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  • The Velvet Rope Album Cover: Janet, her head tilted forward morosely

    The Velvet Rope: The Queen of R&B’s Magnum Opus

    The arc of history has done unfortunate things to Janet Jackson and her legacy. For one of the most relevant artists of the ‘80s and ‘90s, her career suffered a nearly fatal blow when the CBS corporation blacklisted her and her relevance precipitously waned. But at her height, Jackson was a megastar, setting records and […] More

  • Screenshot from Blur's '"Song 2" music video

    In Defence of Blur’s Self-titled Album

    Blur aren’t best remembered for their self-titled album.The Britpop pioneers that dominated UK tabloids in the 1990s are better remembered today for their jaunty, spirited, and heavily London-accented songs like “Parklife” and “Girls And Boys”, as well as for their feud with fellow indie-rock juggernauts, Oasis. Despite acquiring critical acclaim at the time and breaking […] More

  • The cover image for Primal Scream's 1997 album Vanishing Point

    Primal Scream’s Vanishing Point: How to Not Disappear

    By 1995 Primal Scream were a joke. The poor reaction to the retro 70s rock of 1994’s Give Up But Don’t Give Out gave credence to the running gag that the Scream were just chancers.The theory went that the success of Screamadelica was due to the production by cutting edge DJs like Andrew Weatherall and mixing […] More

  • The five ladies of the Spice Girls standing shoulder to shoulder -- Emma Bunton, Mel B, Geri Halliwell, Mel C, Victoria Beckham

    Sizzle for the Season with the Spice Girls “2 Become 1”

    When the Spice Girls served up the single “2 Become 1” 25 years ago, it arrived in time to get its hooks in the holidays. The smooth ballad delivered a dose of sonic sensuality perfect for fueling fireside romance on long winter nights. The fact it connects to Christmas may seem a slender thread, but […] More

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    Tori Amos’s Boys for Pele 25 Years Later

    When Tori Amos’s 1996 album Boys for Pele was first released, she explained that after she broke up with her partner, Eric Rosse, she started “stealing fire” from the men in her life. The fire she described was a kind of energy, primarily in the form of admiration. When Amos recognized she was vampirically feeding […] More

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    Still Praying for Rain: Tool’s Ænima 25 Years Later

    It is the fall of 1996. I am in high school. Bill Clinton is President, and running for a reelection he will handily win against Bob Dole. I don’t recall anyone particularly caring all that much…about anything, really. Tool’s Ænima felt like a perfect palliative at that time for the cultural malaise of the mid-90s […] More

  • Jimmy Eat World Static Prevails front and back covers

    Jimmy Eat World’s Static Prevails Holds Up 25 Years Later

    I remember being 16 when I heard Jimmy Eat World’s third full length album, Clarity for the first time and thinking that it was the record I had been searching for my whole life. It spoke to me, not just lyrically, but also the unique sound that seemed to live between these margins, resulting in […] More

  • Fiona Apple's Tidal album art, a close up of Apple's face

    Reflecting on Fiona Apple’s Tidal (1996) 25 Years Later

    Tidal is the 1996 album from Fiona Apple, and her first studio album. Apple is an American music artist with five studio albums to her name—the most recent, Fetch The Bolt Cutters, was released last year.  I was first introduced to Fiona Apple in the early 2010s, when I read that she was an inspiration to […] More

  • A hissing rattlesnake flickers its tongue on the cover of The Great Southern Trendkill

    Coming from Pantera’s The Great Southern Trendkill

    Many won’t make it far beyond the opening scream of The Great Southern Trendkill. Still, those who endure, let alone enjoy that ear drum eradicating intro will never be the same. It opens with a primal cry which seems defiant, but as the record progresses, songs reveal a terrible sadness beneath the rage. A lyrical […] More

  • Cover art for Helloween's The Time of the Oath

    Return to The Time of the Oath with Helloween

    There’s still power in The Time of the Oath. 25 years since its release, Helloween’s seventh studio album possesses a biting strength and refreshing sincerity. Powered by a lyrical depth and fun too often missing from modern metal, The Time of the Oath belongs to a different era, but one sadly lost when juxtaposed against […] More

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