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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review: Green Day Is Back On Top With ‘Revolution Radio’

Green Day’s career arc has been one most bands would envy. It’s rare for a band to continue strong for 25+ years, and rarer still for them to have continued success into their later years. But Green Day has always been special. After a strong underground start in the Bay Area, the trio released their…

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

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

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Review: Gavin DeGraw Finds Perfect Balance On ‘Something Worth Saving’

Since he first came out in 2003, Gavin DeGraw has made music that is timeless. He somehow combines relatable, guy-next-door ease with cool, city-boy charm. He's romantic and sensitive one minute, random and joking the next. Even with his first album, he'a always seemed familiar, like an old friend. His newest release, Something Worth Saving, is…

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Playing It Safe: Why Did Music Stop Being Honest & Fearless?

For some years now, I have felt a growing dissatisfaction with the songs that dominate radio stations and the artists that take up most entertainment news stories. This must make me sound like an out-of-touch old grouch who just doesn't get kids these days, but I'm only in my mid-20s. I love music, and yet lately I…

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Review: Garbage’s Dark ‘Strange Little Birds’ Is Their Best Album In Years

In 2014 Garbage began working on their sixth studio album, the follow-up to their 2012 comeback record, Not Your Kind Of People. They slyly shared pictures of their whiteboard full of song titles, and it seemed that the album was almost ready to be released. Instead, 2015 was dominated by a 20-year anniversary of their…

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Stop Calling Garbage A Grunge Band

Lately there's been a lot of talk about Garbage, and with good reason. Last year they celebrated the 20th anniversary of their 1995 debut album, Garbage, with a re-release of the record and a 20 Years Queer tour. Next week, the band will release their sixth studio album, Strange Little Birds. Their new songs "Empty"…

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In Defense Of Green Day’s Trilogy

Four years ago, Green Day announced their most ambitious release yet: A trilogy of albums. Following the huge success of 2004's rock opera, American Idiot, the band crafted another concept album, this time divided into three acts, with 2009's 21st Century Breakdown. Green Day knew they couldn't keep doing politically-oriented rock operas, so they decided to take it…

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Top 20 Kelly Clarkson Album Tracks

Some months ago I listed my 20 favorite unreleased Kelly Clarkson songs. She has so many amazing hidden gems that deserved to be on albums, and though it was hard to narrow down my list, I'm glad that we can at least hear these unreleased tracks. Now it's time to pick out some of Kelly's…

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Record Labels Vs. Artists: Let The Creators Create

For nearly as long as the music industry has existed, a certain partnership has played a vital part in keeping the business running smoothly. The first side is obviously the creative souls - songwriters, musicians, performers, singers. These are the people who make the music and the reason there is a music industry at all.…

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My Love-Hate Relationship With Bonus Tracks

Bonus tracks are a magical thing for most music fans. We love getting a new album from our favorite artist, and most of us are eager for as much music as we can get our hands on. I myself have already expressed my love for songs, and in my opinion, the more the merrier. I can never…

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Review: Gwen Stefani Confesses Love & Loss On Superb ‘This Is What The Truth Feels Like’

After a few tumultuous years, Gwen Stefani is back with her first solo album in a decade, This Is What The Truth Feels Like. It follows her hugely successful 2004 debut, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., and its 2006 followup, The Sweet Escape. Those two dance-pop records were a big change for the No Doubt frontwoman,…

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

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

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Why Don’t Artists Release All The Songs They Record?

Most music fans I know are always excited to hear more music from their favorite singers and bands. Anticipation builds into a giddy frenzy as a new album's release date approaches. When an artist performs a new song, half the audience films a video of it so fans can search it out on YouTube a…

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20 Ways To Discover New Music

Everyone loves music. And most people can never get enough of it. But how do you discover new music to add to your collection? In a world as filled with endless musical options as ours is today, it can be difficult to sift through the sounds and find what really speaks to you. Most articles…

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Never Stop Discovering New Bands, Part Two

A year and a half ago, I was excited about all the new bands and singers I had discovered and loved. I shared a brief list of just 6 new artists I was passionate about and wanted more people to discover, too. Well, now that it's been so long, I thought I'd give you an…

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Why Making Shorter Albums Is A Mistake

Do you prefer long albums or short albums? What is the ideal number of tracks or running time? Do you even still listen to albums? This might not apply to you, but of all the people I know that do still listen to albums, it seems that everyone has an opinion about how long an…

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Top 15 Albums Of 2015

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

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Top 30 Singles Of 2015

Now that 2015 is coming to a close, it feels right to reflect on all the great music we've gotten to enjoy for the last 12 months. This year was packed full of amazing new singles across the genres, from progressive metal to old school funk pop and everything in between. We picked out 30…

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Review: Hilary Duff Makes Strong Pop Comeback With ‘Breathe In. Breathe Out.’

Hilary Duff has been out of the game for a while. Once a teen queen of cheery pop songs, Hilary put her career on hold after releasing her last album, Dignity, in 2007. Dignity represented an impressive shift in sound for Hilary: While her prior albums had fit neatly into the teen pop and pop rock…

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Review: ‘Drones’ Is Muse’s Best Album In A Decade

Muse has spent the last decade growing ever bigger and more grandiose. From humble beginnings in the south of England, the trio transformed from a simple three-piece rock band to a world famous group known for pushing boundaries into uncharted territory, incorporating dubstep, orchestras, synths, and suites of thematic tracks. Muse's last album, 2012's The 2nd…

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An Avril Lavigne Music Wish List

Avril Lavigne has a big year planned. She sneakily hinted that she had some "projects lined up" around the new year, but she likes things to be a surprise. First up was the much-wanted music video for "Give You What You Like," one of the best tracks from Avril's self-titled fifth album (and her whole career). The song didn't…

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Review: Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece By Piece”

It's been a bit since Kelly Clarkson released a full pop album. While it's been nearly four years since her last record, the Grammy-winning Stronger, was released, Kelly has kept plenty busy. In 2012 we got her Greatest Hits: Chapter 1, and then in 2013 she released her first ever holiday album, Wrapped In Red. And…

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Review: Periphery’s “Juggernaut: Alpha” & “Juggernaut: Omega”

Periphery's concept album Juggernaut has been long in the making. It started as guitarist Misha Mansoor's plan for an extended composition made up of different sections. Eventually, this plan turned into a whole album - a double album, that is. The concept album known as Juggernaut was supposed to come out a few months after…

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Review: Fall Out Boy’s “American Beauty / American Psycho”

The wait is finally over! Fall Out Boy's new album - their 6th - is out today, and it's something all of their fans can enjoy. American Beauty / American Psycho has a similar sounds to the band's previous album, 2013's Save Rock And Roll, but there's also the feeling of old school Fall Out Boy in there…

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New Year, New Music: 20 New Albums We’re Looking Forward To In 2015

2014 was a great year filled with stunning new music. There were plenty of stellar albums, not to mention dozens of singles we had on repeat the whole year. But now we're ready for 2015 and all the new music it will bring! There are lots of new albums coming out in 2015. Here's what…

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Top 20 Singles Of 2014

We gave you our top 10 albums of the 2014 yesterday. Now it's time for the singles! Some of these were the lead singles for albums that ended up being big in 2014; others come from albums that aren't even out yet. With lots of throwbacks to the '70s and '80s, complemented with modern production and…

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Top 10 Albums Of 2014

2014 was a fairly calm year for music. There weren't any crazy events at the VMAs. There wasn't any one artist that singlehandedly dominated the whole year. All in all, a lot of artists got to shine with a hit single or two, and there were no eruptions of outrage to distract anyone from what matters most:…

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Welcome To The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Green Day. You’ve Earned It.

I discovered Green Day an entire decade ago. I was 14 years old, and "American Idiot" had just come out. The music video was addictive, and the song had so much energy and aggression. As a young teenager just getting into music, this was the song I needed. It took 2 more singles and an…

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