#PopRocks

#PopRocks by Stephen Eisermann Music

Maren Morris | Girl

March 18, 2019
MarenMorris-RonElkmanUSATodayNet

Maren Morris’ second album, Girl, certainly feels and sounds like her type of record, at least based off of the music from her previous album and more recent collaborations, but there’s one glaring issue here: on Girl, it seems that Morris has sanded down some of her sharper sonic edges, hoping to appeal to a larger base in the process. Where Maren’s…

Continue Reading

#PopRocks by Greg Cwik Music

Weezer | Weezer (Black Album)

March 3, 2019
Weezer And Pixies Perform At Shoreline Amphitheatre

For those who still associate Rivers Cuomo with the confessional and unabashed awkwardness of Pinkerton, an album of estimable emotions that seems to have been released an eternity ago, Weezer’s Weezer (Black Album) could come as a special kind of shock; for everyone who’s been following the band for the last 20 years, though, it might seem like…

Continue Reading

#PopRocks by M.G. Mailloux Music

Future | Future Hndrxx Presents: The Wizrd

January 28, 2019
775173624SB00017_2018_Bonna

As far as contemporary pop stars go, Future was always somehow simultaneously the surest, and the least sure, bet: In the context of current rap, his success makes perfect sense, fitting right alongside Drake’s and Kanye West’s, two artist’s who’ve nimbly adapted to the shifting aesthetic trends in their genre. But Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn’s persona is different, and odd to evaluate — marked, on the one hand, by a sedated anti-charisma, and on the other, by a commitment to documenting his own life in such a way as…

Continue Reading

#PopRocks by Stephen Eisermann Music

Alessia Cara | The Pains of Growing

December 11, 2018

Alessia Cara is at odds with herself on her sophomore album, The Pains of Growing. Following the meteoric rise of debut single “Here” — a murky and moody loner-anthem that caught everyone by surprise in 2015 — Cara released her first album, Know-It-All, which gave further insight into her teenager-perspective on societal expectations and beauty standards. Cara seemed to be walking down a similar path as that which her contemporary, Taylor Swift, had previously been on.…

Continue Reading

#PopRocks by Calum Reed Music

Mariah Carey | Caution

November 27, 2018
mariah-carey-new-years-eve

It’s often been said that Mariah Carey has little humility, but how much of that is just for show? Four years on from the flamboyantly-titled Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse — a commercial failure, though one modest critical acclaim — Mimi is back, and in an understandably more vulnerable state. Carey’s latest, Caution, is her first…

Continue Reading

#PopRocks by Paul Attard Music

Robyn | Honey

November 2, 2018
Robyn (2018)

Publicity

If Ariana Grande’s Sweetener was the feel-good pop project of the (late-ish) summer, focusing on the catharsis of newfound love (at the time…), then Robyn’s Honey is the melancholy-ridden antithesis, appropriately dropped in the middle of fall. The Swedish singer’s eighth album streamlines emotional distress into a series of mini-narratives that ruminate on the subjects of loss, endurance, and recovery — sometimes simultaneously. Opener “Missing U” telegraphs its volatile feelings through a whirlwind of glittering synthesizers, with the steady, thumping bassline providing a sense…

Continue Reading

#PopRocks by Sam C. Mac Music

M.I.A. | AIM

September 29, 2016
mia

“Who said it was easy?/They can never stop we” sings the most put-upon recording artist of the last decade — an artist who’s never stopped pulling up her people even as she’s endured pop culture’s repeated persecutions. It’s from the last song on what may be the 41-year old provocateur’s final album, AIM, and it’s as summative an emotional statement as “Borders,” the set’s opener and lead single, is a thematic one: This is an album that makes a negotiation…

Continue Reading

#PopRocks by Sam C. Mac Music

4Minute | Crazy

February 11, 2015
4Minute (2015)

That South Korean girl group 4Minute started 2015 with a self-conscious “revamp” of their brand isn’t surprising, since this kind of maneuver is seen often in the landscape of K-pop. Just as the recent evolutionary timeline of the region’s popular music represents a condensed version of that of its western influence, the artists who populate this scene tend to progress their narratives quickly, launching “mini-album” campaigns several times a year that emphasize an awareness of whatever happens to be the current trend.…

Continue Reading