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2008 Stories by Michael Roberts

Archives: 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996
  • Bloc Party: Intimacy

    published November 13, 2008

    Transitioning from overhyped buzz generator to perpetual powerhouse ain't easy, even for figures as charismatic as the Bloc Party men; the... More >>

  • Oasis: Dig Out Your Soul

    published November 6, 2008

    Here's a dirty little critical secret: Many times when reviewers describe an album as being a veteran band's best since "fill in the blank,"... More >>

  • The Verve: Forth

    published September 4, 2008

    After 1997's Urban Hymns proved to be a breakthrough for the Verve, frontman Richard Ashcroft went solo prematurely — and was... More >>

  • Katy Perry: One of the Boys

    published August 21, 2008

    Santa Barbara native Katy Perry is capable of remaking herself for any promising target demographic. In her teens, she delivered achingly... More >>

  • Sick Puppies

    published August 14, 2008

    Although viral marketing has improved Sick Puppies' condition, the cure may not be permanent. The Aussie band's attempts to break in the States... More >>

  • Bitter:Sweet

    published August 14, 2008

    "Lounge music" was once a pejorative term: It called to mind blowsy has-beens warbling off-key Peggy Lee covers while slumped against a baby... More >>

  • G-Unit: T*O*S: Terminate on Sight

    published July 31, 2008

    Like corrupt politicians and David Hasselhoff, gangsta rap isn't going away — but the played-out quality of T*O*S suggests that... More >>

  • Sigur Rós: Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust

    published July 31, 2008

    Sigur Rós's latest is positively festooned with danger signs: It's the Icelandic group's first album to be mainly recorded outside its... More >>

  • Mastodon

    published July 24, 2008

    Metal bands that transition from the underground to the overground can suffer painful backlashes. Thus far, though, Mastodon has avoided too... More >>

  • Three 6 Mafia: Last 2 Walk

    published July 17, 2008

    When the members of Three 6 Mafia won the 2006 Best Song Oscar for "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," from Hustle & Flow, they reacted... More >>

  • Russian Circles, with Daughters

    published June 19, 2008

    "Post-rock" may not be the most ridiculous descriptor in contemporary music; I'd cast my vote for either "sadcore" or "neo-prog." Still, the... More >>

  • Silver Jews

    published June 12, 2008

    Singer-songwriter David Berman is as much of an ironist in life as he is in art. Note that after landing in rehab following a Xanax overdose... More >>

  • Augustana, with Paddy Casey and Wild Sweet Orange

    published May 29, 2008

    The growing number of television series that employ mid-tempo rock songs and plaintive ballads to pump up the emotion in major scenes has... More >>

  • Al Green: Lay It Down

    published May 29, 2008

    Most producers who supervise reclamation projects for aging stars make the mistake of trying to contemporize the artist's sound — the... More >>

  • Dale Watson, with the Derailers

    published May 8, 2008

    No one can accuse Dale Watson of not being country enough. The Austin-based, Pasadena-bred singer-songwriter, supported on this bill by Jim... More >>

  • She & Him: Volume One

    published April 24, 2008

    With the possible exception of the three people who look back fondly on Bruce Willis's recording career, we're well acquainted with the eardrum... More >>

  • Various Artists: Juno: Music from the Motion Picture

    published January 31, 2008

    Too many movie tie-in collections put profits before cohesion. Tunes by widely disparate performers, most of whom just happen to record for... More >>

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