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Leonard Cohen’s ‘Thanks for the Dance’ Finds New Life After Death

You Want It Darker, Leonard Cohen’s final album, released in 2016, was a kind of preemptive memorial service. Like Bowie’s nearly contemporaneous Blackstar, it was an auteur’s final word on the subject of his own life: a last dispatch from the threshold, with all the sadness, humor, and beauty one would expect from a Leonard...

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Coldplay’s Adventurous Everyday Life Brings Them Gracefully Back Down to Earth

Before they became one of the biggest bands in the world, Coldplay built their brand on heartfelt, direct messaging: “The truth is, I miss you,” “I will try to fix you,” “I never meant to cause you trouble.” But if they’re used to simple, they’re not anymore. Following 2005’s X&Y, they’ve increasingly embraced maximalist pop—to...

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Smashing Pumpkins’ Pisces Iscariot Is Thrill-Free for Casual Listeners

This review of Pisces Iscariot originally appeared in the November 1994 issue of SPIN. We’re republishing it in honor of the album’s 25th anniversary on October 4. Rating: Whoa! Slow down, pal! This album is pretty good, but you can’t buy everything in the store. Can you? As a source of possibly unintended hilarity, Great Pumpkin Billy Corgan rarely...

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The Cranberries’ No Need to Argue Hits the G-Spot With a Few Songs

This review of ‘No Need to Argue’ originally appeared in the November 1994 issue of SPIN. In celebration of the album’s 25th anniversary on October 3, we are republishing it now. Rating: Whoa! Slow down, pal! This album is pretty good, but you can’t buy everything in the store. Can you? Oh, Dolores. Was ever a singer more...

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Nine Inch Nails’ The Fragile Is Trent Reznor’s Epic Return

In honor of Nine Inch Nails’ The Fragile turning 20 on September 21, 2019, we’re republishing our review of the double album. This piece originally ran in the November 1999 issue of SPIN. RATING: 9 out of 10 We’re all building a Winchester Mystery House inside our heads. The brain is like that famous haunted Victorian...

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(Sandy) Alex G’s House of Sugar Is a Beautiful Mess

There’s an essential roughness to almost everything (Sandy) Alex G puts out. From the seesaw cadences of “Bobby” to the sprightly, confessional “Boy,” the young Philly songwriter’s large and varied discography is marked by a persistent splintered edge—a fuzzy mix, or a recurring voice crack, exposing the shabby heart at the center of it all....

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The Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs: The 1999 SPIN Review

This review originally appeared in the October 1999 issue of SPIN. In honor of the album’s 20th anniversary, we’re republishing it here. Years in the making and spanning three CDs, this masterwork by Stephin Merritt (whose other projects include The 6ths and Future Bible Heroes) is exactly what it’s billed as; art about the most personal...

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Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell! Isn’t Afraid to Go Where Other Pop Stars Won’t

Lana Del Rey is no longer alone. At least, that’s what the cover of her new album, Normal Fucking Rockwell!, seems to convey. Instead of posing solo, as she does on all her previous releases, she stands here on a sailboat steadied by the trunk of Duke Nicholson, grandson of Jack. If there were some...

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Quality Control’s Control the Streets, Volume 2 is the Sound of Now, For Better or Worse

Atlanta hip-hop empire Quality Control remains one of the most significant dynasties in the rap game. Six years deep and their roster still ranges from superstars to hitmakers to buzzing names: Migos, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty, City Girls, Stefflon Don and more. QC may not be shifting tectonic plates quite like the early 2017 era of Peak Migos,...

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