “Orpheus” with her single “Fire”), her Waitress ballad “She Used To Be Mine,” and her jaw-dropping mashup of “No Such Thing” with “Satellite Call.” Now, to celebrate the full album's release, fans can…

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Sara Bareilles in a ’90s Girl Group?! Enjoy Her Girls5eva Show & Album!

Last summer, it was announced that Sara Bareilles would star in a new Peacock series called Girls5eva. Tina Fey and Robert Carlock would serve as producers, while Meredith Scardino would write and produce. Since then, Busy Phillipps, Paula Pell, and Renée Elise Goldsberry joined the cast. Now, all these months later, fans can finally stream…

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Review: Evanescence’s ‘The Bitter Truth’ is a Delectable and Hard-Hitting Return

You don't need to remind Evanescence fans how long it's been since the band put out an album of all-new material. We've all patiently waited a full decade for this moment to come, and now that this glorious day is finally here, it may feel more like a dream than reality. We actually have a…

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Vanessa Carlton Drops Deluxe Album with “Break To Save” & Two Demos

One year ago almost to the day, Vanessa Carlton released her last album, Love Is An Art. Just as spring and lockdown were both beginning, Vanessa’s album offered an ethereal respite. Now, commemorating its one-year anniversary, Vanessa has just put out a deluxe version of the record. In addition to the original 11 songs, the new…

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Review: ‘Chemtrails Over The Country Club’ is Lana Del Rey’s Tamest Album

Lana Del Rey has been a major force in the pop world for nearly a decade, and deservedly so. Born To Die, Ultraviolence, and Honeymoon are each masterpieces in their own right. While Lust For Life had mixed reaction among fans, we at Hidden Jams loved it. In contrast, her last album, 2019's Norman Fucking…

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Review: ‘Only Smith & Burrows Is Good Enough’ Perfectly Blends Humor & Sincerity

It's been nearly a full decade since Smith & Burrows released their first album. When Editors frontman Tom Smith joined up with Andy Burrows for a holiday album, fans of both men may have been shocked but pleasantly surprised. Funny Looking Angels remains a charming and unique take on Christmas, but only being relevant for…

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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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