The inevitability of West’s success, and the success of those around him, emerges as a major theme throughout.
It’s as professional and polished an album as this band has produced, running the risk of being labeled safe or predictable.
It’s easy to read Every Open Eye as a defiant statement of self-reliance, rising above the bullshit of criticism to live an unfettered life.
Ian Williams and Dave Konopka continue to transform cartoonishly weird guitar and synthesizer sounds into legitimate vehicles for melody.
The album is further proof that Jepsen is capable of translating broadly understood emotions and experiences into unshakable earworms.
Another One is a snapshot of an artist who’s found his lane and continues to mine it for affecting, melodically spry material.
Ratchet attempts to reconcile Shamir the Internet Phenomenon with Shamir the Artist.
Wilder Mind is a thoroughly competent recreation of what Mumford & Sons think an adult-oriented indie-rock album should sound like.
The Magic Whip is a mature, measured document from a band that’s never rested on its laurels.
I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside sees Earl Sweatshirt digging even deeper into a psyche clouded with pot smoke and self-doubt.
Barnett’s band lends these story-songs a live-feeling, loose accompaniment.
Sonic trickery abounds throughout the album, from mariachi horns and soupy strings to breathy female backup singers and twinkling harps.
Sucker is a party album charged equally with punkish rebellion, hip-hop cool, and pop universality.
The album is a painful reminder of One Direction’s status as a manufactured, focus-grouped pop entity.
The Hum is an exploration of motorik momentum, droning guitar distortion, and loud-quiet dynamics.
On Motion, Calvin Harris either revitalizes tricks from earlier in his career or descends into self-parody.
Run The Jewels 2 not only resumes the lyrical onslaught of its predecessor, but expands the duo’s purview both thematically and sonically.
On his major-label debut, Money Sucks, Friends Rule, Francis attempts to make the Swiss Army knife of party albums.
The album’s bugged-out trip-hop productions are occasionally interrupted by misguided attempts at R&B slow-burners.
On Seen It All, Jeezy proves you don’t need to overcome your own one-dimensional lyrical perspective in order to become a trap star.