Premature Evaluation: Kanye West Jesus Is King

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Kanye-West-Jesus-Is-KingFifteen years ago, nobody could’ve possibly predicted it: Kenny G not only appearing on a Kanye West album but having the single best moment on that album. That’s what happens on Jesus Is King, the exhaustedly awaited gospel-rap album that West finally released on Friday afternoon. Kenny G — former Barry White sideman, current best-selling … More »

Premature Evaluation: Big Thief Two Hands

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Big-Thief-Two-HandsFor a band whose most affecting moments are often gentle meditations or rock songs on the more elusive end of the spectrum, Big Thief sure know how to take a year by storm. Back in May, they released their third album U.F.O.F.. It was met with immediate acclaim from fans and critics alike; … More »

Premature Evaluation: Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds Ghosteen

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Nick-Cave-And-The-Bad-Seeds-GhosteenOn July 14, 2015, Nick Cave’s teenage son Arthur died in a tragic accident, falling from a cliff in Brighton. The event, of course, irrevocably altered the path of Cave and his family’s lives. It also, inevitably, will loom over whatever music he releases from now on. The story surrounded Skeleton Tree, his … More »

Premature Evaluation: Danny Brown uknowhatimsayin¿

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Danny-Brown-uknowhatimsayinThe 1979 cult documentary 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s is an image of a dark place at a crucial cultural point. The movie is about the kids in the bombed-out wasteland of the South Bronx — the gangs like the Savage Skulls and the Savage Nomads, people who looked like The Warriors but in real life. More »

Premature Evaluation: Angel Olsen All Mirrors

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Angel-Olsen-All-MirrorsFor a minute and a half, Angel Olsen’s new album is a quiet murmur, a low boil. It doesn’t last. For about 95 seconds, “Lark,” the first song on the new All Mirrors, is going great. Olsen’s guitar is a sparkling tremolo. Letting her voice flicker and fade, Olsen sings about the hole … More »

Premature Evaluation: Chromatics Closer To Grey

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Chromatics have acknowledged the resounding call of “Dear Tommy when?” by … not answering it at all. Instead, they’ve sidestepped the question and put out an altogether different album by surprise. Feels about right. More »

Premature Evaluation: Charli XCX Charli

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A few weeks ago, Charli XCX had a bit of a rough time. She took to social media to air out her feelings. “Sometimes I just want to quit everything,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “Sometimes I wish I was only a songwriter, not an artist — so I could give my … More »

Premature Evaluation: Tool Fear Inoculum

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Tool fans have earned a reputation for being intense. And that self-seriousness, and the resulting implication that you just don’t get it, has turned a lot of people off. There’s a longstanding rumor that back when Spin was still a print publication, the editors would get a letter a day demanding a Tool … More »

Premature Evaluation: Lana Del Rey Norman Fucking Rockwell

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Lana-Del-Rey-Norman-Fucking-RockwellLana Del Rey got it before the rest of us did. When Del Rey first showed up on the collective radar, smack in the exact middle of the Obama era, she came off as an actress giving life to a great gimmick — a film-noir starlet adrift in time, floating on Lynchian breezes and midday … More »

Premature Evaluation: Taylor Swift Lover

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Taylor-Swift-LoverThe imperial phase always ends. That period — the time when an artist has such a firm grip on the zeitgeist that she can take the entire listening public wherever she wants — can last for years, but it will never last forever. Every hugely popular artist in history has a dropoff point, a time … More »