Recent album reviews

Album Review

Charles Bradley soars one last time on ‘Black Velvet’ 

The soul belter’s music is as joyful as ever on this posthumous collection of songs. 

Album Review

On Christine and the Queens’ ‘Chris,’ revelations you can dance to

The second album from Héloïse Letissier’s synth-pop project is refreshing and empowering.

album review

Paul McCartney still going strong on ‘Egypt Station’

The former Beatle’s 17th solo album shows that he still knows his way around a pop tune, and can comfortably keep pace in a modern music world he helped define. 

Album review

Mitski’s ‘Cowboy’ ranges far and wide

The indie artist’s fifth album has her forging new stylistic paths.

Album Review

Amanda Shires shreds labels on ‘To the Sunset’

A rising voice in Americana dares to be different on her fifth album.

Album Review

It’s the Summer of Love on Israel Nash’s ‘Lifted’

The Texas-based folk rocker’s fifth album in his nearly decadelong career is full of feel-good, sonically textured Americana jams about peace and love.

Album review

A sea of calm from Punch Brothers on ‘All Ashore’

On their fifth album, the bluegrass quintet profess optimism during trying times.

album review

‘Hope’ and change from Florence + the Machine

The powerhouse English singer gets personal and reflective on her band’s new album.

Album Review

On Snail Mail’s ‘Lush,’ adolescent angst from an old soul

The debut LP from 19-year-old Lindsey Jordan shows a songwriter who’s wise beyond her years.

Album Review

Chvrches go big on ‘Love Is Dead’  

The trio is a shinier version of themselves on their third album, sacrificing some lyrical substance in the process. 

Brazilian Girls return with radio-ready album ‘Let’s Make Love’

A decade after their last disc, Brazilian Girls remain puckish hedonists, and they wisely make little attempt to update their global alt-dance sound. The band plays Brighton Music Hall on May 6.

Album Review

Speedy Ortiz headier, poppier than ever on ‘Twerp Verse’

The Northampton indie rockers’ engaging, thought-provoking new album achieves its lofty goals far more often than not.

album review

More weirdness from MGMT, but with hooks

“Little Dark Age” has set the duo free to make mildly warped, ’80s-indebted synth-pop just like all the other indie kids.

cd review

Julien Baker shines in the darkness on ‘Turn Out the Lights’

Aching, vulnerable, and unsparing in detail, the Memphis musician’s creations unravel the impact of mental health and pain on personal relationships: with family, lovers, friends, God.

album review

Old 97’s are still alive and kickin’

With a set of smart, twangy songs, this country-rock group’s new album, ‘‘Graveyard Whistling,” makes clear that after two decades, the band isn’t dead yet.

Alison Krauss makes classic sound contemporary on great album ‘Windy City’

On her new disc, the singer makes her covers of traditional country songs sound contemporary.


On new double album from country star Miranda Lambert, ambition pays off

“The Weight of These Wings” succeeds by merging take-no prisoners lyrics with a sound that spans from the traditional to the adventurous.

Album Review

From Sleigh Bells, a hopped-up ‘Jessica Rabbit’

While the abrasive sounds that give Sleigh Bells’ music so much of their jolt are still present, “Jessica Rabbit” chops them up and re-collages them, giving them both greater brutality and better-defined beats.

Album review

Mazzy Star singer Hope Sandoval delivers an alluring solo album

An alluring new album from Hope Sandoval, best known as the lead singer of Mazzy Star, and the Warm Inventions.

Album Review

Country-rock charm from Kenny Chesney on ‘Cosmic Hallelujah’

Kenny Chesney’s catalog is so deep he hardly needs a hit-heavy 17th album, but he just made one anyway.

Album review

Leonard Cohen’s stunning ‘You Want It Darker’ has a twilight glow

The new album by the 82-year-old artist has a harrowing, economical poetry.

Album Review

Blackberry Smoke’s new album delivers amped-up Americana

The Georgia band’s “Like An Arrow” is full of big country-rock songs that don’t overstay their welcome.


The two-headed hard rock of Dance Gavin Dance

A California band’s conceit--one sweet voice, one screamy one--is a ticket to dizzying intensity.

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam album is an indie super-duo dream

“I Had a Dream That You Were Mine,” featuring members of the Walkmen and Vampire Weekend, skillfully steals ideas from across the American pop landscape.

Album review

On Against Me!’s latest, romantic truths in a punk key

On “Shape Shift with Me,” an urgent new album from Laura Jane Grace and company, raw emotion comes with delectable punk hooks.

Album review

Outsider tales with a beat on M.I.A.’s new record ‘AIM’

M.I.A.’s new album “AIM” adapts current radio mores to address our chaotic, always-on modern times.

Album review

Angel Olsen’s ‘My Woman’ delivers explosive pop confessions

Maura Johnston reviews a new album from North Carolina rock ’n’ roll force Angel Olsen.

Album review

Thalia Zedek’s songs in the key of life

“Eve,” issued this month on Thrill Jockey, is the latest in an impressive string of Zedek ventures for that influential Chicago label.

Album review

Frank Ocean rewards patient fans with rich, urgent storytelling

After a four-year drought and an enigmatic overture, the album the singer released online and at pop-up stores was worth the wait.

Album Review

Lydia Loveless takes a long, honest look at relationships on ‘Real’

Roots-rock singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless is less raw and more polished on her third LP, but her lyrics about romantic relationships still pull no punches.

Album Review

Young the Giant ponders outsiderdom on hopeful third album

On its third album, California pop quintet Young the Giant deals head-on with the experience of being outsiders in America.

Album Review

Cadillac Three, driven to please on new album ‘Bury Me in My Boots’

The Nashville trio’s highly anticipated country album is a slick, radio-ready effort that tips into party-starter territory.

Album review

With ‘Everybody Looking,’ Gucci Mane comes clean at last

Despite a ceaseless gush of mixtapes appearing while he was in prison, the Atlanta rapper finally clears the air on his first LP since his release.

Album Review

The top 10 albums of the year, including a surprise from Blood Orange

“Freetown Sound” has rewarding depths and a quiet urgency, placing it among the likes of Beyoncé and Bowie on a list of 2016’s strongest albums so far.


Guitar god Jeff Beck proves he hasn’t stopped growing on ‘Loud Hailer’

Working quickly with the British blues-rock duo Bones, Jeff Beck weighs in with an album that hits topical points while covering a vast range of styles.


Steven Tyler’s new country album is surprisingly strong

“We’re All Somebody from Somewhere,” the Nashville-spawned solo debut from Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, is better than expected.

Album reviews

Grab these compelling new albums by Boston musicians

Long trips and idle hours provide a perfect opportunity to catch up with fresh sounds on new releases by Boston artists and ensembles.


Heart gives its classic sound a contemporary update on ‘Beautiful Broken’

In addition to two new songs, one with Metallica’s James Hetfield, a new Heart LP finds the band revisiting songs that “fell through the cracks.”

New voices from Nashville offer alternatives to the Music City mainstream

New albums by Luke Bell, Derek Hultquist, and Elizabeth Cook show distinctive voices and fresh styles emerging from Nashville today.

Album review

Bat for Lashes gets conceptual on ‘The Bride,’ with uneven results

Natasha Khan’s newly released fourth album, about a would-be bride widowed at the altar, lacks sufficient focus to deliver its narrative clearly.


On ‘Summer 08’ Metronomy strikes a tone in tune with the season

Even at its moodiest, the new album from British electropop act Metronomy is deliriously inventive and often whimsical.


Taking cues from the restless Prince, Maxwell digs deep on ‘blackSUMMERSnight’

Acting as both bandleader and head romantic, the soul singer Maxwell looks at love and its complications with compassion.

album pick

Deerhoof summons ‘Magic’ from classic rock and pop influences

“The Magic,” recorded on the fly during a week in a New Mexico office park, finds indie-rock quartet Deerhoof exposing its roots.

album review

New Zealand duo Broods polish away engaging rough edges on ‘Conscious’

In evolving its sleek, shimmering brand of electro-pop to service bigger stadiums and mainstream audiences, Broods sacrifices much of its appealing edge and elegance.


On ‘True Sadness,’ the Avett Brothers outgrow their rustic roots

Programming, synths, and other production flourishes give the Avett Brothers a modern sheen on their surprising eighth album.


Mitski supplies assurance and solid craft on beautiful, shocking ‘Puberty 2’

One of indie rock’s most fervently adored singer-songwriters, Mitski emphasizes craft in the complex, nuanced tracks on her newest album.


LA rapper Y.G. sells swagger and menace on ‘Still Brazy’

A West Coast gangsta rapper who stuck around to make a second record, Y.G. gets detailed, topical, and passionate on “Still Brazy.”


Sarah Jarosz looks at love, from hope to anger and back, on ‘Undercurrent’

Gifted, versatile singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz offers an original cycle of songs examines aspects of love relationships.


Busy, ambitious ‘One’ overshadows what’s special about Jake Bugg

Ambitious to a fault, Bugg’s third album loses sight of what’s genuinely special about this 22-year-old singer-songwriter.


Singer-songwriter Laura Mvula opens her ‘Room’ to fresh inspiration

The church-forged singer and conservatory-trained composer opens up her sound with authority on her new album.


Pop ambitions outpace soul essentials on Fitz and the Tantrums’ third LP

L.A. retro-soul-pop sextet Fitz and the Tantrums can still dish out energy and earworms, but lose something in pursuit of mainstream success.

Album pick

Despite slick start, ‘Big Day’ still a sharp alternative

The first two tracks on country singer Brandy Clark’s new album court the mainstream, but elsewhere she sticks to agile sounds and wry lyrics.


Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle, doing their own thing together

What “Colvin & Earle” lacks in cohesiveness is made up for with warm, casual immediacy and rough, nearly ramshackle charm.

Talented Chrisette Michelle struggles to find direction on ‘Milestone’

Chrisette Michelle, one of contemporary R&B’s brightest talents, deserves better than this ordinary material, unimaginative production, and dated cliches.


Garbage returns to its original sound, darkly, on ‘Strange Little Birds’

Returning from a dance-rock detour, the band puts a dark spin on its hit-making pop-grunge formula, with haunting results.


With ‘Ash & Ice,’ matured Kills remain focused and relevant

Alison Mossheart’s turbulent vocals and Jamie Hince’s splintered riffs contribute to a deepened sound on the duo’s fifth record.

album review

New album is Paul Simon’s best since ‘Graceland’

Simon offers a characteristic mix of loopy and deeply moving in his first solo album since 2011.


Soul survivor William Bell back to Stax for ‘This Is Where I Live’

Back on Stax for the first time in 40 years, veteran soulman William Bell offers soul music heaping with personality and real instruments.


Guitarist William Tyler assesses beauty and loss on ‘Modern Country’

Fed with a diet of ’70s country and krautrock, “Modern Country” evokes vistas endangered or gone along the American highway.


Tegan & Sara offer sublime synthpop catharsis on ‘Love You to Death’

On their eighth album, the Canadian duo fashions an update on hypercharged New Romanticism, with grand gestures and anxious shades.


Catfish and the Bottlemen play it safe on ‘The Ride’

The qualities that made the debut album by this Welsh quartet a winner are mostly absent from a by-the-numbers follow-up.


Dierks Bentley addresses heartbreak with soft-rock bombast on ‘Black’

He’s always excelled at putting his own stamp on traditional country music, but on “Black” Dierks Bentley paints love’s troubled side in soft-rock hues.


Robert Glasper reworks Miles Davis’s sound and spirit on ‘Everything’s Beautiful’

Continuing a bold series of hybrid-jazz experiments, Robert Glasper works with Miles Davis’s sound, but not everything rises to the occasion.


Showing new ‘Skin,’ Flume isn’t content to repeat himself

The Australian producer Flume is more ambitious and cinematic on his second album, best when he’s working with women singers and dissonance.


Beth Orton’s return on ‘Kidsticks’ sounds like bad wiring

Folktronica trailblazer Beth Orton plugs in anew on “Kidsticks,” a tinny, cluttered disappointment.

album review

Bent Knee favors songcraft over showboating on new album ‘Say So’

Boston progressive-rock sextet Bent Knee favors songcraft over showboating and self-examination over escapism on a potent, rangey third LP.

album review | Indie Rock

New Grateful Dead compilation is uneven, but interesting

Compiled by the National, “Day of the Dead” features prominent indie musicians reinterpreting the Grateful Dead canon, with mixed results.


Album review: Eric Clapton, ‘I Still Do’

The guitar’s god’s reunion with prime-years producer Glyn Johns generates some sporadic heat when old friends are involved.

Album REviews

Ariana Grande and Fifth Harmony, stretching pop’s parameters

New albums by singer-actress Ariana Grande and vocal group Fifth Harmony prove there’s plenty of life left in the contemporary pop album.


Album review: Mudcrutch, ‘2’

Beyond the legend and the hype, a great American rock band emerges once more on the second album by Mudcrutch, launching pad for Tom Petty.


Album review: Yuna, ‘Chapters’

Men are cold, careless betrayers to be viewed warily on the latest from Yuna, a sophomore album on which pain gradually yields wisdom.

album review

On her second LP, ‘Thank You,’ Meghan Trainor expresses gratitude with attitude

Meghan Trainor returns with a second album, her instinct for pop hooks intact and her influences showing clearly.


Corinne Bailey Rae, ‘The Heart Speaks in Whispers’

Six years after her brooding album “The Sea,” Corinne Bailey Rae returns with a new LP that exudes heart, hope, and healing.


Modern Baseball, ‘Holy Ghost’

Jake Ewald and Brendan Lukens split the writing duties on the confident, revealing third LP from pop-punk quartet Modern Baseball.


Album review: Hard Working Americans, ‘Rest in Chaos’

After an all-covers debut, Todd Snider & Co. return with a loose, picaresque collection of swampy originals anchored in rock but peppered with Americana.


Oreo Jones shows rare ability on ‘Cash for Gold’

A gifted lyricist with an ear for rich beats, the Indianapolis rapper is both traditionalist and futurist on his new album.


Anohni is sly, subversive on ‘Hopelessness’

Anohni, the soulful voice of Antony and the Johnsons, turns to electronica for a protest album that’s easy to listen to, hard to hear.


Album review: Kaytranda, ‘99.9%’

Montreal producer Kaytranda puts in 100 percent effort on his debut album, the title of which shows that he’s still not satisfied.


Album review: Gregory Porter, ‘Take Me to the Alley’

Jazz singer-songwriter Gregory Porter delivers love and protest, passion and craft, on his second album for the Blue Note label.

Album Review

Passion is muted on Mary Chapin Carpenter’s ‘The Things That We Are Made Of’

The singer-songwriter conjures potent imagery on her latest album, but seems merely curious rather than genuinely driven.


Cole Swindell delivers kitschy country on ‘You Should Be Here’

A charming performer with a knack for everyman tunes, Cole Swindell sticks to tried and true modes and cliches on his second album.


Album review: Katy B, ‘Honey’

Joined on her third album by a veritable army of collaborators, British singer Katy B heads straight to the dance floor.


Album review: The Jayhawks, ‘Paging Mr. Proust’

Gary Louris plays the role of a cosmic hippie looking for deeper meaning as the Jayhawks take flight anew in a bright, challenging return.


Doe follows familiar paths to new destinations on ‘The Westerner’

By John Doe’s reckoning, there’s a lot going on on “The Westerner,” his first studio release in five years.


Album review: Brian Eno, ‘The Ship’

Mixing technical mastery with cosmic ambition, Brian Eno has produced an album that stands out for its scope and ambition.


Album review: Abnormality, ‘Mechanisms of Omniscience’

Still fierce and flamboyant in its display of technical skills, Abnormality hones its attack for brute-force efficiency on its second full-length LP.


Spiritual conflict, existential dread in Susanna’s album ‘Triangle’

Spiritual conflict and existential dread are central themes in Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanna’s poetic 11th album.


Rufus Wainwright tackles Shakespeare in ‘Take All My Loves’

With their rigid length, rhyme scheme, and cadence, Shakespeare’s sonnets are fundamentally unsuited to the pop song format. That’s the challenge Rufus Wainwright faced when writing tunes for nine of them.


The New Mastersounds serve up a tasty platter in ‘The Nashville Session’

After 20 years of making records filled with world-class funk and soul-jazz, the band cooks up this quick take.


Soulful synthesized sounds in Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s album ‘EARS’

“EARS,” the latest album from Berklee-trained synthesist and composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, features wide-eyed compositions with textures that cascade over one another, capturing the vast celestial wonder of synthesized sound.


Album review: PJ Harvey’s stunning ‘Hope Six Demolition Project’

On her ninth album, Polly Jean Harvey balances on the razor’s edge between the political and the personal, to suitably lacerating effect.


Album review: Graham Nash, ‘This Path Tonight’

Still in fine voice, veteran singer Graham Nash confronts time and mortality with dignity and hope on “This Path Tonight.”


Mr. Lif, it’s good to have you back

After a seven-year gap, the Boston rapper comes back strong with “Don’t Look Down,” a new album that shows his incisive lyricism and conceptual approach.


Album review: Sturgill Simpson, ‘A Sailor’s Guide to Earth’

The birth of a son and the separation entailed in touring led to an expansive, expressive song cycle from an artist not content to stand still.

Latin Rock

Album review: Santana, ‘Santana IV’

Brought back together by a “higher calling,” a classic early Santana lineup is nearly undone by the base desires expressed in testosterone-soaked lyrics.


Album review: Mayer Hawthorne, ‘Man About Town’

On his fourth solo record, Mayer Hawthorne summons the style and spirit of a pop forebear and recent collaborator, Daryl Hall.


Album review: Peter Wolf, ‘A Cure for Loneliness’

The J. Geils Band’s veteran frontman and party-starter shows his more introspective side on an ambitious but subdued solo set.


Album review: M83, ‘Junk’

Anthony Gonzalez adopts and adapts gimmicks played (and sometimes played out) during the ’70s and ’80s.


Album review: The Dandy Warhols, ‘Distortland’

The Dandy Warhols have always trafficked in inside jokes, but “Distortland” is so insular that it can be hard to perceive the band’s charms.


Album review: Deftones, ‘Gore’

California’s Deftones find creative tension in opposites, balancing dark, heavy metallic grind with sparkling guitars and soaring vocals.

album pick

Pet Shop Boys’ 13th album, ‘Super’

On their latest, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe offer pure-pop treats, but the real trick is the seamless dancefloor flow they create.


Album review: Black Mountain, ‘IV’

Mixing FM radio’s freedom-rock ideals with AM-gold songcraft, Black Mountain delivers a masterpiece on par with its fabled “IV”-fathers.


Album review: Moderat, ‘III”

An unlikely electronic supergroup ends its exploratory trilogy with its most cohesive, involving work to date.


Album review: Weezer’s ‘Weezer’

Not even the promise of blissful California sunshine can cure what’s bumming Rivers Cuomo on Weezer’s fourth outing.


Album review: Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones, ‘Little Windows’

In under half an hour, seasoned young studio veteran Thompson and his west coast partner Jones span a broad spectrum of moods and modes.

Album Review

Composer-DJ Bates shows range, ingenuity on new CDs

New CDs from the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and the San Francisco Symphony reveal the versatility and breadth of composer Mason Bates’s sonic toolbox.


Album review: Margo Price, ‘Midwest Farmer’s Daughter’

A promising country singer’s debut album starts with a bang, and only gets better and bolder from there.


Album review: RJD2, ‘Dame Fortune’

Known for sample-happy hip-hop and boundary-pushing indie rock, RJD2 proves himself a master of all he surveys on his supremely satisfying sixth album.


Album review: Parker Millsap, ‘On the Very Last Day’

Oklahoma singer-songwriter Parker Millsap conjures end times with rocking originals and a Southern-gothic style on his sophomore LP.


Album review: Lukas Graham, ‘Lukas Graham’

Danish group Lukas Graham demonstrates a knack for accessible, infectious pop as long as it’s not overreaching on a catchy self-titled debut.


Zayn Malik charts new direction with solo album ‘Mind of Mine’

The former One Direction member releases the disc one year after leaving the boy band.

Album Review

Mould in peak form on spacious ‘Sky’

Continuing a string of solid recent albums, “Patch the Sky” finds Bob Mould reivigorated with purpose and passion, offering a sound that’s dense but clear.


Wynton Marsalis pays tribute to historic Harlem church

Infused with African-American church traditions, “Abyssinian Mass” offers a mood of uplift and inclusiveness that’s hard to resist.


Gwen Stefani connects with the ‘Truth’

The No Doubt singer returns with her first solo album in a decade, declaring her “Truth” in characteristically buoyant form.


The force is with ‘Star Wars Headspace’

As executed by producer Rick Rubin, what might have been a marketing-department Death Star instead yields Force-ful sounds.


Grant-Lee Phillips at home among ‘The Narrows’

A move from Los Angeles to Nashville surely contributed to the sound and themes on a confident, honest new album from Grant-Lee Phillips.


Iggy Pop smashes paradigm on ‘Post Pop Depression’

On his sinewy 17th solo album, punk-rock lifer Iggy Pop refuses to rest on his laurels, storming and sneering amid Josh Homme’s blasted landscapes.

Guitarist Glenn Jones opens up new possibilities

The American Primitive guitar stylist talks about the process that led to “Fleeting,” the new album he celebrates with a Somerville concert this week.


Album review: Jeff Buckley, ‘You and I’

Even in sketchy, scrappy demo recordings newly unearthed, Jeff Buckley’s uniqueness and personal intensity come through.


Album review: The Wild Feathers, ‘Lonely Is a Lifetime’

Three years after a righteously rootsy debut, the Wild Feathers expand their sound with stacked guitars and a nod to Pink Floyd on “Lonely Is a Lifetime.”


Album review: Gavin James, ‘Bitter Pill’

Lovers of sensitive songs and their singers will want to know this unabashed romantic Irishman, whose voice evokes tears and warms hearts.


Album review: Killswitch Engage, ‘Incarnate’

In its second outing with recently returned frontman Jesse Leach, Killswitch Engage sounds as fierce and committed as ever.

Rap star Kendrick Lamar sates Internet appetite with new EP

Kendrick Lamar’s new EP, “untitled, unmastered,” satisfies demand for a new collection of his songs. Does it come at the cost of unique, unreproduceable moments?Kendrick Lamar’s new EP, “untitled, unmastered,” satisfies demand for a new collection of his songs. Does it come at the cost of unique, unreproduceable moments?

Album Review

Rap star Kendrick Lamar sates Internet appetite with new EP

The EP, “untitled, unmastered,” satisfies demand for a new collection of his songs. Does it come at the cost of unique, unreproduceable moments?

album review

Berklee’s Esperanza Spalding thrills with new album

“Emily’s D+Evolution” takes the experimental ideals that she learned as a student of jazz into new directions.


Ray LaMontagne gets psychedelic on new album, ‘Ouroboros’

Psychedelic rock is very much alive in the hands of Ray LaMontagne on his new album, “Ouroboros.”


Album review: Loretta Lynn, ‘Full Circle’

At 83, this fabled coal miner’s daugther proves that no matter how famous she’s become, she remains connected to her rural roots.


Swedish trio Miike Snow is rhythmically aggressive, with ephemeral results

Rhythmically aggressive production on Swedish trio Miike Snow’s third album can’t make up for monochrome vocals and poorly conceived lyrics.


Guerilla Toss pushes boundaries on new album, ‘Eraser Stargazer’

“Eraser Stargazer,” the new album from Guerilla Toss, is a confrontational dadaist dance album filled with anarcho-art anthems.


Hélène Grimaud’s ‘Water’ is a journey of exploration

French pianist Hélène Grimaud preserves the music she assembled for a watery recital.

album review

Handel and Haydn Society, Haydn Symphonies and Violin Concerto

Harry Christophers and the Handel and Haydn Society show their masterful command in a slate of Haydn works recorded live at Symphony Hall.

album review

Grigory Sokolov, ‘Schubert/Beethoven’

The elusive piano master Grigory Sokolov is revealed on disc in an illuminating program of Schubert, Beethoven, and more.

album review

Bonnie Raitt’s deep grasp of American roots still thrills

Veteran rocker Bonnie Raitt keeps up her swagger on her new album “Dig in Deep.”


Album review: Rome Fortune, ‘Jerome Raheem Fortune’

Hip-hop artist Rome Fortune ventures all over the stylistic map on his newest LP, never opting for obvious approaches.


Album review: Santigold, ‘99¢’

Pop empowerment is the order of business on Santigold’s “99¢,” whose fizzy hooks you probably know even if you don’t recognize her name.


Album review: School of Seven Bells, ‘SVIIB’

Just over two years since Benjamin Curtis’s passing, partner Alejandra Dehaza demonstrates a connection that goes beyond death.


Album review: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, ‘This Unruly Mess I’ve Made’

Conflicted and cameo-stuffed, the latest from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis proves that the duo’s skill has yet to match its ambition.


Album review: Mavis Staples, ‘Livin’ on a High Note’

By embracing contemporary songs with her customary traditionalist fervor, Mavis Staples produces electrifying results.


Album review: Lake Street Dive, ‘Side Pony’

Boston favorite Lake Street Dive’s debut for Nonesuch, the band doesn’t change a winning formula, just adds more moxie.


Album review: Doug Tuttle, ‘It Calls on Me’

On his sophomore solo release, Somerville’s Doug Tuttle harks back to a trippier, groovier time in Boston music history.


Album review: Lushlife, ‘Ritualize’

Philadelphia rapper Lushlife mesmerizes with his stream of consciousness approach, deep references, and potent guests.


Album review: Wolfmother, ‘Victorious’

Sometimes, those who do know history also are doomed to repeat it: a point made by Wolfmother on a punchy yet derivative new LP.


Album review: Vince Gill, ‘Down to My Last Bad Habit’

The eminent country star Vince Gill checks in with a strong album covering a diverse range of styles and interests.


Album review: Basia Bulat, ‘Good Advice’

Basia Bulat manages to sound like she’s smiling even as she furrows her brow on “Good Advice,” but doesn’t make much of the resulting tension.


Album review: Lissie, ‘My Wild West’

Stepping away from the pop-making industry, Lissie reveals her personal voice anew on a lean, nervy album about finding her way.


Album review: Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus, ‘The Distance’

Working with a group of longtime associates, bassist and composer Michael Formanek fashions extraordinary results.

indie rock

Album review: Pinegrove, ‘Cardinal’

The New Jersey band serves up the essentials on its Run for Cover label debut, grabbing the listener and holding on tight from start to finish.


Album review: Elton John, ‘Wonderful Crazy Night’

Reunited with lyricist Bernie Taupin and producer T Bone Burnett, Elton John demonstrates ageless gusto on his 33rd studio album.

Album review

Change of pace for Rihanna on ‘Anti’

Rihanna abandons the dance floor in favor of gauzy atmospheres and old-school soul turns on her latest album, “Anti.”


Album review: Kevin Gates, ‘Islah’

A new major-label release from Louisiana rapper Kevin Gates smooths his abrasive mixtape rawness.


Album review: Buddy Miller, ‘Cayamo Sessions at Sea’

Country traditionalist Buddy Miller showcases some of the famous friends who’ve joined him on a winter cruise these last few years.


Album review: Your Friend, ‘Gumption’

Employing field recordings, dub architecture, and, yes, solid songs, Taryn Miller proves she’s Your Friend for keeps on her immensely assured debut LP.


Album review: Saul Williams, ‘MartyrLoserKing’

Hip-hop poet and activist Saul Williams takes aim at a complacent, social media-obsessed culture with a concept LP about a Burundian hacker.


Album review: Sia, ‘This Is Acting’

Sia’s terrific new album, “This is Acting,” is composed mainly of songs rejected by other artists.


Album review: Eleanor Friedberger, ‘New View’

On her third solo album, the singer-songwriter from Fiery Furnaces reveals a knack for conveying emotion subtly yet surely.


Album review: Ches Smith, ‘The Bell’

Drummer and percussionist Ches Smith wrings maximal impact from minimal gestures on “The Bell.”


Album review: Panic! at the Disco, ‘Death of a Bachelor’

Panic! at the Disco, the long-running pop band fronted by singer Brendon Urie, offers a more mature take on the stylish pop that buoyed its early hit albums.


Album review: Hinds, ‘Leave Me Alone’

The scruffy charms of Madrid garage-pop quartet Hinds don’t entirely convince on a debut album filled with what sound like first drafts taped on the fly.


Album review: Danny Wood, ‘Look at Me’

Once and future New Kid on the Block Danny Wood sounds distant and detached on his new solo album.


Album review: Brothers Osborne, ‘Pawn Shop’

The Maryland-reared sibling act exceeds expectations on a major-label debut that shows how to do commercial country right.

album review

David Bowie’s enigmatic return

Maybe David Bowie can’t give everything away, but he certainly put his all into “Blackstar.”


Neil Finn and Paul Kelly, ‘Goin’ Your Way’

Sharing songs from their respective solo and band careers, Australian artists Neil Finn and Paul Kelly create something more than the sum of its parts.


Jeff Lynne’s ELO, ‘Alone in the Universe’

After a 14-year hiatus, Jeff Lynne returns with ELO on the flawed but lovely “Alone in the Universe.”


Various artists, ‘40!!! Years Bear Family Records’

A new, four-disc box set salutes the 40th anniversary of Bear Family Records, the German label renowned for its exhaustive reissues.


Album review: Chris Trapper, ‘Symphonies of Dirt & Dust’

Chris Trapper, a prolific, captivating artist formerly of Boston mainstay the Push Stars, pours out his heart in detail on his latest batch of postcards from the road.


Album review: Babyface, ‘Return of the Tender Lover’

On his first solo record in eight years, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds confirms his inimitable knack for graceful melodies and effortless hooks.


Album review: Sunn O))), ‘Kannon’

When it comes to avant-garde drone-metal combo Sunn O))), you’ve got to say yes to another exercise in excess.


Album review: Roy Orbison, ‘One of the Lonely Ones’

A long-lost album Orbison recorded in 1969, not long after his two young sons died in a house fire, “One of the Lonely Ones” has finally been released.


Album review: Troye Sivan, ‘Blue Neighbourhood’

“Blue Neighbourhood,” Troye Sivan’s new debut, is as contemporary as R&B-flavored electronic pop comes – darkly seductive and riddled with coming-of-age anxiety.

album review | POP ROCK

‘Dreams’ come true for joyous Coldplay

Brit pop rockers Coldplay return in a much better mood with uplifiting seventh album “A Head Full of Dreams.”

Album review | LOCAL ROCK

Kingsley Flood, ‘The Good Fight’

Kingsley Flood’s third EP this year, “The Good Fight” pushes the Boston-based band into sonic new territory while showcasing Naseem Khuri’s worldly songwriting concerns.

Album review | HIP-HOP

Freddie Gibbs, ‘Shadow of a Doubt’

Veteran Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs continues to raise the hip-hop bar with determined rhymes and crisp storytelling on his latest mixtape.

Album review | VINTAGE POP

Mikael Tariverdiev, ‘Film Music’

Long after the end of the Cold War, a Soviet-era Russian film composer and pop-music maestro finally gets his due.

Album review | SOUL

Lara Price, ‘I Mean Business’

Vietnam-born Bay Area belter Lara Price hits the retro-soul bullseye in strong company on her tour de force of a new album.

Album review | POP

Chris Isaak, ‘First Comes the Night’

No one does heartbreak and yearning quite like this veteran singer-songwriter, who sounds renewed.

Album review | hip-hop

Logic, ‘The Incredible True Story’

Shedding expectations fuelled by his major-label debut, Maryland rapper Logic finds a looser, weirder, more interesting version of himself on his sophomore effort.

album review | country

No misunderstanding this Eric Church surprise

Country star Eric Church pens a love song to the power of music on his surprise new album, the unsurprisingly superb “Mr. Misunderstood.”

Album review | pop

Squeeze, ‘Cradle to the Grave’

Four-plus decades after they started, Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook are still honing pop gems as Squeeze on their latest album.

Album review | latin pop

Carla Morrison, ‘Amor Supremo’

“Amor Supremo” is the Mexican singer-songwriter’s most sumptuous album yet, one that transcends language and genre.

Album review | POP

Sara Bareilles, ‘What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress’

For her fourth album, pop chanteuse Sara Bareilles tackles songs she wrote for the Broadway-bound musical “Waitress,” which had its premiere at ART.

album review | ROCK

New box set recalls Bob Dylan on the ‘Cutting Edge’

“The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12,” an exhaustive new box set, pulls back the curtain on a seminal period of Dylan’s recording history.

album review | COUNTRY

Album review: Chris Janson, ‘Buy Me a Boat’

Scrappy country singer-songwriter Chris Janson’s hard work pays off on his major label debut, “Buy Me a Boat.”

album review | noise/rock

Wolf Eyes, ‘I Am a Problem: Mind in Pieces’

Newly inked to Jack White’s Third Man label, the veteran Detroit noise-rock trio Wolf Eyes evokes desperate times on its newest album.

album review | INDIE ROCK

EL VY, ‘Return to the Moon’

EL VY, a new collaboration between the National’s Matt Berninger and Brent Knopf of Ramona Falls and formerly Menomena, is a welcome detour for both artists.

album review | POP

Vanessa Carlton, ‘Liberman’

Vanessa Carlton’s fifth album is another sure step on her path from pop star to introspective independent artist.

album review | COUNTRY

Carrie Underwood spins vivid yarns on best album yet

Country star Carrie Underwood returns with “Storyteller,” an album that’s not only her best, but also her most interesting yet.

album review | POP

Album review: Joanna Newsom, ‘Divers’

On her fourth album, the singer, songwriter, and harpist affirms her stature as a visionary with songs fixated on mortality, love, and the passage of time.

album review | HIP-HOP

Raury, ‘All We Need’

A much-hyped, inconsistent debut from Atlanta vocalist-MC Raury shows a performer whose gentle acoustic guitars and bright harmonies echo earlier eras.

album review | DOOM METAL

With the Dead, ‘With the Dead’

You bet the members of this doom-metal supergroup hold a grudge, resulting in a debut that’s suitably sludgy and morose, yet maintains a surprisingly regal bearing.

album review | ROCK

Coheed and Cambria, ‘The Color Before the Sun’

Putting aside his penchant for sci-fi epics, Claudio Sanchez gets personal on an ambitious but uneven new album inspired by real life.

album review | R&B

Son Little, ‘Son Little’

With his new self-titled debut, Son Little is the latest musician working on the cutting edge of R&B to make it wholly new and unique.

album review | POP

Selena Gomez takes the reins on ‘Revival’

With her new sophomore solo album, Selena Gomez makes it clear she is ready to be honest and even vulnerable in her music.


Girl Band, ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’

Turning convention inside out, this Irish foursome delivers one of the year’s most exhilarating opening salvos.


Don Henley, ‘Cass County’

Eagles singer-songwriter Don Henley flies solo on his first album in 15 years, the splendid, countrified “Cass County.”


Shawn Colvin, ‘Uncovered’

On her second all-covers outing, singer Shawn Colvin shows off her versatility in an acoustic outing with songs by Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Gerry Rafferty, and others.


Kurt Vile, ‘B’lieve I’m Goin Down. . . ’

Kurt Vile’s latest for Matador Records is yet another collection of impeccably played and produced songs that cast a gimlet eye on the singer-songwriter’s milieu.

Album review

Ryan Adams turns Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ into mellow gold

Ryan Adams’s version of “1989,” a track-by-track reimagining of Taylor Swift's 2014 album, reveals new layers in the songs.

Album review | INDIE ROCK

Low, ‘Ones and Sixes’

“Ones and Sixes” is a watershed moment for Low, the culmination of two decades toiling on the outskirts of mainstream rock in pursuit of its own muse.

Album review | ROCK

Hollywood Vampires, ‘Hollywood Vampires’

Alice Cooper recruits scads of his famous friends — including Johnny Depp and Joe Perry — for this jubilant covers album.

Album review | POP

Jess Glynne, ‘I Cry When I Laugh’

The not-so-secret weapon behind Clean Bandit’s 2014 hit “Rather Be” makes her solo debut, flaunting formidable pipes and undeniable talent.

album review | ROCK

Craig Finn, ‘Faith in the Future’

Stepping out from the Hold Steady, singer-songwriter Craig Finn shows an impressive range and keen observation on his second solo LP.

Album review

The Arcs, ‘Yours, Dreamily’

Unlike supergroups whose members seem content just to hang out together, Dan Auerbach and his mates in the Arcs deliver the gritty, soulful goods.

Album review

Iron Maiden, ‘The Book of Souls’

Flying in the face of ephemeral thrills and overnight sensations, Iron Maiden marks its 40th year with a double-disc helping of rock that can only be called epic.

Album review

Cécile McLorin Salvant, ‘For One to Love’

The rising jazz vocalist’s latest showcases her penchant for mining fresh perspectives from old songs while putting a welcome emphasis on her own compositions.

Album review

Travis Scott, ‘Rodeo’

Travis Scott shows hidden reserves of potential on his studio debut, but his versatility and a starry guest list inhibit focus.

Album review

k-os, ‘Can’t Fly Without Gravity’

Canadian rap star k-os accentuates hip-hop verities while still playfully bending boundaries on his newly released sixth album.


Rob Thomas, ‘The Great Unknown’

Matchbox Twentry’s Rob Thomas continues his pleasant stroll down the middle of the road on his third solo album, “The Great Unknown.”


On new album, Sarah McQuaid turns folk tradition inside out

The ghosts of 1970s British folk-rock, particularly Sandy Denny and Nick Drake, haunt McQuaid’s luminous fourth album.


Album review: Method Man, ‘The Meth Lab’

The revered Wu-Tang Clan MC basically plays master of ceremonies for a showcase of underexposed rappers.


The White Buffalo, ‘Love and the Death of Damnation’

The White Buffalo continues to carve out a space that is truly his own.


Album review: Rod Picott, ‘Fortune’

Picott returns with another pointed examination of life’s trials — and the shimmer of hope.


Various artists, ‘Scream: The TV Series — Music from Season One’

MTV may have dropped “music” from its logo, but there’s still fresh music to be discovered through shows like “Scream: The TV Series.”


Album review: Palehound, ‘Dry Food’

Ellen Kempner’s Boston-based Palehound arrives with a surefooted and supremely catchy full-length debut album.


Keller Quartett, ‘Cantante e tranquillo’

The collection of slow movements unites a broad range of composers with a knack for making time stand still.


Philipp Pelster, ‘Conan the Barbarian’

With his faithful, resourceful transcription of a famous 1980s epic film score, the organist proves that he has excellent if uncommon taste.


Andris Nelsons/BSO, Shostakovich Symphony No. 10

The Boston Symphony Orchestra does not have a substantial track record in Shostakovich’s music, but Andris Nelsons is changing that.


Luke Bryan, ‘Kill the Lights’

Luke Bryan shed his spring break fixation, but that’s not to say the country star is suddenly getting serious.


Enola Fall, ‘Heliotropic’

Tasmanian act Enola Fall packs ample pleasures into a modest but impressive new album.


Langhorne Slim & the Law, ‘The Spirit Moves’

Curiously eccentric but never dull, Langhorne Slim has reached a new high with this album.


Iris DeMent, ‘The Trackless Woods’

DeMent set Russian poet Anna Akhmatova’s words to music for a collection whose stark emotional resonance commands your attention.


Mac DeMarco, ‘Another One’

The mini-album feels more like a bridge to future discovery than a finished statement.


Gunplay, ‘Living Legend’

The veteran Miami rapper shows signs of promise, but too often falls into tired cliches and played-out preoccupations.


Lianne La Havas, ‘Blood’

Where the British singer-songwriter’s debut offered a glimmer of promise, its follow-up, “Blood,” is a statement of purpose and self-discovery.


Daniel Romano, ‘If I’ve Only One Time Askin’’

The country singer’s magnificent new album delivers on the promise of its accomplished predecessor, and then some.


Joss Stone, ‘Water for Your Soul’

Introduced to reggae by Damian Marley, former teen sensation Joss Stone breathes its essence deeply on her latest album.


Migos, ‘Yung Rich Nation (YRN)’

Whatever you make of their lyrical content, the members of the Atlanta trap trio show an infectious energy.

Album review

Benny Sharoni, ‘Slant Signature’

Tenor saxophonist Benny Sharoni’s “Slant Signature” showcases the bluesy, tuneful, groove-based imperatives of hard bop.

Album review | COUNTRY

Ashley Monroe, ‘The Blade’

On “The Blade,” country singer Ashley Monroe covers a wide range of styles and moods, conveying a sense of her versatility and gifts.

Album Review

Hellrazor/Spook the Herd, Split CS

Hellrazor and Spook the Herd, each heard on one side of a new cassette release, share local connections and alt-rock affinities.

Album Review | R&B

‘Fillmore’ set shows Sly & the Family Stone at peak potency

A new four-disc set of recordings made in New York in 1968 shows Sly and the Family Stone at their peak, mixing blues, rock, funk, soul, and more.

Album Review | Pop

MS MR, ‘How Does It Feel’

The second album from New York duo MS MR deftly balances opposing impulses.


The Chemical Brothers, ‘Born in the Echoes’

The veteran duo offer a new album that matches its previous best efforts while showing growth.


Tame Impala, ‘Currents’

On its new third album, the Australian band takes yet another loophole, this time edging into the icy waters of dance-floor euphoria.

Album Review | AMERICANA

Jason Isbell, ‘Something More Than Free’

Americana star Jason Isbell continues his winning streak with new album “Something More Than Free.”


Galactic, ‘Into the Deep’

Having struck a winning formula by mixing star singers and jammy instrumentals, the NOLA funk-soul band keeps the good times rolling.

Album Review

Album review: EK, ‘Hands of Time’

Nigerian-born Boston rapper EK is hungry to make his presence known with a passionate if not entirely coherent new EP.

Album Review | POP

Album review: Sasha Siem, ‘Most of the Boys’

British composer-songwriter Sasha Siem’s ability to turn the voices in her head into a twisted orchestra results in a brazen take on womanhood.

Album Review | ROCK

Album review: Neil Young, ‘The Monsanto Years’

Neil Young and his backing band, Promise of the Real, protest mightily, but can’t clear the bar that Young himself set so high years ago.

Album Review | HIP-HOP

Vince Staples, ‘Summertime ’06’

After years of gearing up for his shot at the big time, Vince Staples goes all-in on his sprawling double-LP commercial debut.

Album Review | POP

Album review: Joy Williams, ‘Venus’

If fans and critics argued about what genre label suited Joy Williams’s former group, the Civil Wars, the debate should be dispelled as Williams embraces her inner Kate Bush.

Album Review | R&B

Miguel, ‘Wildheart’

The R&B sensualist Miguel has been simmering over the past five years but finally reaches a full-on boil on his latest album.

Album Review | DANCE POP

Class Actress, ‘Movies’

Legendary producer Giorgio Moroder returns to a new version of the Casablanca label and turns its flagship act, Class Actress, into his new Donna Summer.

Album Review | ROCK

Wolf Alice, ‘My Love Is Cool’

Cramming a lot of style into its debut album (lest there be no second), Wolf Alice connects with the sureness of a seasoned outfit.

Album Review | R&B

Elijah Blake, ‘Diamonds & Shadows’

After penning hits for the likes of Rihanna and Usher, Elijah Blake confirms his enormous promise on his major-label debut LP.

Album Review | SOUL

Leon Bridges, ‘Coming Home’

Texas soul singer Leon Bridges has released one of the year’s most compelling debuts, with 10 songs that sound vintage and lived-in but not slavishly retro.

Album review

James Taylor plays it safe on new album

On “Before This World,” his first album of all-new songs in 13 years, James Taylor doesn’t wander far from his successful path.

Album Review | Pop

Adam Lambert, ‘The Original High’

On his third post-“American Idol” LP, Adam Lambert pulls back just a bit, allowing the contours of his voice to shape mature pop songs.

Noisy Neighbors

Eilen Jewell finds her home on new album

“Sundown Over Ghost Town” is an elegant reminder that sometimes the most compelling stories are the ones that crop up in our own backyards.

Album Review | COUNTRY

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, ‘Django and Jimmie’

The country legends have teamed up for a terrific new album of duets.


Florence + the Machine, ‘How Big How Blue How Beautiful’

On Florence + the Machine’s third album, British singer Florence Welch is scaling back a bit, with more intimate acoustics and lyrics.

Album Review | Pop

Hot Chip defies pigeonholing with ‘Why Make Sense?’

The album is full of infectious pop riddled with bigger questions that ripple well beyond the dance floor.

Album review | Jazz

Joshua Redman and the Bad Plus, ‘The Bad Plus Joshua Redman’

The Bad Plus returns to its own intricate explorations, aided this time by saxophonist Joshua Redman.

Album Review | Pop/Rock

Nelson, ‘Peace Out’

Twin brothers Mathew and Gunnar Nelson throw back to their ’90s heyday with their new record.

Album review | World

Nneka, ‘My Fairy Tales’

The Nigerian singer-songwriter traverses genres while seeking meaning amid chaos and injustice.

Album review | EDM

Alesso, ‘FOREVER’

The best parts of the Swedish producer’s debut LP hint at his knack for crafting mood music.

Album Review | HIP-HOP

Snoop Dogg, ‘Bush’

Snoop Dogg reuniting with Pharrell Williams should have been a sure-fire way to put the rapper back on hit-making track – so what went wrong?

Album Review | ROCK

Rhett Miller, ‘The Traveler’

Old 97s frontman Rhett Miller gets help on new solo album “The Traveler” from some members of Decemberists and R.E.M.

Album Review | AMERICANA

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, ‘The Traveling Kind’

Emmylou Harris shares a more professional, well-crafted sound with Rodney Crowell, but it’s still a thing of beauty.

Album Review | INDIE ROCK

Patrick Watson, ‘Love Songs for Robots’

Full of mystery and spectral beauty, Patrick Watson’s new album, “Love Songs for Robots,” doesn’t reveal all of its layers on first listen.

Album Review | AMERICANA

Della Mae, ‘Della Mae’

“Della Mae” is smart and assured, a continuation of the Boston-bred string band’s penchant for blurring the lines between genres.


Blur, ‘The Magic Whip’

Beloved Britpop quartet, Blur, stage a strong reunion on its new album “The Magic Whip,” out Tuesday, April 28.


Tyler, the Creator, ‘Cherry Bomb’

Odd Future frontman Tyler, the Creator sets aside the angst of his first two albums to explore his quirk in all its Technicolor glory on “Cherry Bomb.”


Raekwon, ‘Fly International Luxurious Art’

Raekwon remains one of hip-hop’s most detailed and visceral MCs.

Album Review | INDIE ROCK

Speedy Ortiz, ‘Foil Deer’

The members of Speedy Ortiz are devoted disciples of ’90s alt-rock, but insist on bleeding their influences and borrowings into one another on “Foil Deer.”

Album Review | POP

Passion Pit, ‘Kindred’

Passion Pit’s new third album is the Boston-bred band’s most unsinkable effort yet.

Album Review | BLUES-ROCK

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, ‘Live In 1967’

Previously unreleased tapes document the 1967 music centered around the powerhouse core of guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood, and bassist John McVie.

Album, Review | HIP-HOP

Yelawolf, ‘Love Story’

If you scratch Southern roots-rapper Yelawolf’s songs’ surfaces, you hear a smart, sensitive outsider searching for some solace.

Album Review | Rock

Alabama Shakes, ‘Sound & Color’

Rockers Alabama Shakes meandered from gauzy, slow-burning ballads to bracing blasts of riffing and shouting.

Album review | Country

Reba McEntire, ‘Love Somebody’

Reba McEntire’s first album of new material in five years touches on the styles and topics that helped make her a country music legend.

Album Review | ELECTRONICA

Shlohmo, ‘Dark Red’

The album ties together shards of musique concrète and cinematic moods with brilliant, breakneck percussion programming.

Album Review | Indie Rock

Calexico, ‘Edge of the Sun’

Calexico’s fine new album on Anti- Records, further erases the line between genres and geography.

Album Review | COUNTRY

Dwight Yoakam, ‘Second Hand Heart’

Dwight Yoakam looks back toward his own youthful recording days — and then back further still, to formative influences.

Album Review

Brian Wilson, ‘No Pier Pressure’

Wilson seems content to chase the same vision he’s pursued for half a century, but to diminishing returns now.

Album Review | COUNTRY

Kristian Bush, ‘Southern Gravity’

While country duo Sugarland takes a break each half of the winning pair is testing out the waters as a solo artist.

Album Review | Pop

Dayna Kurtz, ‘Rise and Fall’

The underrated singer-songwriter turns “You’re Not What I Need” into a soulful exorcism of longing.

Album Review | Rock

The Waterboys, ‘Modern Blues’

Working in Nashville, Mike Scott and his latest batch of Waterboys deliver rough poetry over a solid bed of boogie, blues, and rockers.

Album Review | HIP-HOP

Ludacris, ‘Ludaversal’

It’s doubtful he’ll find a new audience with his first record in five years, but he flashes song smarts and cleverness that elude many of the rappers he’s influenced.

Album Review | ROCK

Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts, ‘Blaster’

Scott Weiland has been through the mill, but he’s back with a low-key and surprisingly decent album.

Album Review | INDIE POP

Jam City, ‘Dream a Garden’

British producer Jack Latham takes aim at a “no hope, no future” atmosphere.

Album Review | COUNTRY

Sarah Gayle Meech, ‘Tennessee Love Song’

“Tennessee Love Song” is a variegated testament to Meech’s facility as a songwriter and to the players she assembled to make it.

Album Review | ROCK

Death Cab For Cutie, ‘Kintsugi’

The title refers to a Japanese artform in which broken pottery is repaired in a manner that highlights cracks rather than hiding them — an apt metaphor.

Album review | Pop

Sufjan Stevens, ‘Carrie & Lowell’

Written in the wake of his mother’s death, Sufjan Stevens’s devastating new album is a beautiful elegy to loss and grief.

Album Review | Pop

Twin Shadow, ‘Eclipse’

The mainstream label, and presumably its fatter budget, didn’t quite expand Lewis’s vision; it sanded off its edges.

Album Review | Pop

Marina and the Diamonds, ‘FROOT’

Diamandis can seem silly on the macro scale but reveals herself a more canny artist upon closer inspection.

Album Review | Rock

Mark Knopfler, ‘Tracker’

The singer-guitarist hews closely to the folk-rock sound he has refined over the course of his career.

Album Review | Pop

Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield, ‘Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith’

Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield pay homage to late singer-songwriter Elliott Smith in a reverent tribute.

Album Review | Folk

Jayme Stone, ‘Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project’

The latest endeavor from the Canadian banjo player takes the famous folklorist, song-collector, and culture sleuth Alan Lomax as its polestar.

Noisy Neighbors

Gio Dee, ‘TOTB: The 2nd Coming’

#ChefBoyz standard bearer’s new mixtape separates him from the pack and establishes his credentials as a polished hit maker.

Album Review | EXTREME METAL

Imperial Triumphant, ‘Abyssal Gods’

The new album mixes rhythmic complexity, textural dissonance, and ponderous melancholy with disparate, unexpected influences.

Album Review | Pop

Madonna, ‘Rebel Heart’

On her remarkable new album, Madonna shows a softer, more revealing side that’s more interesting than her recent attempts at dance-pop domination.

Album Review | ROCK

Lieutenant, ‘If I Kill This Thing We’re All Going to Eat for a Week’

Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel takes the spotlight, offering a casual prog-pop airiness and showing a natural tendency to hang back.

Album Review | INDIE ROCK

JEFF the Brotherhood, ‘Wasted on the Dream’

Freed from bonds to a major label, the duo offers a reckless soundtrack to a night spent pursuing fast, cheap, and out of control.

Album Review | COUNTRY

Luke Bryan, “Spring Break...Checkin’ Out”

The country king of spring break relinquishes his wet T-shirt throne on his new compilation, out Tuesday.

Album Review | FUNK-POP

Tuxedo, ‘Tuxedo’

Singer Mayer Hawthorne and producer Jake One pair up for a bouncy, singalong retro-dance party session.

Album Review | ROCK

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, ‘Chasing Yesterday’

Despite claims that he made it up on the fly, Gallagher impresses with the varied tones and textures of his new album.

Album Review | ROCK

Lady Lamb, ‘After’

25-year-old Maine native Aly Spaltro opens up her sound and tightly focuses her lyrical perspective on an impressive sophomore studio LP.

Album review | FOLK/BLUES

Dorthia Cottrell, ‘Dorthia Cottrell’

The new, self-titled debut from the singer-songwriter is a work of savage beauty, a collection of folk-blues songs as lustrous as they are foreboding.

Album Review | Pop

Kelly Clarkson, ‘Piece by Piece’

The inaugural “American Idol” victor and her collaborators surround her voice with great big production both for good and for ill.

Album Review | rock

Kid Rock, ‘First Kiss’

If you made a list of all things that Kid Rock likes and dislikes you’d have a pretty good summation of his 10th album, “First Kiss.”

Album Review | Electronic

Dan Deacon, ‘Gliss Riffer’

Electronic-music maverick Dan Deacon rifles through his subconscious and waxes nostalgic on his latest album.

Album Review | SOUL

The Mighty Sceptres, ‘All Hail the Mighty Sceptres!’

Nick Radford and Angeline Morrison, mainstays of the British retro-soul scene, team up in the Mighty Sceptres, debuting with a solid offering of throwback soul.

Album Review | HIP-HOP

Big Sean, ‘Dark Sky Paradise’

Despite creative production and guest spots by Jhene Aiko, rapper Big Sean wallows in resentment and misogyny on “Dark Sky Paradise.”

Album Review | R&B

Ibeyi, ‘Ibeyi’

On their self-titled debut as Ibeyi, French-Cuban twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz present a hypnotic collision of cultures and influences.

Noisy Neighbors

Dirty Dishes, ‘Guilty’

Formed in Boston and relocated to Calif., Dirty Dishes devised a forward-thinking approach to backward-gazing rock that’s proved prescient.

Album Review | Reggae

Marley concert from 1978 marks reggae legend’s 70th birthday

“Easy Skanking in Boston ’78” captures for posterity reggae giant Bob Marley at his peak, recorded at the Music Hall and reviewed here by someone who was there.


Sir Richard Bishop, ‘Tangier Sessions’

Recorded over a week in Morocco by the former Sun City Girl and Sublime Frequencies founder Sir Richard Bishop, “Tangier Sessions” reminds that simplicity can yield profundity.

Album review | Pop

Kate Pierson, ‘Guitars and Microphones’

“Guitars and Microphones” is right in line with Kate Pierson’s penchant for spiky dance pop, but it’s also a more revealing look at the B-52s’ atomically redheaded siren.

Album review | Rock

Imagine Dragons, ‘Smoke +Mirrors’

Grammy-winning Las Vegas pop-rockers Imagine Dragons follow up their double-platinum debut with a solid sophomore effort.

Album review | Rock

Juliana Hatfield Three, ‘Whatever, My Love’

Reunited with a band last heard in the early ’90s, Hatfield offers variable versions of the ingratiating formula that has served her from the start.

Album review | R&B

Estelle, ‘True Romance’

On her third album, Brit soul singer-songwriter Estelle is preoccupied with love, sex, and the collateral damage of bad relationships.

Album Review | Rap

Drake surprises fans with sneak-release album

Six years to the day after the release of his career-launching mixtape, Drake surprised fans with a new album released without warning.

Noisy Neighbors

Field Day, ‘Field Day’

The pleasant six-song EP recalls a time when seven-inches ruled the schools – and their in-house stations’ playlists.

Album Review| JAZZ

Vijay Iyer Trio, ‘Break Stuff’

After a chamber-music outing and a film/music project, pianist and composer Vijay Iyer returns to his working trio for a noteworthy third ECM disc.


Rhiannon Giddens, ‘Tomorrow Is My Turn’

On her debut solo album apart from Carolina Chocolate Drops, the singer proves there’s more to her than we realized.


Father John Misty, ‘I Love You Honeybear’

The album takes a more ramshackle approach to the cosmic-folky style Beck has perfected lately, but doesn’t have much to say.

Album Review | Southern Rock

Blackberry Smoke, “Holding All the Roses”

Atlanta Southern rock quintet Blackberry Smoke comes into its own on its fourth album.


Idlewild, ‘Everything Ever Written’

Veteran Scottish alt-rock band Idlewild returns, core intact but fresh blood injected, with its first new album in six years.

Album Review | Classic Pop

Bob Dylan, ‘Shadows in the Night’

Bob Dylan pays tribute to Frank Sinatra on “Shadows in the Night,” an unlikely set of 10 classic pop standards, performed and recorded sans saccharine.


Barnstar!, ‘Sit Down! Get Up! Get Out!’

Boston sideman supergroup Barnstar! shows a continued fondness for exclamation points and bouncy, boundless music on its second album, “Sit Down! Get Up! Get Out!”


Diana Krall, ‘Wallflower’

What could have been a compelling mix of latter-day pop standards transformed by savvy jazz-pop pianist-vocalist Diana Krall is undermined by syrupy, sodden production.


Kid Ink, ‘Full Speed’

Rushing to capitalize on recent success, LA rapper Kid Ink can’t disguise a dearth of imagination with a crowd of starry guest vocalists.


Butch Walker, ‘Afraid of Ghosts’

Singer-songwriter-producer Butch Walker releases the Ryan Adams-produced “Afraid of Ghosts” Tuesday, one of his most mellow and contemplative efforts to date.

Album review | Rock

The Decemberists, ‘What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World’

The Decemberists drop the concept and opt for casual grooves and universal themes on their highly enjoyable new album.

Album review | Hip-Hop

Joey Bada$$, ‘B4.DA.$$’

An audaciously named 19-year-old Brooklyn rapper makes his leap from the mixtape to the main stage with an assertive, assured debut album.


Marilyn Manson, ‘The Pale Emperor’

Marilyn Manson delivers what his fans expect on his ninth album, “The Pale Emperor,” a mix of hits, high points, and muddled misses.

album review | Pop

Mikky Ekko, ‘Time’

Mikky Ekko strikes out in bold directions on “Time,” balancing dramatic effect and emotional intimacy.

Album review | Alt-rock

Sleater-Kinney’s ‘No Cities to Love’ sounds fierce

Seminal alt-rock trio Sleater-Kinney roars back to life with the strong reunion album “No Cities to Love.”


New Vocabulary, ‘New Vocabulary’

Free-jazz alto icon Ornette Coleman recordS in a collaborative trio that showcases his freewheeling style.


Justin Townes Earle, ‘Absent Fathers’

The singer-songwriter lashes out against a father who abandoned him in a misery-filled album.


Guster, ‘Evermotion’

Guster’s splendid new album, “Evermotion” takes the quartet’s core pop-rock sound to new places.


Mark Ronson, ‘Uptown Special’

The hard funk album pays tribute to the music Ronson grew up with, while putting a fresh spin on it.

Noisy Neighbors

Termanology, ‘Shut Up and Rap’

On his seventh studio LP, the Lawrence rapper laments a lack of “real rappers,” and invites his friends and colleagues to show listeners how it’s done.


Peter Hammill, ‘...all that might have been...’

More than four decades into his distinguished career, English progressive-rock cult hero Peter Hammill releases an ambitious, provocative audio-only film noir.


Big Star, ‘Live in Memphis’

Caught live in 1994, just over a year after a reunion no one foresaw, power-pop cult act Big Star crackles with electricity on “Live in Memphis.”


Funkadelic, ‘First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate’

George Clinton and his updated Funkadelic return from a 33-year absence with a three-disc, 33-track jam session virtuosic despite its unevenness.


Charli XCX, ‘Sucker’

Stepping into the limelight after her co-starring role in the inescapable “Fancy,” Charli XCX expresses defiant joy on her brash, bratty new album.


Parkay Quarts, ‘Content Nausea’

Indie rock band Parquet Courts, using an alias, releases its second great album of 2014.


Angels & Airwaves, ‘The Dream Walker’

Writing and producing jointly with former Nine Inch Nails drummer Ilan Rubin, Blink-182 frontman Tom DeLonge fashions a hard-edged, apocalyptic fantasy.


Smashing Pumpkins, ‘Monuments to an Elegy’

Billy Corgan and his latest Smashing Pumpkins offer a plodding, unsubtle update to a once-winning formula.


Ghostface Killah, ‘36 Seasons’

Detailing the exploits of his alter ego, Tony Starks, Ghostface Killah offers an expansive musical tale of betrayal, revenge, and transformation on “36 Seasons.”


Shelley Neill, ‘The Currency Is Heat’

The veteran Boston singer continues to repurpose familar pop, country, and R&B numbers into vehicles for her husky, conversational alto and deft band.


She & Him, ‘Classics’

She & Him’s new fifth album is not holiday-themed, but make no mistake: These songs are meant for snowy nights in front of a crackling fire.


Whitey Morgan and the 78’s, ‘Born, Raised & LIVE from Flint’

Eric David Allen unleashes his honky-tonk alter ego, Whitey Morgan, on a live album that captures his band’s hard-driving ’70s-throwback style.

Album review | Rock

Various Artists ‘Keep Safe Boston’

Local artists and bands team up on a new download compilation to benefit the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.

classical cd review

Boston Symphony Orchestra, Wagner and Sibelius works

Andris Nelsons goes on the record with his interpretations of Wagner and Sibelius works.

classical cd review

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Bach Cantata BWV 170

The new archival recording of the late, much-loved mezzo-soprano provides an early glimpse of an eminent career.


Wu-Tang Clan ‘A Better Tomorrow’

The high profile internal battle for the soul of the Wu-Tang Clan is quite evident on the superstar group’s first record in seven years.


AC/DC, “Rock or Bust”

AC/DC return with “Rock or Bust,” the group’s first album in six years and first without founding guitarist Malcolm Young.


Mary J. Blige, ‘The London Sessions’

At times, the album’s title seems to refer not to recording but to psychoanalysis.


Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie, ‘December Day: Willie’s Stash, Vol. 1’

Willie Nelson kicks off a new archival series with a sentimental set of ballads recorded with his sister and longtime bandmate, pianist Bobbie Nelson.


Thompson, ‘Family’

Teddy Thompson enlists his divorced parents and his siblings for a collaborative folk album that proves talent runs in the family.

album review | SYNTH-ROCK

Simple Minds, ‘Big Music’

Scotland’s Simple Minds succeed in recapturing to varying degrees the synth-pop allure that earned their initial popularity.

Album review | POP

Springtime Carnivore, ‘Springtime Carnivore’

Springtime Carnivore’s new self-titled debut is an irresistible pop album determined to lift your spirits and transport you at the same time.

Album review | HIP-HOP

Rick Ross, ‘Hood Billionaire’

Rapper Rick Ross’s adherence to well-worn tropes and cliches finds him verging on outright self-parody on a hollow seventh LP.

Album review | POP

David Guetta, ‘Listen’

Celebrated producer David Guetta recasts pop radio in his own image with headline-grabbing guest stars, worthy upstarts, and throbbing beats on “Listen.”

album review | ROCK

Billy Idol, ‘Kings & Queens of the Underground’

Billy Idol reflects on his ’80s glory days on his new album “Kings & Queens of the Underground,” out now.


One Direction, ‘Four’

Four years and as many albums into their collective career, the members of English boy band venture into new stylistic territory with their latest release.

Album review | PUNK-POP

The Buzzcocks, ‘The Way’

Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle, and their new rhythm section keep the punk flame burning, laughing off apocalyptic modern times with vintage ferocity on “The Way.”

Album | Hip-Hop

Golden Brown Sound, ‘Great Man Theory’

Boston hip-hop duo Golden Brown Sound mixes a throwback sonic vibe with throughly contemporary observations on its latest album.

Album review | Pop

Bryan Ferry, ‘Avonmore’

Ferry returns with his first album of new material in four years and his husky velvet croon is in fine shape.

Album review | POP

Ariel Pink, ‘Pom Pom’

Despite all the deconstructed whimsy and excess, Ariel Pink adheres to pop-music basics like melody and hooks on “Pom Pom.”


Garth Brooks, ‘Man Against Machine’

Brooks releases “Man Against Machine,” his first all new album in 14 years and the results are underwhelming.


Damien Rice, ‘My Favourite Faded Fantasy’

Returning after an eight-year absence, Rice resurfaces with dramatic orchestrations, intricate arrangements, and hushed, swooning vocals.


Foo Fighters, ‘Sonic Highways’

Despite Foo Fighters’ characteristically righteous rock, restless rambling dilutes the focus of the band’s ambitious eighth album.


Marianne Faithfull, ‘Give My Love to London’

Faithfull’s triumphant “Give My Love to London” reiterates what a singular figure she has been in rock music.


Such Gold, ‘The New Sidewalk’

Pop-punk band Such Gold shows a new maturity beneath the mosh-pit tumult of its sophomore album.

Album review | Rap

Azealia Banks, ‘Broke with Expensive Taste’

Held up for two years by a major-label relationship now at an end, the NYC rapper’s album manages to live up to her considerable initial hype.

Noisy Neighbors

CreaturoS, ‘Popsicle’

The psych-rock combo deftly balances opposing impulses on a new cassette release compiling odds and ends from a few years’ work.

Album review | R&B

Theophilus London, ‘Vibes’

Brooklyn polymath London pays no heed to a commercial downturn for R&B on an amibtious, wide-ranging, star-studded sophomore album.

Album review | POP

Bette Midler, ‘It’s the Girls’

Whether reverent or mischievous, Midler and producer Marc Shaiman offer a lively, appealing tribute to the classic girl-group sound with “It's the Girls."

Album review | AMBIENT

Daniel Lanois, ‘Flesh and Machine’

Famed producer and studio maven Daniel Lanois weighs in with an insular, erratic mostly instrumental album likely to appeal mostly to hardcore fans.

Album review | Dance

Calvin Harris, ‘Motion’

His distinctive musical fingerprint barely evident, superstar DJ Calvin Harris turns in a mostly disappointing fourth album.

Album review | Pop

Neil Young, ‘Storytone’

His first album recorded with an orchestra, Young’s “Storytone” is a leap of faith that turns out to be a grave misstep.

Noisy Neighbors

Mark Shilansky, ‘Fugue Mill’

The pianist and composer’s new album amounts to fresh, inventive, and buoyant jazz.

Album review | Pop

Yusuf ‘Tell ’Em I’m Gone’

Yusef, formerly Cat Stevens, returns after a five-year recording absence with a ruminative effort that leans hard on the blues.

Album review | Pop

Annie Lennox ‘Nostalgia’

On “Nostalgia,” Annie Lennox explores the world of jazz and pop standards, mostly to sublime effect.

Album review | COUNTRY

Little Big Town ‘Pain Killer’

Country quartet Little Big Town follows up its terrific 2012 album, “Tornado,” with the even stronger and smarter “Pain Killer.”

Album review | Country

Florida Georgia Line ‘Anything Goes’

Florida Georgia Line takes the “if it ain’t broke” approach to “Anything Goes,” the follow-up to the duo’s smash 2012 debut.

Album Review | Pop

Taylor Swift goes pop, but at what expense?

Swift leaves country music behind and goes for the masses on “1989,” her infectious yet anonymous new album.

Album review | Hip-hop

Vince Staples ‘Hell Can Wait’

The way Staples lays out his adolescence in his gripping debut, it seems like he saw things no one would want to see.


Bob Seger, ‘Ride Out’

On his first album of new material in eight years, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend is in good form.


Scott Walker & Sunn O))), ‘Soused’

Scott Walker tapped the doom-drone outfit Sunn O))) to collaborate with him on “Soused,” a five-song fantasia of surreal imagery and elliptically constructed compositions.


T.I., ‘Paperwork’

The rapper’s ninth record is a retreat into the familiar: his grand hustles, gangsta posturing, and sexual prowess.


Aretha Franklin, ‘Sings the Great Diva Classics’

The 72-year-old covers anthems by her peers and upstarts, proving she’s still the Queen.


Jessie Ware, ‘Tough Love’

The British R&B singer brings her voice and songs to a boil on her second album.

Album review | Pop

Jessie J, ‘Sweet Talker’

British vocalist Jessie J continues to seek stateside appeal with an album longer on calculation than inspiration.

Album review | Rock

Lloyd Cole, ‘Standards’

Making his long-delayed return to electric-guitar rock, seasoned troubadour Lloyd Cole looses his inner Dylan on “Standards.”

Album review | Folk

Ani DiFranco, ‘Allergic to Water’

Restless, urgent, and a direct communicator, DiFranco stakes a place between seemingly incompatible positions on her intensely personal new LP.

Album review | country

Angaleena Presley, ‘American Middle Class’

Presley adopts an autobiographical approach on her impressive, assured “American Middle Class.”

cd review

Ian William Craig, ‘A Turn of Breath’

Canadian tenor Ian William Craig fashions dreamy, melancholy one-man reveries.

dvd review

Prokofiev, ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Diana Vishneva is the reason to buy this otherwise workmanlike Mariinsky account conducted with brusque passion by Valery Gergiev.

Album review | Rock

Weezer, ‘Everything Will Be Alright in the End’

Weezer turns in its best album in years, an ambitious, self-referential set that mixes power-pop thrills and Pink Floyd chills.

Album review | Rock

Stevie Nicks, ‘24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault’

Unearthing songs written from 1967 to the ’90s, Stevie Nicks fashions a new album of classic sounds and inimitable styles.

Album review | Country

Jason Aldean, ‘Old Boots, New Dirt’

Country superstar Jason Aldean goes through the motions on his new album, a solidly constructed outing that lacks inspiration.

Album review | R&B

Keyshia Cole, ‘Point of No Return’

More than ten years into a career of chronicling the tales of women done wrong in love, Cole flirts with predictability on her sixth album.


Flying Lotus, ‘You’re Dead!’

Producer and rapper Flying Lotus comtemplates the afterlife with style and craft to spare on his masterful sixth album, “You’re Dead?”


Lady Antebellum, ‘747’

Lady Antebellum stops making sense on its new fifth album, delivering contradictory moves, baffling sequencing, and well-worn cliches.

Album review | Pop

Tove Lo, ‘Queen of the Clouds’

The Swedish singer-songwriter follows her intoxicating single, “Habits,” with a debut LP that’s addictive despite its occasional lack of depth.


Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, ‘Saturday Night/Sunday Morning’

Whether getting up to mischief on Saturday night or praising the Holy Spirit on Sunday morning, Stuart and his band deliver the goods.


Lucinda Williams, ‘Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone’

Williams’s 11th album settles into a deep groove that suggests she was fired up and couldn’t whittle her latest to a standard 10 songs.

Album Review

Thom Yorke releases ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’ on BitTorrent

The Radiohead frontman’s second solo record is enjoyable yet slight, a hedged bet on a still-unproven concept.


Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, ‘Cheek to Cheek’

On their first album together, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga explore the Great American Songbook to charming effect.


John Mellencamp, ‘Plain Spoken’

Mellencamp continues to cut to the core with personal lyrics and subtly deployed sidemen on his gritty 20th album.


Tweedy, ‘Sukierae’

Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy teams up with son Spencer. The band plays the Berklee Performance Center on Friday.

Album Review | Jazz

Otis Brown III, ‘The Thought of You’

Post-bop, hip-hop, and the Holy Spirit merge in a bold debut album from jazz drummer and composer Otis Brown III.

Album review | Country

Tim McGraw, ‘Sundown Heaven Town’

McGraw follows up 2013’s “Two Lanes of Freedom” with the pleasant if more conventional “Sundown Heaven Town,” out Tuesday.


Various Artists, ‘Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro’

Billy Childs’s “Map to the Treasure,” featuring several guest artists, honors and deconstructs the late Laura Nyro’s legacy.

Album Review

Lou Harrison, ‘La Coro Sutro’

Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project present warm, inviting accounts of two works by the late California maverick composer.

album review

Marc-André Hamelin, Schumann and Janacek works

Canadian pianist Marc-André finds unsuspected connections among evocative works by Schumann and Janacek.

album review

MOZART, Piano Concertos K. 503 & K. 466

An artistic partnership gets an unintended coda in this pairing of Mozart concertos.

album review

U2, ‘Songs of Innocence’

Released by surprise on Tuesday as a free download for iTunes users, the new album is also full of welcome surprises in the songs and production.

Album Review | ROCK

Ryan Adams, ‘Ryan Adams’

After an uncharacteristic three-year hiatus, singer-songwriter Ryan Adams returns with an atmospheric, rocking, and self-assured self-titled effort.

Album Review | JAZZ

Mark Turner Quartet, ‘Lathe of Heaven’

Untethered by the absence of piano or guitar, saxophonist Mark Turner soars alongside trumpeter Avishai Cohen on an agreeably heady new CD.

Album review | INDIE POP

Tennis, ‘Ritual in Repeat’

A love match from the start, husband-and-wife duo Tennis discovers fresh nuance and depth on its third album, “Ritual in Repeat.”

Album Review | ROCK

Robert Plant, ‘lullaby and... THE CEASELESS ROAR’

Deset blues, Victorian poetry, and the Led Zeppelin legacy collide on the latest new album by the tireless Robert Plant.

Album Review | INDIE ROCK

Interpol, ‘El Pintor’

Five studio albums in, New York’s Interpol gets its gloomy groove back on the superb “El Pintor.”

Noisy Neighbors

Yeehaw!, ‘Demotivational Speaker’

The young Boston pop-punk band releases a promising debut album that transcends genre boundaries and partisan boundaries.

Album Review | POP

Smokey Robinson, ‘Smokey & Friends’

The Motown legend reimagines some of his classic songs with a little help from friends like Elton John.

Album Review | AVANT-POP

Imogen Heap, ‘Sparks’

The English singer-songwriter’s ambitious fourth album finds the singer seeking out the demarcation between technology and humanity.

Album Review | SYNTH-POP

Midge Ure, ‘Fragile’

On his first new solo album in more than a decade, Ure sticks to an ’80s synth-pop format, but delves deeper into his arch, cerebral side.

Album Review | HIP-HOP

Wiz Khalifa, ‘Blacc Hollywood’

The popular rapper’s fifth record is an alarming regression and a head-shaking misfire.

cd/dvd review

Elvis Presley’s Vegas run gets royal treatment

The eight CDs of “That’s the Way It Is” comprise a mix of Nashville studio cuts and Vegas live material — plus six complete shows and rehearsal excerpts.

Album review | ROCK

Spoon, ‘They Want My Soul’

Quirky Austin combo Spoon returns with a brisk, blithe new album.

Album review | HARD ROCK

Godsmack, ‘1000hp’

Boston-honed hard-rock institution Godsmack uncorks a leaner, meaner nostalgia-tripping sixth album.

Album review | SOUL

Willis Earl Beal, ‘Experiments in Time’

Willis Earl Beal returns to his independent roots on his startling new album, which puts a cosmic spin on soul.

Album review | JAZZ/WORLD

Somi, ‘The Lagos Music Salon’

New York singer-songwriter Somi follows her muse to Nigeria, deftly documenting the sounds, joys, and pain she encountered with musicality and sophistication.

Album review | ROCK

Bear in Heaven, ‘Time Is Over One Day Old’

A knack for hitting the sonic sweet spots doesn’t prevent Brooklyn’s Bear in Heaven from sinking into a deadly lull on its fourth LP.


Berlin Philharmonic, Schumann Symphonies

The Berlin Philharmonic delivers a lavishly packaged but curiously uneven set of Schumann’s symphonies.

Paul Lewis, Schubert Late Sonatas

The English pianist plumbs Schubert’s heart of darkness in a compelling survey of the composer’s final sonatas.


Various Artists, Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

A French collection restores some fabled performances of Gershwin’s best-known works to the CD shelf.


Budapest Festival Orchestra, Bruckner Symphony No. 7

Maverick conductor Iván Fischer conjures lightness, shade, and myriad moods in Bruckner’s sweeping symphony.

Album review | ROCK

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, ‘Hypnotic Eye’

Veteran classic rock favorites Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers return with a solid new album in “Hypnotic Eye,” out Tuesday.

Album review | POP

Eric Clapton & Friends, ‘The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale’

Veteran guitar god Eric Clapton pays homage to a late collaborator and influence with a generous, star-packed tribute album.

Album review | HIP-HOP

Shabazz Palaces, ‘Lese Majesty’

Ishmael Butler reshapes language as he renews the hip-hop genre on his second full-length Shabazz Palaces release.

Album review | INDIE ROOTS-POP

Various Artists, ‘Beck Song Reader’

Beck’s 2012 sheet-music compendium gives rise to an all-over-the-map compilation, with interpretations by Jack White, Jason Isbell, David Johansen, and others.

Album review | INDIE ROCK

The Raveonettes, ‘Pe’ahi’

“Pe’ahi,” the new album by the Danish indie-rock duo the Raveonettes, is an all-out attempt to rip up their blueprint.

Album review | HIP-HOP

Common, ‘Nobody’s Smiling’

Chicago rapper Common vents his outrage about his home city’s violent troubles with an intensely introspective, balanced new CD.

Album review | POP

La Roux, ‘Trouble in Paradise’

On its sophomore album, British electro-pop band La Roux grows up and into a more adventurous sound.

Album review | POP-PUNK

Joyce Manor, ‘Never Hungover Again’

California pop-punk quartet Joyce Manor packs despondency and diversity into meticulously plotted morsels on its third album.

Album review | BLUES

Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters, ‘Good News’

Celebrated Boston blues master Ronnie Earl serves up blazing guitar and sanctified spirits on yet another exquisite outing.

Album review | POP-ROCK

5 Seconds of Summer, ‘5 Seconds of Summer’

Australian team-scream pop group 5 Seconds of Summer presents a cheerfully calculated debut album.

Album review | COUNTRY

Old Crow Medicine Show, ‘Remedy’

The men of Old Crow Medicine Show are so consistently good that it’s easy to take them for granted.

Noisy Neighbors

Magic Man, ‘Before the Waves’

The new debut from Boston synth-pop band fits snugly in the realm of euphoric dance rock.

Album Review

Armstrong’s horn gains fresh luster in a new box set

The nine disc set is a veritable Dead Sea Scrolls of jazz.

Album review: POP

Robin Thicke, ‘PAULA’

Thicke makes a record that simultaneously listenable and repellent in an attempt to reconcile with his wife.

album review | roots-country

Corb Lund, ‘Counterfeit Blues’

Canadian country artist Corb Lunds strips things back to basics to evoke the Sun Studios mystique on his latest release, mostly to strong effect.

Album review | JAZZ

Carsie Blanton, ‘Not Old, Not New’

Blanton explores her inner jazz singer on her sublime new album, “Not Old, Not New.”


OOIOO, ‘Gamel’

Yoshimi and her OOIOO cohorts entangle ancient tradition with avant-garde instincts to delightful, dizzying effect on their sixth album.

Album review | HIP-HOP

Ab-Soul, ‘These Days...’

Deep thinker Ab-Soul sets out to prove he’s not the bottom rung on the Top Dawg ladder with an album that mostly avoids heavy themes.

Noisy Neighbors

Nando Michelin, ‘Juana de América’

The Uruguayan-born Boston pianist pays lavish, intricate tribute to his distinguished countrywoman, poet Juana de América.

Album review | INDIE POP


PHOX’s eponymous new debut is a showcase for its immaculate pop.

Album review | HEAVY METAL

Mastodon, ‘Once More ’Round the Sun’

The cerebral bone crushers of Atlanta’s Mastodon are high on life on their celebratory sixth LP.

Album review | R&B

Joe, ‘Bridges’

Veteran singer Joe flexes his elastic tenor in an overlong but diverse exploration of modern love’s intricacies.

Album review | ART-POP

How to Dress Well, ‘What Is This Heart?’

On his new LP as How to Dress Well, Tom Krell tenuously negotiates the fine art of falling apart.

CD Review

Another ‘Window’ into Aphex Twin

“Caustic Window” offer a panoramic view of the breadth of Richard D. James’s skills.

Album review | POP

Ed Sheeran, ‘X’

The British singer-songwriter thumbs its nose at the sophomore slump.

Album review | POP/DANCE

Jennifer Lopez, ‘A.K.A.’

Lopez returns with a half great, half so-so new album offering pop, dance, and hip-hop tracks of varying quality.

Album review | Jazz

Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden, ‘Last Dance’

Jarrett and Haden are reunited on a second duo album of sunny standards, with a melancholy coda.

Album review | POP

Sam Smith, ‘In the Lonely Hour’

Swooning adult pop aside, Sam Smith comes off as a creep on his “Lonely” new album.

Album review | POP

Lana Del Rey, ‘Ultraviolence’

Slavishly downbeat, the new sophomore album from Lana Del Rey burrows even deeper into her torchy sensibility and rarely breaks its spell.


José James’s ‘While You Were Sleeping’

Compared to James’s 2013 breakout “No Beginning No End,” this one is bigger, thicker, less sensual but arguably just as sexy.


Craft Spells, ‘Nausea’

Were it not for his enduring, endearing anxieties, you might even call Vallesteros’s second album as Craft Spells “confident.”

Album review | POP

Chrissie Hynde, ‘Stockholm’

On her solo debut, tough-as-nails Pretenders leader Hynde offers a curious mix of treacly sounds, mediocre material — and John McEnroe.


Gabriel Kahane, ‘The Ambassador’

Making his major-label debut, singer-composer Gabriel Kahane fashions a complex, theatrical composite portrait of Los Angeles.


Jack White, ‘Lazaretto’

Controversy-courting rocker Jack White plies his trademark chutzpah and swagger on a roller coaster ride of a sophomore LP.

Album review | HIP-HOP

50 Cent, ‘Animal Ambition’

Still peddling his club-hopping hustla persona, 50 Cent falls short of living up to the title of his return to indie-label freedom.

Album review | ROCK

Bob Mould, ‘Beauty & Ruin’

There’s little light to be seen in the latest low, slow burner from the alt-rock veteran of Hüsker Dü and Sugar renown.

Album review | ROCK

Echo & The Bunnymen, ‘Meteorites’

Long past his band’s ’80s peak, Ian McCulloch raises cause for concern on his fifth album as a duo with bandmate Will Sergeant.

Album review | COUNTRY

Miranda Lambert, ‘Platinum’

Country spitfire Miranda Lambert follows up her watershed 2011 release, “Four the Record,” with her fine fifth album.

Album review | POP

Mariah Carey, ‘Me. I am Mariah . . . the Elusive Chanteuse’

Carey returns with a new album that showcases her powerhouse vocals and friends like Wale, Nas, and Stevie Wonder.


Röyksopp & Robyn, ‘Do It Again’

The new collaborative album from Robyn and Röyksopp is the best of both worlds: slinky electronica and hands-up dance pop.


Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, ‘Dereconstructed’

The South rises anew on the latest LP from Birmingham, Alabama rock fundamentalist Lee Bains III and his fiery crew.


hOwen Pallett, ‘In Conflict’

Indie-pop auteur Owen Pallett showcases his knack for clever arrangements and savvy production on an intimate new album.


Hercules & Love Affair, ‘The Feast of the Broken Heart’

The newest album from Hercules & Love Affair unspools like a night on the dance floor ushered along by a DJ in complete control of the crowd and his genre.


The Roots, ‘And Then You Shoot Your Cousin’

The Roots push the boundaries of hip-hop with a conceptually fragmented, cinematic song cycle exploring stories from different points of views.


Coldplay, ‘Ghost Stories’

As the title implies, Coldplay’s sixth album, “Ghost Stories,” is a spectral affair, haunted by longing.


Trans Am, ‘Volume X’

Trans Am’s 10th album, “Volume X,” plays like a highlight reel of the band’s best facets.

Album Review

A refresher course on the powers of Oasis

Oasis is releasing a 20th anniversary three-disc edition of its 1994 album, “Definitely Maybe,” on Tuesday.


Conor Oberst, ‘Upside Down Mountain’

One thing that is abundant on Oberst’s latest: a raw laying bare of emotion delivered with a poet’s ear for lyrical specificity.


Jolie Holland, ‘Wine Dark Sea’

On the ambitious new “Wine Dark Sea," singer-songwriter Jolie Holland is in full bloom with an album that puts an experimental spin on Americana

Album review | Americana

Dolly Parton, ‘Blue Smoke’

Parton enlivens her new album with more of her down-home roots, drawing heavily on bluegrass and Appalachian folk.


Little Dragon, ‘Nabuma Rubberband’

Little Dragon, led by vocalist Yukimi Nagano, spends a good portion of its new album slowing the beat down to explore more sensuous, languid grooves.

Album Review | Jazz

‘A Boy Named Charlie Brown’ displays Vince Guaraldi Trio’s many gifts

A 1964 soundtrack to a planned ‘Peanuts’film displays the Guaraldi Trio’s compositional and instrumental gifts.


Tori Amos, ‘Unrepentant Geraldines’

Amos makes a strong return with her first album of original pop songs in five years. The singer plays the Boston Opera House August 15.


The Black Keys, ‘Turn Blue’

Compared to The Black Keys debut, “The Big Come Up,” this new album feels more like “The Big Comedown.”

Album Review | ROCK

Ray LaMontagne, ‘Supernova’

LaMontagne changed the way he wrote songs, brought in a new producer, and worked with a new cast of players.

Album Review | AVANT-GARDE POP

tUnE-yArDs, ‘Nikki Nack’

Like all albums by typographers’ nightmare tUnE-yArDs, “Nikki Nack” is ear candy.

Album Review | POP

Lykke Li, ‘I Never Learn’

Li’s third record moves her into pop territory with short, tuneful and alluring songs about emotional anguish.

Album Review | POP

On ‘Sheezus,’ Lily Allen’s still got something to say

With “Sheezus,” her first album in five years, Allen proves she knows how to get back in the pop ring.

cd review | classical music

Yevgeny Sudbin/Minnesota Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä, ‘Mozart’

The young Russian pianist is an insightful pianist, an impression reinforced by the eloquent and searching performances captured here.

cd review | classical music

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, ‘Adagios and Fugues: W.A. Mozart after J.S. Bach’

This CD from the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin gives a glimpse into Mozart’s Bach studies.

Noisy Neighbors

Kris Delmhorst, ‘Blood Test’

Delmhorst’s latest album is her first release of original material since 2008’s “Shotgun Singer.”

Album review | Rock

Pixies, ‘Indie Cindy’

The derangement that more than anything else made the Pixies the Pixies remains firmly in place.

Album review | INDIE ROCK

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, ‘Midnight Sun’

There’s a lot of Lennonesque psychedelia going on here, the “Tomorrow Never Knows”-style backward guitars and Eastern tones of “Xanadu” in particular.

Album review | POP

Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed, ‘Nights Like This’

Eli “Paperboy” Reed takes a risk with a venture into slickly produced contemporary pop filled with electronic flourishes. It doesn’t quite pay off.

Album review | AMBIENT POP

Damon Albarn, ‘Everyday Robots’

Clearly influenced by Brian Eno (who appears on two tracks), this album is an ambient snoozefest marred by listless mood pieces.

Album review | ALT-COUNTRY

Old 97s, ‘Most Messed Up’

The new Old 97s album that surveys the band’s quarter-century of existence (“20 good years of about 25” quips Miller) in a sprawling six minutes.

Album review | POP ROCK

Neon Trees, ‘Pop Psychology’

Neon Trees deliver familiar pop-rock with a difference on their new album, “Pop Psychology.”

Album review | INDIE POP

Eels, ‘The Cautionary Tales Of Mark Oliver Everett’

“The Cautionary Tales Of Mark Oliver Everett,” a new Eels album, has a simplicity and soft intimacy, but such a consistently flat affect that it remains bloodless and numb.

Album review | POP

Dan Wilson, ‘Love Without Fear’

Former Semisonic frontman and in-demand songwriter Dan Wilson showcases his pop prowess on his second solo album, “Love Without Fear.”