2018 Album Reviews

Explore album reviews of new releases by notable singer/songwriters across musical genres. Dive deep into the lyrics to find the meanings and messages of albums by artists who pay careful attention to their lyrics, create strong concept albums, or have something thought-provoking to say through their music.  Listen here or subscribe through your favorite podcast app

LIBERTY
Lindi Ortega

 

 

Critics are calling Lindi Ortega's tribute to the music of spaghetti westerns one of the best concept albums of 2018. But what IS a concept album? And what's the concept behind Liberty?

Genre: country

RETROSPECTIVE: BOOKENDS

 

Simon and Garfunkel

 


Was Bookends inspired by Sgt. Peppers? On the surface, The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends are about as different as two albums can be. But on closer inspection of the lyrics, the similarities are striking.

GENRE: FOLK

AMERICAN UTOPIA
David Byrne



Have you ever noticed how often David Byrne uses the word house in his songwriting? Host Bobby Waller takes an in-depth look at the former Talking Heads frontman's favorite word and how its use in Byrne's new album reflects a change of thinking from burning down to building up our metaphorical homes.

genre: art rock

 

By the Way, I Forgive You
by Brandi Carlile

How much is Brandi Carlile's new album about forgiveness? And how much is it about something bigger?

 

Genre: Folk rock

RETROSPECTIVE:
THE KICK INSIDE

by Kate Bush

 

Forty years ago this week, Kate Bush released the album that would make her the first woman in UK history to chart with a song she herself had written. But what made this hugely influential album so different than the standard pop fare of the day?

GENre: artrock

I Like Fun
by They Might Be Giants

 

What happens when the troubling zeitgeist of our time catches up with the world's most beloved fun-time band.

Genre: alt-rock

 

SOUL OF A WOMAN
By Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

 

In 2016, three musical legends hammered out their final albums in the face of death, but only one of them stayed focused on a brighter future.

GENRE: SOUL

RETROSPECTIVE REVIEW: SONGS OF LEONARD COHEN
by Leonard Cohen

 

 

Fifty years ago, Leonard Cohen shocked the world by mixing the language of sex with the language of religion. But was he the first person ever to do that? 

GENRE: Folk, Soft rock

POST- 
by Jeff Rosenstock

 

Jeff Rosenstock takes an inward look at politics in what some critics are calling the first great album of 2018.

Genre: punk/post-punk