Remembering That Strange Moment When Korn Were Pop Superstars

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KornAt first, Korn were a myth to me. When they released their self-titled debut album in 1994, I was 11. I may have glimpsed their spooky dreadlocked scowls in magazines or TV ads, or wherever I found out about new music in that nascent internet era. But for a suburban Christian kid who spent his … More »

The Wilting Of Iggy Azalea

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Iggy Azalea - Survive The SummerBelieve it or not, the equivalent of a full presidential term has passed since Iggy Azalea ruled summer 2014. Back then, it was hard to go about daily life without encountering this young blonde white woman from Australia rapping in an affected Southern drawl. Her pop-rap hits were everywhere — and whenever you weren’t hearing … More »

A Little Bit Country, A Whole Lot Of Streams: Bebe Rexha Has Cracked The Code

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Bebe Rexha - ExpectationsIf it’s meant to be, it’ll be: Regarding Bebe Rexha’s unlikely takeover of the country charts, this is both the savvy execution and the only explanation. More »

Billie Eilish, A Teen Pop Star Who Has No Time For Teen Pop

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Billie EilishOne of the foundational principles of being a teenager is posturing like you’re cooler and more grown-up than you actually are. The budding career of Billie Eilish is this ruse writ large with a major-label budget, presented so convincingly you wonder whether it might actually be authentic. More »

At Least We Can Count On Childish Gambino For Great Videos

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Childish GambinoRemember the early stage of the Drake/Meek Mill beef? If not, let me refresh your memory. More »

Big Reputation: A Trip To Taylor Swift’s Hyper-Maximalist Stadium Tour

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Taylor SwiftI am sitting on a folding chair in the middle of a football field. A few dozen yards in front of me stand two video screens several stories high, each angled slightly toward its respective side of the stadium, converging at the center of the stage like two sides of a triangle. A gargantuan rig … More »

Alt-Pop Hit-Makers lovelytheband Are Not That Lovely If We’re Being Honest

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lovelythebandOnce upon a time what passed for poppy alternative rock was Stephen Malkmus whimpering, “You’re the kind of girl I like/ Because you’re empty, and I’m empty.” Nowadays apparently it’s Mitchy Collins and friends chanting, “I like that you’re broken, broken like me/ Maybe that makes me a fool/ I like that you’re lonely, lonely … More »

More Like Maroon 5 Seconds Of Summer Am I Right

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5 Seconds Of SummerWhat happens when a pop-punk boy band grows up? They stop playing pop-punk, apparently. More »

Let’s Pause To Appreciate This Moment In Ty Dolla $ign History

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Ty Dolla $ignTy Dolla $ign gets around. The R&B lothario releases quite a bit of his own music — 11 full-lengths and two EPs since 2011, plus a joint project with Jeremih called MihTy dropping later this month — but the collaborative section of his discography sprawls as endlessly as his native LA. At the end of … More »

Christina Aguilera’s New Album Is Pretty Good. Does Anyone Care?

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Christina Aguilera - LiberationAlong with her fellow ex-Mousketeers Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera proved to be one of the most durable hit-makers of the Y2K-era teen-pop explosion. Long after most of their peers found alternate careers in show business or disappeared from pop culture entirely, these artists kept sending singles to the top 10. Spears survived … More »