Common: 'Electric Circus'

| Jan 22, 2003

Common: "Electric Circus"

Hip-hop and Hollywood share at least one thing in common: Star-studded lineups never guarantee a work of art. In fact, some material’s strength is often diluted proportionately to the number of egos featured. This gives “Electric Circus,” the new album by Chicago MC, Common, ...

The Sea and Cake

| Jan 15, 2003

The Sea and Cake

Post-rock seems to have been born a genre already approaching middle age. While rock ‘n’ roll swaggered and screamed, this reticent cousin of indie-rock purposefully strode away from the testosterone. Post-rock’s aim was a departure from rock’s basic instincts, placing mood and texture over ...

Doves

| Jan 8, 2003

Doves

During the late-’80s halcyon days of rave, Jimi Goodwin and twin brothers Jez and Andy Williams congregated with other high priests of acid-house at Manchester’s Hacienda, then the mecca of club culture. But as their group, Sub Sub, evolved from beat worship into melody-driven ...

'el Christmas: The World in Winter'

| Dec 18, 2002

"el Christmas: The World in Winter"

Before British label el records went belly up, they were considered one of the hippest dispensers of candy-coated twee-pop and lounge music from the ’70s and ’80s. A holiday compilation album pulled from el’s catalog of aural confectionary makes perfect sense as so much ...

The Roots: 'Phrenology'

| Dec 11, 2002

The Roots: "Phrenology"

‘They have reached the level of their dreams: a major-label record deal and some international notoriety. But for all that, their concept has not yet blown up, and it is possible it won’t.” These words end “Illadelph Halflife,” the third album by jazz-rap hybrid, ...

| Dec 4, 2002

Aphex Twin: "Out From Out Where"

Techno music is never short on energy, but with artists now letting their laptop algorithms call the shots, electronica often comes up dreadfully short on actual human emotion. Richard D. James (aka Aphex Twin) best displays this embrace of the cold, clinical side of ...

Sigur Ros: 'Kid-A'

| Nov 27, 2002

Sigur Ros: "Kid-A"

When listening to Icelandic postrock outfit Sigur Ros, it’s easy to conjure up romantic images of their homeland: frosted clouds framing a cobalt sky, ice monoliths frozen stoically over ancient lava plains, muffled blasts of the geothermal powerhouse deep below. These postcard shots may ...

Mr. Lif: 'I Phantom'

| Oct 23, 2002

Mr. Lif: "I Phantom"

In recent years, no other music has suffered more identity crises than hip-hop. Chat rooms and studios are constantly boiling over with debate over what direction urban poetry should take, while the airwaves are smattered with mixed messages on how it can achieve artistic ...

| Oct 17, 2002

Doug Martsch: "Now You Know"

When rock musicians “rediscover” the blues, it usually means one of two things: They feel a need to step back from their careers and look at one origin of their craft, or they’ve run out of ideas and need to give writer’s block a ...