Craig Jenkins

  1. album review
    Justin Bieber’s New Album Is Mostly Peace, No Justice (Phew)Cut the intro and interlude and, for better or worse, you’ve got as shrewd of a move to reposition himself at pop’s center as 2015’s Purpose.
  2. album review
    The Curious Case of Lana Del ReyIt could be lighter for her if she adapted a bit and explained herself less. But keeping the same energy remains core to the LDR experience.
  3. radio vulture
    Pop’s Millennials Are Suddenly at Another Sharp CrossroadsThe stars we met in the ’00s and ’10s are changing their tunes in the ’20s.
  4. grammys 2021
    The Grammys Would Be Wise to Get Out of Its Own Way More OftenSunday’s ceremony felt like a sharp turn in the right direction. But those come with turbulence.
  5. a long talk
    The Passion of Serj TankianSystem of a Down’s front man on 25 years of finding truth in political tension, even if it means within his own band.
  6. review
    The Obama-Springsteen Libcast Is One Long Dialogue That Can Only Say So MuchBarack and Bruce speak candidly about America’s problems — and stop short of suggesting that America itself is the problem.
  7. a long talk
    Tuma Basa Changed Spotify With a Playlist. YouTube’s Next.“We’re past that moment where people used to wonder if the Negro League would do just as good as the MLB.”
  8. review
    Biggie’s Story Finally Gets a Proper RetellingNetflix’s new documentary I Got a Story to Tell visualizes the making of the artist more than the unmaking.
  9. we’re gonna celebrate
    Daft Punk Gave Us More Than Enough TimeThey’re superstars you might not notice in a supermarket. They’re potential retirees in their mid-40s. They played a good game.
  10. she’s so lucky she’s a star
    Failing Britney SpearsIt shouldn’t have taken ten years to realize the discourse about her had been a hurtful, unhealthy constant.
  11. extremely online
    Nothing Is Flattening Music Like TikTok“Drivers License,” the latest song to top the charts after a viral challenge, is telling of the kind of music this app rewards.
  12. review
    So Now the Weeknd Is Our Collective Escape From Hell?Abel Tesfaye’s Super Bowl LV halftime show felt chipper when it shouldn’t have, which was true of the entire evening.
  13. obits
    SOPHIE Transcended EverythingThe pop star came to shake things up and did not relent.
  14. album review
    Anuel AA and Ozuna Are Better Off Building Separate EmpiresLos Dioses, their first joint album, catches the two urbano stars at critical intersections in both careers, yet they struggle to connect.
  15. joechella
    The Jarring Spectacle of Having an Administration Worth Singing for AgainAs much as Inauguration Day hinted at the apparent end of a painful era, Celebrating America also seemed to say, “People like us!”
  16. album review
    Zayn’s Solo Career Still Makes No Sense, Yet the Intrigue Remains EarnedNobody Is Listening offers a subtle refinement of the sounds and ideas he has pursued since striking out on his own.
  17. a long talk
    Freddie Gibbs Made His Own LaneYour favorite rap producer’s favorite rapper on Alfredo, the Grammys, and his Jeezy beef.
  18. album review
    Sorry, But Get Used to Morgan WallenHe’s after the keys to the country-music kingdom … and succeeding like clockwork.
  19. obits
    Hip-Hop Needs No Other Supervillain After MF DOOMSpeak not just to his greatness but also to the closed-mindedness and cruelty that complicated his life and necessitated his dark turn.
  20. extremely online
    Clubhouse Is Dangerously Close to Becoming Our New Internet WastelandWhat’s true of any social-media endeavor remains the same on this app: Give people the space to talk, and they will say too much.
  21. respect the classics
    The 2020 Boomer Rock Renaissance No One Saw ComingMcCartney, Dylan, Stevie, Springsteen, and so many of rock’s immortals offered life lines in dire times.
  22. album review
    After 10 Years on the Moon, Kid Cudi Comes Back Down to EarthWorking with Travis Scott inspired Cudi to tighten up foundations as a lyricist; as with Travis, style sometimes leapfrogs substance.
  23. album review
    Taylor Swift Is Done Self-MythologizingAs folklore did, the stories in evermore ask us to consider what motivates women when they act desperately against their interests.
  24. best of 2020
    The Best Albums of 2020Stuck inside indefinitely, musicians did what they do best: make art to help get us through the day.
  25. mc30
    Mariah Carey Might Be As Close to Pop Perfection As Pop Will Ever AllowThe year of celebrating Mariah has only reinforced what we knew about her all along.
  26. the quarries
    The First (And Dear God, It Better Be the Last) QuarriesIn which we award the most original, absurd, scrappy, and ingenious works that shaped our year in quarantine.
  27. album review
    Shawn Mendes Still Leaves Too Much to Wonder AboutWonder is the most interesting-sounding music he has ever made, but the album has little to say about the man at the middle of it.
  28. album review
    On Plastic Hearts, Miley Cyrus Finally Owns a SoundBeneath the studded leather and early MTV rock fan service, Plastic Hearts is a reckoning.
  29. album review
    Megan Thee Stallion Can Do Better Than GoodGood News is a grab bag, full of reasons to love Meg but also areas where she could use a little more refinement.
  30. a long talk
    Let Smokey Robinson Tell You About Changing MusicThe living legend on his life, legacy, and Motown.
  31. mariah said it’s time
    Holidays Are Canceled, But Holiday Music Never Dies, BabyThe rules that used to govern mankind seem bent and broken. As such, let’s talk about Christmas.
  32. q&a
    Chris Stapleton Is Still Molding Country Music Into His Own Image“I play things that are probably extremely contrary to whatever people think I am.”
  33. snl
    Dave Chappelle’s SNL Monologue Was an Illuminating MessIn the sendoff to SNL’s Trump era, the comedian called for peace.
  34. album review
    Positions Flirts With Greatness But Isn’t Ready to CommitWhile Ariana Grande’s latest album is expertly constructed and pleasant, the formula is starting to feel a little safe.
  35. a long talk
    We Should’ve Listened to Busta RhymesHip-hop’s foremost oracle returns with ELE2, once again putting the world — not to mention rap — on high alert.
  36. book excerpt
    How New York Gave Birth to New WaveAn excerpt from The Encyclopedia of New York.
  37. song review
    Ariana Grande’s Run as Commander-in-Chief of the Charts Is Likely Safe“Positions” swings like rap music but it’s also light, breezy, and short; that versatility should aid it on the Hot 100.
  38. profiles
    Ty Dolla $ign Can’t Stop Making Music“I kept recording, and I accidentally did another album.”
  39. the encyclopedia of new york
    It Came From New YorkDisco. The freak show. Neoconservatism. Q-tips. They all started in the world’s most creative, inventive city.
  40. a long talk
    T.I. vs. the PeopleThe Atlanta rap titan on his new album The L.I.B.R.A., southern hip-hop values, and why he’ll never quit being divisive.
  41. obits
    Eddie Van Halen Set an Unprecedented Standard for the Art of Guitar MusicHe imagined a sound and then set about chipping away at any hurdles, creative or technical, that got between him and the riff.
  42. radio vulture
    We’re No Closer to Knowing Jay ElectronicaPerhaps that is by design.
  43. album review
    What’s Left of America for Sufjan Stevens to Dream About?The nation’s triumphs have always been undercut by a grisly capacity for violence, one that’s as present in Sufjan’s states albums as The Ascension.
  44. a long talk
    The State of the Union According to Chuck DThe rap pioneer on the new Public Enemy album (reuniting them with Def Jam), Donald Trump, the broken music business, Kanye, and more.
  45. interview
    Fleet Foxes Made the Perfect Album for This MomentSinger Robin Pecknold talks about the challenges of making Shore — and the decision to release it on the autumnal equinox.
  46. interview
    The Deftones Have (Almost) Found BalanceChino Moreno opens up about the band’s process, its diverse influences, and the legacy of nu metal.
  47. where it started at
    Tekashi 6ix9ine Is an Unworthy New York Rap VillainNo other era could produce this character. No other era would stomach him.
  48. where it started at
    New York Rap Never ‘Fell Off’ — It Was Snuffed OutTwenty years of pressure from two Republican mayors with lofty dreams of stamping out crime had a demonstrable effect on the culture.
  49. where it started at
    The 100 Songs That Define New York Rap, RankedIt’s not a sound, it’s an attitude.
  50. album review
    Big Sean’s Detroit 2 Is a Career BestIt is the rare rap event album that feels both wise to current events in rap and culture and also tethered to a specific location.
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