Dagger Beach manages to be a personal album that doesn’t rely strictly on autobiography for its emotional or thematic heft.
There’s something almost timid about erstwhile Dixie Chicks frontwoman Natalie Maines’s solo debut, Mother.
Monroe knows that there’s a story behind every scar, and Like a Rose proves her to be a skilled, versatile storyteller.
King Animal doesn’t contain any standout tracks that justify Soundgarden’s comeback.
The World from the Side of the Moon often plays like Mumford & Sons’ Babel with training wheels.
There are a few transitions between older and more recent material that draw attention to how her vocals have developed over her career.
The best tracks on ¡Dos! embrace a hedonistic spirit.
Take the Crown might stand as a stronger “comeback” statement if more of its tracks came across as a bit less desperate to be loved.
Half-Made Man is an album about empowerment and growth, so it’s only fitting that it finds Sollee creating career-best music.
Over the course of Sing the Delta, DeMent confesses, wails, and testifies.
LaVette elevates even the weaker cuts on Thoughtful N’ Thankful.
Wreck & Ruin tempers its genuine, heartfelt romance with the darkest comedy.
If Red is ultimately too uneven to be a truly great pop album, its highlights are career-best work for Swift.
Living for a Song allows Johnson to challenge himself artistically even as he pays tribute to a dear friend.
Sundark and Riverlight takes one of the most progressive catalogues in pop and makes it sound like a Picnic with the Pops concert.
Sugaring Season features some of the strongest songs of Orton’s career.
The album honors what’s made Simone such an enduring icon.
Unfinished Business finds the 75-year-old dynamo as rowdy and fearless as she’s ever been.