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“This Is America,” the Video, Is a Smash. Will the Song Have Legs?

Childish Gambino’s chart-topper is unprecedented, and its future on the radio is uncertain.

May 18 2018 12:11 PMHow Courtney Barnett Taught Me to Listen to the New Album From Courtney BarnettThe singer-songwriter’s sophomore LP requires its audience to take a different approach.
May 1 2018 2:41 PMBlack and White and Pynk All OverFiles on Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer, from one critic’s random access memory.
April 20 2018 1:38 PMAmerica’s New Favorite Song Finds Drake Saying “Sorry” for “Hotline Bling”With his latest No. 1, the rapper takes a page from Justin Bieber and breaks another record.
April 10 2018 7:00 PMOn Her Debut Album, Cardi B Takes Rap History, Flips It, and Reverses ItWhere others see contradictions, she sees only opportunities.
March 29 2018 12:09 PMWhen the Student Became the MasterA new box set captures Miles Davis and John Coltrane’s final tour together. It challenges the conventional wisdom about both of them.
March 16 2018 1:38 PMYo La Tengo’s There’s a Riot Going On Is Hardly Riotous, but It’s One of Their BestLike the Sly and the Family Stone classic from which it takes its name, the album responds to troubling times by turning inward.
March 1 2018 9:00 AMBecoming DesertAfter almost 40 years, I left Alaska. In barrenness, I found new music.
Feb. 5 2018 11:11 AMOn Man of the Woods, Justin Timberlake Sets Out to Say Something and Ends Up Saying Nothing at AllThe Super Bowl entertainer is an expert song-and-dance man, but in his recent work, he risks becoming nothing more than his own tribute act.
Jan. 29 2018 8:40 AMThe Grammys Once Again Took the Sharpest Voices for GrantedWhy should artists like Kendrick Lamar even continue to show up?
Dec. 19 2017 12:05 PMEminem’s New Album Is a Fiery and Much Needed Denunciation of Trump. It’s Also Terrible.Revival tries to be both a crowd-pleasing pop album and a middle finger to white America. It fails, but it might also get you back on his side.
Dec. 15 2017 2:13 PMOn Reputation, the “Old Taylor” Is Dead, but the New One Isn’t Quite Ready to Come to the PhoneTaylor Swift’s ungainly, intermittently brilliant new album finds the former child star making art out of her growing pains.
Dec. 15 2017 2:13 PMTom Petty Was a Rock ChameleonHis career quietly spanned subgenres, from new wave to Southern to classic to grunge—anything that was rock ’n’ roll.
Dec. 5 2017 11:25 AMOn Their New Albums, Björk and U2 Offer Utopian Visions for Dystopian TimesBut their approaches, and their degrees of success, vary widely.
Sept. 5 2017 6:38 PMLife After CoolOn LCD Soundsystem’s new album, James Murphy’s mock midlife crisis becomes a genuine subdued panic—and makes for some of his most mature music yet.
Aug. 4 2017 11:23 AMOn Randy Newman’s New Album, America’s Greatest Pop Satirist Grapples With an Unsatirizable AgeAnd not just on the song about Putin.
May 9 2018 4:51 PMWeave My Disgust Into FameA remarkable 25th-anniversary box set chronicles how a middle-class young woman recording alone in her bedroom changed rock ’n’ roll.
April 20 2018 6:51 PMThe Pulitzers Awarded Kendrick Lamar for the Wrong ReasonsThe jury made the right choice but based it on unflattering, damaging criteria.
April 17 2018 7:06 PMThis Year’s Other Two Pulitzer Finalists on Losing to Kendrick LamarSome classical fans are furious that the rapper won. The guys he beat are thrilled.
March 29 2018 6:39 PMTaylor Swift Left a Blank Space in Country Music. Could Kacey Musgraves Fill It?Meanwhile, Ashley McBryde has the perfect album for fans missing the old Musgraves.
March 19 2018 1:46 PMMount Eerie’s Haunting New Album Explores the Stages of Grief That Come After “Acceptance”The singer-songwriter’s album about his wife’s death became his most successful in years. His latest chronicles the aftermath.
March 7 2018 5:25 PMLucy Dacus’ History in the MakingOn her sophomore album, Historian, the indie singer-songwriter shows she’s as thoughtful about following through as she is about openers.
Feb. 16 2018 7:18 PMKendrick Lamar’s Black Panther Album Is Rich With Meaning You Can Only Appreciate After the MovieThe soundtrack and the film each flesh out the other’s themes, making the other stronger.
Feb. 1 2018 2:45 PMDrake’s Latest No. 1 Was a Foregone Conclusion. Is There Anything Left for Him to Prove?“God’s Plan” set a one-day streaming record. But in a pop world he remade in his own image, it’s getting harder for Drake to stand out.
Jan. 26 2018 8:15 PMAmerica’s New No. 1 Song Is the “Crazy in Love” of Its MomentWith “Havana,” Camila Cabello emerges as a solo artist on her own terms.
Dec. 15 2017 2:13 PMWhy the Williamsburg Bridge Should Be Renamed After Sonny RollinsIt’s time for the New Colossus to be joined by the Saxophone Colossus.
Dec. 15 2017 2:13 PMTom Petty Was Rock ’n’ Roll’s Ambassador to the WorldEven if he would have been the last one to admit it.
Dec. 15 2017 9:06 AMThe Best Jazz Albums of 2017Plus the best historical releases.
Oct. 23 2017 4:11 PMA New History of Rolling Stone Reveals Its Complicated, Compromised Relationship to Rock StarsThe first biography of the magazine’s founder is much more critical than HBO’s conveniently timed new documentary, and it’s a better tribute for it.
Aug. 24 2017 4:26 PMThe War on Drugs’ New Album Doesn’t Reinvent the WheelInstead, it nearly perfects it.
July 28 2017 11:11 AMCrown of LoveArcade Fire’s new album may buckle under the weight of absurd expectations, but it’ll also remind fans how the band got there in the first place.

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