If you believe rapper 50 Cent’s beef with fellow superstar Kanye West really exists, you deserve to be shot nine times. Their alleged rivalry, inflamed by the fact that both released albums on the same day last week, is pure marketing hype aimed at papering over the fact that 50’s new disc, “Curtis,” is a disappointing retread of his thug-hailing past.
Listen to any of his albums and it’s clear that jam-band titan Ben Harper remains a devotee of the classic-rock gods. His new album, “Lifeline,” however, signals that Harper has now crossed over from loyal fan to unconscious plagiarizer.
Rapper M.I.A.’s slightly gaudy, polyrhythmic and electro-studded debut, “Arular,” was a pristine example of hip-hop’s global reach. Her new disc is even better and will put to rest any doubts about her hip-hop cachet.
Rapper Common is one of hip-hop’s most contradictory figures and his new album, “Finding Forever,” does little to set the record straight. The disc has him battling himself, dueling with what he knows will sell versus his artist’s instincts.
For their debut album, New York rock quartet Interpol created a Joy Division-inspired songwriting template that rivaled the music of their mentors. Five years later, the band continues to rely on the same mold for its new album, but its latest reproductions no longer live up to its exhilarating-ly gloomy predecessors.
With summer ending, the media’s 40th anniversary retrospectives on the Summer of Love have nearly run their course. Before it’s over, a new documentary — released on DVD — aims to reawaken the public’s consciousness to an ’60s psychedelic-rock talent whose often overlooked in these remembrances.
After spending more than a year focused on his side band, White Stripes mastermind Jack White is back in red and white and ready to throttle listeners with his first love’s new spin on blues-rock. The group’s latest, however, isn’t exactly the knockout blow that we’ve come to expect.
It seems that the easy success of California heavy rock group the Queens of the Stone Age has been carefully mapped out by their creative kingpin, Josh Homme. But the group’s new album, “Era Vulgaris,” signals that they might be losing their way on a side route.
Ten years after shocking his way into the pop scene, Marilyn Manson is still somehow a pre-eminent figure in music despite the number of times his career appeared to die a horrible death. His new album, “Eat Me, Drink Me,” thanks to a musical partnership, is bringing him back from the dead yet again.
With the Arcade Fire hype machine still going strong and media and record label interest squarely fixed on spotting the next big thing from the Canadian music scene, Montreal indie-rock outfit Handsome Furs has released its debut album that seems destined to boost the anticipatory fervor.