Kanye West’s newest album, ‘The Life of Pablo,’ is a gripping, yet inconsistent triumph

The release of Kanye West’s seventh studio album, “The Life of Pablo,” has been mired in uncertainty ever since its initial announcement on March 1 last year. Dubbed a “gospel” album by West, “The Life of Pablo” went through many  titles, including “So Help Me God,” “Swish” and “Waves.” This ambiguity surrounding a Kanye release […]

‘Late Nights: The Album’ Jeremih’s most successful project to date

Jeremih has held a stable presence in the world of radio-friendly, sexualized R&B over the past seven years. His fame began with his breakout single, “Birthday Sex” (2009), which peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and immediately garnered him comparisons to R&B legend R. Kelly. Longtime Jeremih producer Mick Schultz produced […]

Erykah Badu’s ‘But You Caint Use My Phone’ proves modern, soulful

Erykah Badu’s newest release, an 11-track mixtape titled “But You Caint Use My Phone,” is her second project of 2015 and the official follow-up to her fifth studio album, “New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh” (2010). Badu is most famous for her neo-soul records, including her debut “Baduizm” (1997), which went triple-platinum in the United […]

3Ps fall major play ‘Defying Gravity’ focuses on the wonder of space, life itself

When the curtain parts, men and women dressed in clothing from the late-eighties walk around quietly, staring at Claude Monet’s paintings while a piano plays slowly in the background. Monet, played by senior Ed Rosini, begins a monologue as the viewers gather around a single painting. He talks about life and the final moments before death, […]

Grimes’ ‘Art Angels’ excellent, ambitious pop record

Claire Boucher, a.k.a. Grimes, is a singer and producer from Vancouver. She’s become a darling of indie music listeners, especially after the release of her third album, “Visions” (2012) — her strongest to date. “Visions” was met with acclaim from critics and fans alike; it’s a strange, intriguing masterpiece, as Boucher is able to explore the […]

A Tribe Called Quest reissues debut album 25 years later

One of hip-hop’s most iconic and beloved groups, A Tribe Called Quest (ATCQ), has been relatively quiet since it split up in 1998 after the release of its fifth and final album, “The Love Movement” (1998). New York-born Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jarobi White and Ali Shaheed Muhammad formed the now-legendary outfit in 1985, and released their first record, […]

Beach Slang showcases youthful punk rock on debut album

There is a plethora of modern punk rock bands with angsty, nostalgic angles, still reminiscing on their childhood and making music with sad wails and uninspiring guitar chords. The 1990s were fun and crazy for sure, but that mantra can get tiring. Beach Slang, a newly formed outfit from Philadelphia, Penn., is distinct in its ability to channel that […]

Neon Indian glossy new release, “VEGA INTL. Night School,” refreshing addition to chillwave genre

Electronic music group Neon Indian — led by Mexican-born singer, producer and composer Alan Palomo — released their third album “VEGA INTL. Night School” on Oct. 16. This newest project expands on Neon Indian’s previous works, which can be categorized under the “chillwave” genre — a newer form of electronic music defined by a heavy use of synthesizers, looping […]

Guide to upcoming music releases of 2015

The past 10 months or so have been jam-packed with great music releases. From industry legends like Sufjan Stevens and Björk, to newer artists such as Julia Holter and Vince Staples, music-lovers have had a lot to be excited about. There has, of course, been a fair share of forgettable projects, as well. Who actually thought Ryan […]

DJ Spinn blends hip-hop, footwork on ‘Off That Loud’

Footwork is a style of dance music that evolved out of the Chicago house music scene in the 1980s. It’s similar to juke — fast, beat-skipping drums recorded with generally lo-fi sound production — except that it’s more complex in its syncopated, repetitive halftime rhythms and frequent use of vocal sampling. The music grew out of footwork dance, […]