Madonna: new single “cheap titillation”

Oh, Madonna. Two consecutive dud singles in a row is so not you. For time immemorial her second singles have been at least as good as their predecessors. The sugar-free gum of Hard Candy broke the streak. With “Girls Gone Wild” she’s still in the slough. I can’t put it better than Katherine St Asaph:Continue reading “Madonna: new single “cheap titillation””

I can’t stand’em: The Artist

Now that The Artist has joined the pantheon of bores, Glenn Kenny tries to destroy a popular canard: I understand that everyone’s kind of sick of yammering on about the relative assets and liabilities of The Artist, but I have to admit that one not-unpleasant sidebar of all the yammering is that Singin’ in theContinue reading “I can’t stand’em: The Artist”

A spoonful of Sugar

Barry Walters on Bob Mould’s greatest record, which Mould played at a recent gig its entirety: Although its critical standing is dwarfed by Hüsker classics like Zen Arcade and New Day Rising, Copper Blue is actually the album where everything came together for this guitarist. It’s his own Nevermind; there’s never a moment where theContinue reading “A spoonful of Sugar”

Singles reviews 2/24

Let me risk mixing metaphors: the quiet erosion of Nicki Minaj’s Jukebox support and stopping the bleeding from the latest embarrassments in the Chris Brown-Rihanna farrago. But as the scores indicate, this is by far the the strongest, most erratic Jukebox week of the year (hi, Cassie!). All scores based on a ten-point scale. ClickContinue reading “Singles reviews 2/24”

Goodbye house, goodbye stairs – Viva Hate

No solo album of Morrissey’s infuriates me like Viva Hate. Fab singles, a spectacular B-side that everyone (rightly) assumes was an A-lister (“Hairdresser on Fire”), marvelous slowburn album tracks (“The Ordinary Boys,” “Break Up the Family”), aptly named, endless epic that does for self-pity what George Harrison did for Krishna in 1973 (“Late Night, MaudlinContinue reading “Goodbye house, goodbye stairs – Viva Hate”

Mumblin’ and crumblin’ – Lambchop

Yes: Apprehending Mr. M does not take a genius, nor does it take an English degree, nor does it take 180-gram vinyl and an $800 Scandinavian turntable with counterweights made out of rare geodes. What it does take, I think, is patience. I like tarted-up, throat-grabbing music as much as the next frantically inattentive twentysomething.Continue reading “Mumblin’ and crumblin’ – Lambchop”

Requisite President’s Day thread

In honor of President’s Day, David Frum plays Scott Bakula in “Quantum Leap” and imagines alternate histories in which, for example, Charles Evans Hughes beats Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and Theodore Roosevelt in 1920 becomes the first president to serve a third term. Based on my readings of Edmund Morris’ Teddy bios and John MiltonContinue reading “Requisite President’s Day thread”

Right side of history at last: Daryl Hall

I posted this on an Ann Powers-instigated Facebook discussion on blue-eyed soul: “Daryl Hall comes about as close as anyone did. What separates him from his forebears — white and black — is his sourness. Forget the songs and listen to his timbre; the guy is almost incapable of projecting warmth (even on “One onContinue reading “Right side of history at last: Daryl Hall”

Singles reviews 2/17

Although I’ve cooled slightly on Chairlift’s minor triumph, I have to confess a weakness for this kind of electroshuffle pop. All scores based on a ten-point system. Click on link for full review. Chairlift – I Belong in Your Arms (8) Jack White – Love Interruption (6) Amanda Mair – Sense (6) Conor Maynard –Continue reading “Singles reviews 2/17”

Belinda Carlisle: secret pop genius

After listening to “Mad About You,” “Leave a Light On,” “Circle in the Sand” (“…captures the chill of the abandoned beach with considerably more acuity than ‘La Isla Bonita’ — Marcello Carlin). “Summer Rain,” “I Get Weak,” and the heavenly “Heaven is a Place on Earth” in this order, I’m ready to defend Belinda CarlisleContinue reading “Belinda Carlisle: secret pop genius”