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Kicking the Canon

by Paul Attard Kicking the Canon Music

Roscoe Mitchell Sextet | Sound

What’s the difference between music and noise? Besides general semantics, the two terms are perceived to create something of a dichotomy in relation to one another; often when trying to pass critical judgment on the sonic qualities of a recorded piece, there’s a tendency…

May 19, 2020
by Ryo Miyauchi Kicking the Canon Music

Mary J. Blige | My Life

After writing the early blueprint for ’90s R&B, Mary J. Blige laid out her own musical foundations on 1994’s My Life. The influence of hip-hop began to seep into R&B by the end of the ’80s  —  a period that soon saw Bell Biv…

May 12, 2020
by Alec Lane Kicking the Canon Music

Emmylou Harris | Wrecking Ball

Widely hailed as a major turn in Emmylou Harris’s already illustrious career, the 1995 album Wrecking Ball found the beloved country artist exploring new avenues in production while reinforcing her ability to command the intricate arrangements — ultimately deepening her power to bring an…

May 4, 2020
by Alec Lane Kicking the Canon Music

Dusty Springfield | Dusty in Memphis

It’s only appropriate that Dusty Springfield’s 1969 record — which found the singer’s vocal sensibilities shifting over to R&B, and to more deliberately paced arrangements — took its time to accumulate the canonical status that it enjoys today. Comparing “Son of a Preacher Man,”…

April 13, 2020
by Brendan Nagle Kicking the Canon Music

The Replacements | Let It Be

For a band so insistent on defying any and all principles of behavior, even (or perhaps especially) when it meant sabotaging their own success, it’s perfectly fitting that the Replacements’ best and most quintessential album bears a title so openly flippant in its disregard…

March 27, 2020
by Paul Attard Kicking the Canon Music

Madonna | Like a Prayer

There comes a time in every young pop vixen’s career — usually, after her third or fourth album has dropped and sales slowly start waning — where she supposedly has to “grow up” and re-shape her image if she wishes to remain professionally relevant.…

March 21, 2020
In Review | Online film and music criticism