Review: Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness Captures Nostalgia With Vivid Storytelling On ‘Upside Down Flowers’

Today, just one year after releasing his second album, Zombies On Broadway, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness dropped his impressive new album, Upside Down Flowers. This marks Andrew McMahon's third album under his Wilderness moniker. Although his previous bands, Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin, each stopped after their third albums, with Upside Down Flowers, Andrew…

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Review: Muse Strikes Perfect Balance On Grand ‘Simulation Theory’

After a year and a half of singles and hype, today Muse released their 8th studio album, Simulation Theory. In an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, frontman Matt Bellamy stated that by releasing singles as they recorded them, he felt their album would be stronger in the long run. "I think it’ll be…

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Review: Fall Out Boy Shines On Eclectic New Album, ‘M A N I A’

Not including the hiatus Fall Out Boy took after releasing Folie á Deux and their greatest hits compilation, this is the longest fans have waited for an album from the band. M A N I A was first announced last April, but five singles and a four-month delay later, the album came out exactly three…

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Review: Evanescence’s ‘Synthesis’ Is A Stunning Reimagining Of Beloved Catalog

Evanescence has a skill for making fans wait for new music. A full five years passed between their second and third albums; it's now been six years since Evanescence graced our ears. While we've enjoyed plenty of side projects from frontwoman Amy Lee in the interim (Aftermath, an album of film score she composed, and…

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Review: Kelly Clarkson Finds ‘Meaning Of Life’ On Stunning, Soulful New Album

Over the last 15 years, Kelly Clarkson has proven herself, again and again, to be a powerhouse vocalist and beloved pop star. And although she's churned out hit after hit among her first six studio albums - not to mention an acclaimed holiday record - she's also had to fight for creative freedom every step…

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Review: ‘Lust For Life’ Is Lana Del Rey’s Most Diverse, Uplifting Album Yet

Lana Del Rey is back and she's cooler than ever. Pop's resident sad girl has been hyping her noticeably cheerier new album since February, and she promised some big changes that would delight her fans. Her newest record, Lust For Life, is her most diverse yet, combining the best elements of her previous three albums.…

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Review: Paramore’s Excellent ‘After Laughter’ Masks Depression With Cheery New Wave

As with all great art, Paramore's new album After Laughter is an expression of real life and real feelings. It reflects what's been going on in the three band members' lives, from the personal to the public. We can only guess at what has happened in their personal lives, but a few things we do know for sure.…

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Review: Michelle Branch Is Reborn On Long-Awaited Comeback ‘Hopeless Romantic’

At the beginning of the century, you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing a Michelle Branch song blasting through the speakers. Songs like "Everywhere," "All You Wanted," and a Santana collaboration called "Game Of Love" were pop rock staples that appeared, well, everywhere, from MTV to popular romantic comedies. But Michelle left that all behind…

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Review: Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness Pushes Into New Territory On Surprising ‘Zombies On Broadway’

Two years and a half years ago, Andrew McMahon released his first album under his new Wilderness moniker. 2014's Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness signaled a new musical direction had he'd hinted at on his 2013 EP, The Pop Underground. His first band, Something Corporate, represented the piano side of the punk rock scene of the early 2000s. In…

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Review: The Weeknd Shines Bright On ‘Starboy,’ One Of The Best Albums Of 2016

The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) is one of those rare talents that seemingly comes out of nowhere before entrancing you with his original and consistently striking music. He suddenly appeared on the music scene in 2010 with a series of mixtapes - eventually packaged as the compilation Trilogy in 2012 - before releasing his first studio album,…

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Review: Bruno Mars Trades In Charm For Riches On ’24K Magic’

Bruno Mars has had an enviable career so far. After writing songs for other artists as he struggled to be taken seriously as a performer himself, he took the world by storm with his debut album, Doowops & Hooligans. “Just The Way You Are” was a stellar first single that showed both quality writing and…

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Review: Alicia Keys Navigates Personal & Social Issues Earnestly On ‘Here’

Ever since Alicia Keys burst onto the music scene 15 years ago, she's had important things to say with the inspired music to back them up. Although her last two albums have felt a bit predictable and safe, her latest record brings back some of her early spark. Her sixth album, Here is Alicia's biggest statement…

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Review: Green Day Is Back On Top With ‘Revolution Radio’

Green Day’s career arc has been one most bands would envy. It’s rare for a band to continue strong for 25+ years, and rarer still for them to have continued success into their later years. But Green Day has always been special. After a strong underground start in the Bay Area, the trio released their…

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Review: Banks Boasts Vulnerability & Defiance On Dazzling ‘The Altar’

Banks emerged quietly yet suddenly, impressing with her 2014 debut album, Goddess. It followed a series of EPs the year before, taking songs from those while adding some new ones in, too. Goddess wasn’t just one of the best debut albums of the year; it was one of the best albums of the year, period. And…

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Review: Gavin DeGraw Finds Perfect Balance On ‘Something Worth Saving’

Since he first came out in 2003, Gavin DeGraw has made music that is timeless. He somehow combines relatable, guy-next-door ease with cool, city-boy charm. He's romantic and sensitive one minute, random and joking the next. Even with his first album, he'a always seemed familiar, like an old friend. His newest release, Something Worth Saving, is…

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Playing It Safe: Why Did Music Stop Being Honest & Fearless?

For some years now, I have felt a growing dissatisfaction with the songs that dominate radio stations and the artists that take up most entertainment news stories. This must make me sound like an out-of-touch old grouch who just doesn't get kids these days, but I'm only in my mid-20s. I love music, and yet lately I…

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Review: Garbage’s Dark ‘Strange Little Birds’ Is Their Best Album In Years

In 2014 Garbage began working on their sixth studio album, the follow-up to their 2012 comeback record, Not Your Kind Of People. They slyly shared pictures of their whiteboard full of song titles, and it seemed that the album was almost ready to be released. Instead, 2015 was dominated by a 20-year anniversary of their…

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Stop Calling Garbage A Grunge Band

Lately there's been a lot of talk about Garbage, and with good reason. Last year they celebrated the 20th anniversary of their 1995 debut album, Garbage, with a re-release of the record and a 20 Years Queer tour. Next week, the band will release their sixth studio album, Strange Little Birds. Their new songs "Empty"…

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In Defense Of Green Day’s Trilogy

Four years ago, Green Day announced their most ambitious release yet: A trilogy of albums. Following the huge success of 2004's rock opera, American Idiot, the band crafted another concept album, this time divided into three acts, with 2009's 21st Century Breakdown. Green Day knew they couldn't keep doing politically-oriented rock operas, so they decided to take it…

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Top 20 Kelly Clarkson Album Tracks

Some months ago I listed my 20 favorite unreleased Kelly Clarkson songs. She has so many amazing hidden gems that deserved to be on albums, and though it was hard to narrow down my list, I'm glad that we can at least hear these unreleased tracks. Now it's time to pick out some of Kelly's…

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Record Labels Vs. Artists: Let The Creators Create

For nearly as long as the music industry has existed, a certain partnership has played a vital part in keeping the business running smoothly. The first side is obviously the creative souls - songwriters, musicians, performers, singers. These are the people who make the music and the reason there is a music industry at all.…

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My Love-Hate Relationship With Bonus Tracks

Bonus tracks are a magical thing for most music fans. We love getting a new album from our favorite artist, and most of us are eager for as much music as we can get our hands on. I myself have already expressed my love for songs, and in my opinion, the more the merrier. I can never…

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Review: Gwen Stefani Confesses Love & Loss On Superb ‘This Is What The Truth Feels Like’

After a few tumultuous years, Gwen Stefani is back with her first solo album in a decade, This Is What The Truth Feels Like. It follows her hugely successful 2004 debut, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., and its 2006 followup, The Sweet Escape. Those two dance-pop records were a big change for the No Doubt frontwoman,…

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Review: Simple Plan’s ‘Taking One For The Team’ Perfectly Blends Familiar Pop Punk & New Experimentation

Simple Plan's new album, Taking One For The Team, has been long in the making. The band first started writing for it in 2014, and after premiering "Boom" live at the end of the year, they kicked off 2015 by entering the studio to officially begin recording. Since last spring, Simple Plan has released a…

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Why Don’t Artists Release All The Songs They Record?

Most music fans I know are always excited to hear more music from their favorite singers and bands. Anticipation builds into a giddy frenzy as a new album's release date approaches. When an artist performs a new song, half the audience films a video of it so fans can search it out on YouTube a…

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20 Ways To Discover New Music

Everyone loves music. And most people can never get enough of it. But how do you discover new music to add to your collection? In a world as filled with endless musical options as ours is today, it can be difficult to sift through the sounds and find what really speaks to you. Most articles…

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Never Stop Discovering New Bands, Part Two

A year and a half ago, I was excited about all the new bands and singers I had discovered and loved. I shared a brief list of just 6 new artists I was passionate about and wanted more people to discover, too. Well, now that it's been so long, I thought I'd give you an…

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Why Making Shorter Albums Is A Mistake

Do you prefer long albums or short albums? What is the ideal number of tracks or running time? Do you even still listen to albums? This might not apply to you, but of all the people I know that do still listen to albums, it seems that everyone has an opinion about how long an…

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Top 15 Albums Of 2015

While most entertainment publications rushed to release their year-end lists by the first of December, we decided to wait until all the year's albums had actually been released before making our final ranking. It's good that we did, too, because one of our favorite records was released right around the time kids were getting out of…

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Top 30 Singles Of 2015

Now that 2015 is coming to a close, it feels right to reflect on all the great music we've gotten to enjoy for the last 12 months. This year was packed full of amazing new singles across the genres, from progressive metal to old school funk pop and everything in between. We picked out 30…

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