PJ Harvey

25 of the Best Sophomore Albums Ever Made

You know how it goes: a band or a musician puts out a stellar first album, receives heaps of praise and success, and then goes back to the recording studio and turns out a second album. What a bummer, it’s not as good. But is this trend a real thing, or just a myth fueled by how disappointed we, as listeners and critics, can be when artists’ albums don’t live up to our expectations? What follows shows that plenty of great artists were able to avoid the sophomore slump — and, in some cases, turned out the best album of their careers.… Read More

  • 0

Sing It, Sister: How Pop Music Can Heal a Heartbreak

I didn’t “get” Taylor Swift, really, until I had suffered an overwhelming amount of heartbreak. Last summer, I spent a few weekends in Westerly, Rhode Island, where my fiancé’s friend owned a home. The buzz there over Memorial Day was all about Taylor Swift, who had bought a multimillion-dollar home in Watch Hill, right off the main strip that ran through town. Everyone I heard talking about Taylor Swift seemed to be annoyed at her presence, which was, basically, just as a specter. I never had much of an opinion about her, because, other than the few upbeat songs of hers I’d heard on the radio, I hadn’t devoted much time to her. Then my fiancé broke up with me, and that’s when I listened to “Dear John” for the first time. … Read More

  • 0

50 Songs That Are Guaranteed to Make You Cry

Strip away the creeping pumpkinspicization of fall, and there’s something somber and inherently melancholy about this time of the year. It’s when the days get shorter, the leaves fall off the trees, the skies are gray, and the air is cold enough to demand scarves and hats. And it’s also the time to huddle up by the open fire, drink tea, and listen to sad music! With that in mind, here’s a playlist inspired by our recent list of heart-wrenching movies — an epic selection of songs guaranteed to make you cry, from the tear-jerkingly forlorn to the moving and… Read More

  • 0

The 50 Best Debut Singles in Music History

The music nerd contingent at Flavorwire central recently got a-talking about our favorite debut single. The list is nearly endless, but once you start to think about it, picking out the best isn’t quite as easy as you might think — “Alison” wasn’t Elvis Costello’s first single, for instance, nor was “Take Me Out” Franz Ferdinand’s debut or “Unfinished Sympathy” Massive Attack’s. Of course, this discussion inevitably led to list-making, and here’s the result: our picks for the 50 best debut singles the world of music has to… Read More

  • 0

14 Fascinating Nick Cave Collaborations

Insert Birthday Party joke here: today is Nick Cave’s 56th birthday. The Bad Seed was the keynote speaker at BigSound last week. “I’m famously a collaborator. I can’t do what I do without certain musicians around me,” he told audiences. “It’s about having people around me who can bring new things.” Indeed, Cave shares an interesting creative history with fellow misanthropes (or melancholic optimists?), ex-lovers, and indie film directors. We’ve selected some of our favorite Nick Cave collaborations — a few familiar projects and several that tend to be overlooked. … Read More

  • 0

The Albums That Flavorwire Staffers Heard Too Early

Earlier this month, we surveyed Flavorwire central for a selection of the books we read too early. The responses we got were both informative and a whole lot of fun, so we decided we’d extend the concept into some of the other areas of culture that we enjoy here — starting with the world of music, and the albums that various staff members listened to at perilously tender ages. From the raunchy through the political to the mildly disconcerting, here are the albums that we listened to too early (including, curiously, not one but two Beatles records.) What are yours? … Read More

  • 0

’90s Music Icons on ’90s Nostalgia

“I get sentimental over the music of the ’90s,” music critic Rob Sheffield writes in his memoir, Love Is a Mix Tape. “Deplorable, really. But I love it all. As far as I’m concerned the ’90s was the best era for music ever, even the stuff that I loathed at the time, even the stuff that gave me stomach cramps.” Considering the current fashion of reunion tours and cruises and the Internet-based obsession with the quirkiness of popular culture from two decades ago, Sheffield seems to be in the majority. But there are plenty of musical icons from the era who have more of a love-hate affair with the decade that brought them fame. Click through and read about how those icons look back on the ’90s: fondly, with derision, or somewhere in between. … Read More

  • 0

Fascinating Photos of Great Musicians’ Earliest Musical Endeavors

Everyone has to start somewhere, and all that. We’re always fascinated by the idea of looking into the history of our favorite artists, be they musicians, writers, filmmakers or whatever else, and as such we found ourselves seeking out the earliest musical endeavors of some of our favorite musicians. We thought we’d share some of the fruits of our searching with you — fascinating photographs of famous musicians in the earliest stages of their artistic… Read More

  • 0

10 Songs That Make You Cry

Most movie audiences will be choosing between two big releases for the upcoming holiday weekend: Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables. If you don’t mind secretly sobbing in a dark theater, and your mom is tagging along (moms really love Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman), you’ll probably find yourself transported to 19th-century France for the adaptation of Victor Hugo’s famous novel. The trailer for Les Mis reveals footage of Anne Hathaway as the ill-fated prostitute Fantine performing a weepy, whispery rendition of the beloved “I Dreamed a Dream.” Whether you appreciate movie musicals or not, the song instantly turns on the waterworks for a lot of people. It’s a heartbreaking lament. This got us thinking about other tunes that call for Kleenex and a shoulder to cry on. For a song to tap into such emotion is an incredibly intimate thing, and not all of the reasons are sad ones. Sometimes the sheer magnificence of a piece of music elicits a few tears. We selected a group of tracks that tend to make people sob. What songs really bring out your cry face? … Read More

  • 13
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,646 other followers