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Post-Haste is a new column that lets us deal with album reviews in our own damn time. The unexpected drop may be great for sales--or clicks--but it's terrible for criticism. It's terrible because music, especially pop music, is meant to grow and breathe and live inside your life with you. That's when you arrive at the kind of writing like Lester Bangs' ecstatically anguished screed on Astral Weeks (recently cited by Amanda Petrusich...
“If you think about #R8 not as an album but as an endurance piece testing the limits of stan culture then that’s kinda cool,” I tweeted last November. At that point, we were about 36 months into the Great Rihcession of the early-mid aughts, so I’d had tons of time to wonder what, exactly, was holding up the release of Rihanna’s eighth studio album, ANTI. There were signs of behind-the-scenes turmoil: that Kanye West had...
Anti already has a world tour attached. It has a $25 million sponsor deal from Samsung. It has fans everywhere salivating for the first new album from Rihanna since 2012's Unapologetic, an album that she executive-produced, and that became her first No. 1 album debut on the Billboard charts (which seems crazy in retrospect). After Unapologetic she took her first real gap between albums, a gap that has now stretched to three years. The longest...
Consider the turtleneck: Is there any other item of clothing which manages to reveal so much even as it appears to hold everything back? A woman in a turtleneck is the ultimate power move, allowing her to show off everything that can't really be seen, hiding while also in plain sight. It's a sartorial signifier of restraint, and yet there's an almost unspoken understanding that the whoever's wearing it could unleash just about anything whenever she...