Indie-rock visionary Sufjan Stevens’ eccentric songs and his garage-band approach to orchestration might suggest he’s an advocate for creative spontaneity. His concert in Madison, Wis., on Monday night gave a different impression, offering a sneak peek at his creative process as he tried out a batch of new baroque-pop songs.
Seven years after the death of their iconic frontman, Seattle’s Alice In Chains has reformed with a new lead singer and new album. But despite the changes in the band and the world at large since the grunge years, the new record picks up exactly where they left off.
Six years after releasing its greatest album only to find many fans found that it did a better Radiohead than Radiohead, English alternative-rock trio Muse are still struggling to earn the success and respect its music warrants. The group’s new album takes a different tact to win new fans and convert suspicious holdouts.
If his new album’s title of “The Blueprint 3” isn’t evidence enough, rap superstar Jay-Z knows how to put together blockbuster albums even when multi-million sellers seem like an endangered species in the download era. But more than a name, Jay-Z’s new disc succeeds because he follows a simple philosophy: Make hits.
Tropicalia musical pioneers Os Mutantes were among a generation of musicians credited with introducing rock and folk influences to Brazilian audiences in the late 1960s, while likewise inspiring rock stars Beck and Kurt Cobain. The group’s new album — its first in nearly 35 years — aims to accomplish the same all over again.