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

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

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Review: Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness Pushes Into New Territory On Surprising ‘Zombies On Broadway’

Two years and a half years ago, Andrew McMahon released his first album under his new Wilderness moniker. 2014's Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness signaled a new musical direction had he'd hinted at on his 2013 EP, The Pop Underground. His first band, Something Corporate, represented the piano side of the punk rock scene of the early 2000s. In…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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: ‘Sorceress’ Strikes Balance Between Old And New Opeth

It’s been a while since Opeth left their death metal origins behind to focus on a more melodic, late '60s and early '70s prog rock approach. While 2014’s Pale Communion was confirmation of this relatively new style, Sorceress brings back a few elements from their darker and heavier early 2000s approach. Perhaps what makes Sorceress…

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Review: Amy Lee’s ‘Dream Too Much’ Is A Sweet Family Adventure

If you want to turn into a pile of mush, Dream Too Much may be just the album for you. Amy Lee first hinted at the new project, inspired by her two-year-old son, Jack, early this year, when Amy started sharing photos and videos on social media showing her recording new music. After much guessing by the…

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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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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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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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Review: Lana Del Rey Masterfully Balances Old Cinema & Other-Worldly Opulence On ‘Honeymoon’

Lana Del Rey's last album, Ultarviolence, came out only a year ago. It showed depth and a clear evolution in her sound, and Lana wasted no time getting started on her next record. She was inspired and motivated, and by early 2015 we were hearing about Honeymoon. Lana has mentioned that Honeymoon would be more…

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Review: Ghost Is Better Than Ever On Grandly Vintage New Album ‘Meliora’

Ghost is back with their third album, Meliora, a name which tellingly means "the pursuit of something better." As with their first two albums, Ghost continues to recreate the past while pushing new boundaries, and have crafted an album that gets better with each new listen. Ghost has always drawn on vintage inspirations. Their first album, Opus…

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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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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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Review: OK Go’s “Hungry Ghosts”

OK Go is band that changes with every album. For the last decade they've been known primarily for their unique, one-take videos, but their music is also pushing boundaries. On their last album, 2010's Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky, OK Go moved away from the raw sound of Oh No and went instead…

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Review: “Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness”

Andrew McMahon is one of those artists that isn't afraid to reinvent himself. And not just once - he's transformed his sound and moniker a few times now. Early fans were lucky to see him as the pop punk leader in Something Corporate in the early 2000s; a few years later, he unveiled a new…

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Review: Amy Lee’s “Aftermath”

The moment is finally here: Amy Lee has just released her first solo album, Aftermath. The music was written for and inspired by the independent film, War Story, and as such, it is quite the departure from Amy's work with Evanescence. This record shows another side of Amy - a side that isn't afraid to experiment…

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