Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Albums of the Month: December 2017

U2 runs to stand still, Neil Young produces an inconsistent album whose message is urgent and necessary, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds fly to new sonic grounds with mixed results, and The Smiths flesh out their sound and song-craft.

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Rehab

All in all, however, even if it carries an ending that happens through means that may dynamite the experience as a whole to some, Cars 3 is a good movie. It may fall by the lower echelon of Pixar flicks, where Brave, Cars, and Monsters University lie; but, at the same time, it floats far above the cringe-inducing experiences created by Cars 2 and The Good Dinosaur. With Cars 3, Pixar leads its least-admired franchise to a conclusion that comes off as natural and, to some degree, necessary, and therein exists the greatest victory of the movie: instead of making viewers wonder why it was produced in the first place, it takes them on the wheels of a journey that is a pleasant and entertaining ride. With Cars 3, McQueen and his peers can ride into the sun with some dignity, leaving the racing tracks on a sweet note, like a superstar who retires on their own terms and when the time is right.

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Albums of the Month: November 2017

Liam Gallagher releases a surprisingly consistent record, The Raveonettes mix pop melodies with layers of feedback, Sonic Youth reconnects with its more accessible side, and Tom Waits brings a masterful trilogy to an excellent close.

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Albums of the Month: October 2017

Foo Fighters release a weirder but still safe record, The Killers fail to deliver a true collective effort, PJ Harvey and John Parish perform a joint experiment with mixed results, and The Shins dive into electronic elements without losing their essence.

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Albums of the Month: September 2017

Queens of the Stone Age amplifies the hip-shaking quality of their sound, The National dives into relationship troubles and politics, The Strypes discover new wave, and Tame Impala revives the Summer of Love with some psychedelic introspection.

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Albums of the Month: August 2017

Arcade Fire takes another unproductive dive into the well of synthpop, Lou Reed finds a rather distinctive songwriting style in the bleak reporting of the destructive life of a couple, David Bowie creates and kills a rock and roll myth during the course of an album, and Iggy Pop emerges out of the wreckage of The Stooges’ implosion in the most unexpected way possible.

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Albums of the Month: July 2017

Big Star brilliantly nods towards the British Invasion long after it had become part of rock history books, the Beastie Boys prove classroom jerks can be widely beloved when their wit and musical talent are remarkable, Paramore start to pave their way out of the pop punk cage, and The Last Shadow Puppets bring drama and subversion to baroque pop.

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