Van Morrison shines on ‘Three Chords and the Truth’

Don’t judge a book by its cover, or, at least with Van Morrison, an album by its title. Arriving on the heels of a successful series

Neil Young back in his ragged glory with ‘Colorado’

Neil Young is back with his old band Crazy Horse in all their ragged glory with “Colorado,” a beautiful, rambling, chaotic howl against climate change, division and hate.

Chris Knight snarls out an album that fits the times

In his first release in more than seven years, Kentucky-born country rocker Chris Knight has snarled out an album that’s gruff, uncompromising and perfect for the times.

Elbow’s powerful new album a reflection of its time

With all the talk about bleakness and the experiences of anger and loss affecting “Giants of All Sizes,” you’d imagine Elbow’s eighth studio album arriving with an

North Mississippi Allstars’ latest is fun for all

The blues is alive and kicking, and rock ain’t dead either. Thank the North Mississippi Allstars for that reminder. Luther and Cody Dickinson’s latest album is a communal jam

Hiss Golden Messenger delivers music with a purpose

The new album by Hiss Golden Messenger is one to play on repeat, immersing in every nuance. It’s Americana music with a purpose. Like the North Carolina band’s earlier

Emeli Sandé returns with anthems for the every day

Emeli Sandé’s music has always leaned into the epic. Her clear, full voice powers sweeping anthems, most of which seem perfectly suited for bringing energy to momentous occasions (remember

Charli XCX, pop’s avant-garde princess, returns

Charli XCX could easily have turned in a safe, hit-heavy pop-dance album this year. But where’s the fun in that? If Jack White is the mad

Whitney create poignant, bittersweet album

Indie-rock duo Whitney may have a light, easy sound, but that isn’t an indication of the themes they touch on or emotions they evoke. The pair peaked interest in

Taylor Swift taps into her joyful side with ‘Lover’

If you want an easy way to see how far Taylor Swift has come since her last album, just compare the two covers. If 2017’s “reputation” featured

Entertaining array of stylings on Jason Hawk Harris’ debut

A single guitar solo is by itself worth the price of admission to Jason Hawk Harris’ world. The climactic moment on the Houston native’s full-length debut

Good guitar can’t save Jesse Dayton’s ‘Mixtape’

Seasoned music industry pro Jesse Dayton is out with his 12th studio album, “Mixtape Volume 1,” a bawdy collection of ho-hum country, masquerading as edgy outlaw stuff.

‘Finch’ from Penny & Sparrow is a gem

Texas-raised duo Penny & Sparrow had to do some heavy touring to truly search their souls. They explore the resulting range of emotions and deliver it on

Cuco brings layers to lo-fi love songs on ‘Para Mi’

Love songs may be known for their traditionally jovial tone, but on Cuco’s full-length debut he gives his love ballads a darker tone. “Para Mi” has lighter moments and

Tycho takes new direction on ‘Weather’

California-artist Scott Hansen, better known as Tycho, is back with his fifth studio album “Weather,” one that begins much as one might expect. Opener “Easy” is

The Flaming Lips’ concept album will blow your mind

The new album by The Flaming Lips is a head trip — literally. The ever-evolving, mind-blowing alt-rockers have somehow upped their game with a concept album

K.Flay celebrates all her sides on CD ‘Solutions’

It’s always been hard to pin down K.Flay’s music. She’s a bit of a sonic chameleon, mixing elements of hip-hop, rock and indie pop with moods that

Joanna Wallfisch’s travels result in unique album

Songstress, poet and darn good cyclist Joanna Wallfisch draws from both disappointment and wonder on her latest album. The emotions chronicle a west coast road trip and

Hollywood Vampires rise again on great second album

When Alice Cooper, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and movie star Johnny Depp formed a band in 2015 to pay homage to dead drinking buddies, it might have

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