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Tool’s Fear Inoculum Is a Transcendent Return

It’s been a long wait for the new Tool album—and it’s been worth it. On Fear Inoculum, Tool’s first album in 13 years, the band remain defiantly contrary to the auto-tuned, digitally-quantized world in which we now live. They continue to blur the lines between art, psychedelia, alt metal, and prog rock with undiminished curiosity...

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Mobb Deep’s Murda Muzik: The 1999 SPIN Review

This review originally appeared in the November 1999 issue of SPIN. In honor of the album’s 20th anniversary, we’re republishing it here. “Take these words home and think it through / Or the next rhyme I wrote might be about you.” It’s MC menace at it’s most succinct: Why show the chrome when a well-phrased rhyme...

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Rick Ross’ Port of Miami 2 Will Just Make You Want to Listen to the First One

Rick Ross has made a career for himself that’s surpassed expectations to the point of being miraculous. He has done so thanks to an insatiable hunger for success, a knack for churning out quality music, and an indispensable resilience—from real-life health concerns, to out-beefing the once-bulletproof 50 Cent, to even his recent return to the charts...

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Bon Iver’s Excellent i,i Channels the Power of Friendship

Bon Iver, the amorphous collective helmed by Justin Vernon, have only expanded over time. What began in the solitary quiet of a Midwestern hunting cabin has grown into something open and communal: the solo folk act becoming a real band, its shivering heartache giving way to warm, grandiose experimentalism. After the humble beginnings of For...

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Burna Boy’s Dazzling African Giant Is One of the Year’s Best Albums So Far

If the album’s title didn’t give it away, Burna Boy has no use for modesty. With the recent release of his fourth studio album, African Giant, the Nigerian singer born Damini Ogulu has delivered a swaggering, electric, and passion-fueled statement that lives up to the towering persona being put forth at its outset. African Giant...

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David Berman’s ‘Purple Mountains’ Is a Welcome Return From an Old Master

If you don’t like Silver Jews, I’d never try to convince you that you’re wrong. Hell, I hardly like Silver Jews, and I love Silver Jews. David Berman sings like his fingers are being mashed in a door. His compositions are handy but unextraordinary, all slouching harmonies and basic open chords. He isn’t an aspirational...

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Thom Yorke Fully Realizes His Electronic Vision on the Bleak, Beautiful ANIMA

“Best played loud,” reads a brief disclaimer for ANIMA, a visual collaboration between Thom Yorke and Paul Thomas Anderson, released on Netflix in conjunction with the album of the same name, Yorke’s third proper solo offering. It’s good advice for taking in the short film, which finds the acclaimed director providing impressionistic narrative accompaniment to...

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Freddie Gibbs and Madlib Masterfully Meld Past and Present on Bandana

In addition to being one of hip hop’s most influential sample-based producers, Madlib is also among the genre’s most dedicated archivists. There’s a history lesson in the delicate patchwork of his production, with beats that move seamlessly between past and present, incorporating a staggeringly diverse collage of samples. A track that begins in the realm of obscure ’70s soul might...

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Jack White Rediscovers Rock’n’Roll on the Raconteurs’ Rollicking Help Us Stranger

It’s never sufficient to say Jack White has irons in the fire. Maybe stipulating that he forged the irons from scrap and split the firewood himself—now we’re getting closer. Since White released his last album of hooky classicist rock’n’roll with the Raconteurs, at the tail end of the George W. Bush administration, the White Stripes...

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Guided By Voices’ Bee Thousand: The 1994 SPIN Review

This review originally appeared in SPIN’s July 1994 issue. In honor of Bee Thousand’s 25th anniversary, we’re republishing it here. It’s no secret that some of the chattiest songs crafted in recent years have been tossed off nonchalantly by bands who wouldn’t know George Martin from Wink Martindale. Haphazardly recorded, full of as much snap and crackle as...

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