While Prominence is a quiet, sentimental album, there’s also a warm, open quality to the arrangements.
Poliça’s Shulamith is a much more cohesive and self-assured effort than the band’s debut.
Bitter Rivals is, in a word, predictable, and predictability is absolutely backbreaking to a band like Sleigh Bells.
Interiors is nothing its title implies, but rather, outdoorsy, unstructured, whimsical, and wonderfully defiant of conventional labels.
Pure Heroine is a remarkably unpretentious and almost raw set of vignettes mostly powered by Lorde’s modest, affectation-free performances.
The album has its fair share of sweet spots, but the handful of capable melodies never quite balances out its bizarre impulses or the utter lack of thematic unity.
Circles Super Bon Bon… can’t quite shake the obvious negativity of its creator.
MGMT plays like two dudes in a cramped studio fiddling around with knobs and software to see how much noise they can lay down over a whole lot of B-side-grade material.
Later isn’t quite the world-conquering rock opus their debut turned out to be, but it proves that Glasvegas has effectively shaken off their second-album hangover.
Braids’ sophomore effort has a quiet, unassuming depth that far outstrips the flash of its predecessor.
Paracosm explores the furthest reaches of what bedroom music can accomplish without abandoning it for something totally unfamiliar.
As chilled-out, trance-heavy electronica goes, Moderat’s II is pleasant but unremarkable.
Siamese Dream remains an album of meticulous execution, as expertly layered, arranged, and recorded as any rock album from the past two decades.
The Pumpkins have transcended any one moment or movement, instead reveling in the entire tessellation of 20th-century art.
Vicissitude fails even as inconsequential background music, its awkward, ever-present monotone and almost unnatural uniformity proving to be constant distractions.
Stills’s capricious spirit is ultimately its greatest strength and its most glaring fault.
Empire of the Sun’s sophomore effort, Ice on the Dune, is at once slick, self-aware, and facetious.
Kveikur is a more pointed effort, stripped of the lavish, often self-serving production the band indulged in the past.
By no means Camera Obscura’s best effort, Desire Lines is nevertheless a pleasurable listen.
Baths’ Obsidian is the work of a rapidly maturing artist.