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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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Sleater-Kinney’s The Center Won’t Hold is a Searing Look at the Pride and Prejudice of Aging

Sleater-Kinney’s ninth album opens not with a riff or a yelp, but with ominous clanking—a cacophonous signal that the trio of Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, and Janet Weiss are using the quarter-century mark of their band as a jumping off point for trying new things. It ends with a stripped-down ballad where Tucker aches—about the...

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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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