Album reviews in 30 seconds or less.
Sounds Like: The fifth from Baltimore-based singer-songwriter nomad with a penchant for gloom is a beautiful, dark and complex eight-song set of smart, moody rock.
Free Association: Not to be played when you are experiencing any kind of joy.
For Fans Of: Sondre Lerche x Will Oldham, Elliot Smith + Sufjan Stevens, creepy wit.
Sounds Like: The Texan Idol winner’s fifth LP is back on track—big producers, very little songwriting and a mix of pop anthems, playful punk and remixable dance jams.
Free Association: The best part’s got to be from “Einstein”: “Dumb plus dumb = you.”
For Fans Of: P!nk x Carrie Underwood, Linda Perry + Joss Stone, breakup rage.
Sounds Like: The Transformers star’s fifth LP is as sexy and alluring as the man himself with some silky smoove beats, tender, bedroom-friendly lyrics and hot guests.
Free Association: The L.A. boy raised in the hood’s come a long way.
For Fans Of: R. Kelly x Ginuwine, Usher/Luda/Rick Ross, post-club sweaty celebrity sex.
PW's Music Issue 2014