music reviews

First Impressions: Collapse Into Now by R.E.M.

The pre-release buzz proclaimed Collapse Into Now a return to form for R.E.M., a groundbreaking band that floundered after drummer Bill Berry’s departure. I didn’t buy this line: 2008’s Accelerate with its 34 minute blast of guitar rock was the clarion call announcing R.E.M. had found its way again. This […]

New Listens: Ron Sexsmith; Lykke Li

Ron Sexsmith, Long Player Late Bloomer Ron Sexsmith is the anti-Rodney Dangerfield: he gets tons of respect (Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Elton John and Chris Martin, among others, have praised him), but little airplay or sales (although enough to sustain a career over 20 years and 12 albums). His latest […]

First Impressions: The King Is Dead by The Decemberists King Is Dead may sound like a change of direction for The Decemberists, beloved of folk/prog-rock geeks (such as me). Their last release, 2009’s The Hazards of Love, was a 17-song concept album full of mythical characters and widely varied instrumentation – and their previous release contained two three-part […]