Sufjan Stevens’ latest album is worth the time

Plucked strings and pulsing keyboards dominate the distinctive arrangements on Sufjan Stevens’ latest album, and in the absence of a rhythm section, they serve to keep time. But time’s not for

Marcus Miller explores his African roots on new CD

Inspired by his work as spokesperson for UNESCO's Slave Route Project, bass guitarist, composer and producer Marcus Miller takes listeners on a groove-filled musical odyssey on "Afrodeezia." The CD explores

Kendrick returns with an impressive sophomore album

Rapper Kendrick Lamar went three years without releasing an album, taking his time to craft an impressive sophomore effort in “To Pimp a Butterfly.” This new album was certainly worth the

Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’ is lovely

Madonna’s 13th studio album, “Rebel Heart,” beats with romance and rebellion. At 19 tracks, it’s an overstuffed triptych through the iconic performer’s life, careening between uplifting dance tracks, like the

Iron & Wine releases choice archive material

The songs from Iron & Wine’s first album, “The Creek Drank the Cradle,” were cherry-picked from material Sam Beam had been recording at home for years before catching the attention

’80s hair metal giants join forces for Sweet & Lynch

Is this heaven-sent hair metal, or did they just get lucky? Either way, Sweet & Lynch have hit it out of the park on the debut album by some of

1 channel is all the Mavericks need on ‘Mono’

The Mavericks have always been a rootsy band, plying musical turf from Havana to Nashville via Miami. Here their sound is more retro than ever, recalling the era when these

‘Fifty Shades’ soundtrack is a sexy romp

Prepare to get crazy in love, in lust and everything in between. Anticipated sex romp ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ may or may not get you wound up, but its soundtrack

Bob Dylan’s late-night disc

Bob Dylan has never called “Shadows in the Night” a Frank Sinatra tribute album. The idea seems nuts: one of the last century’s greatest songwriters challenging perhaps its greatest voice,

Ne-Yo’s ‘Non-Fiction’ tells the same story

Ahh, Ne-Yo. So much talent — the voice, the songwriting. And yet, somehow, such a boring album. It’s a little crazy-making, truth be told. All the ingredients are here — some

Album celebrates music of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

Fans of the Coen brothers’ amused, affectionate portrait of the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene — and of banjo-playing, guitar-plucking Americana in general — will relish this recording of a

Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Special’ is not that special

Mark Ronson’s new album, “Uptown Special,” opens with such promising notes — Stevie Wonder’s harmonica, playing so soulful and slow that the listener can’t help but settle in, ready and

Minaj’s ‘Pinkprint’ delivers grown-up complexity

Maybe we knew — even in 2010 — when Nicki Minaj released her debut set, that beneath the fluorescent wigs and zany accents, there resided a real-life grown-up. On some

MDT/AP Top 10 albums | Sam Smith’s ‘In The Lonely Hour’ reigns

2. "2014 Forest Hills Drive," J. Cole: J. Cole: Another honest man: J. Cole. The insanely talented rapper captures so much on his third album, tackling various topics from losing

D’Angelo’s ‘Black Messiah’ plays to message of rising up

The phrase “long-awaited album” gets tossed around quite a bit — slapped on sets delayed by a couple years, or a few measly months, even. But “Black Messiah,” D’Angelo’s follow-up

Gov’t Mule covers Pink Floyd on new live album

When you're playing music for 20 years with the caveat that no two shows will ever be the same, you had better write a lot of music, or cover some

Charli XCX’s sophomore CD is no ‘Sucker’

Charli XCX, the British artist with a penchant for teenage churlishness, knows a thing or two about warfare. With her second major label album, “Sucker,” she throws a smoke grenade

Wu-Tang look to cement legacy on new album

Old Dirty Bastard once proclaimed: Wu-Tang is for the children. On their sixth album, "A Better Tomorrow," U-God reinforces the sentiment: We "construct these jewels so they can live through

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