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Big Freedia: Just Be Free

Take some of the world’s more regressive territories out of the picture, and in the same way a rockabilly or reggae group will please the party crowd, a screaming drag queen vogueing over dance music comes with that universal appeal. 282 more words

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Busdriver: Perfect Hair

Saying that rapper Busdriver is a mash of Danny Brown, Wu-Tang Clan, and Frank Zappa doesn’t get at how avant and prickly the man can be. 249 more words

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Pallbearer: Foundations of Burden

Expectations run high for Foundations of Burden, Pallbearer’s sophomore full-length. On their 2012 debut, Sorrow and Extinction, the Arkansas doom quartet established itself by bringing something back to the genre that had been missing — at least partially — since Black Sabbath: innate lyricism and dynamics rather than simply volume-centric, plodded-out variations on A-minor. 433 more words

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Hail Mary Mallon: Bestiary

Named after the real Typhoid Mary, the left-field hip-hop supergroup Hail Mary Mallon returned with their sophomore effort just as Ebola hysteria was shaking the globe. 242 more words

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Blake Mills: Heigh Ho

Guitarist, songwriter, and producer Blake Mills was celebrated as an outsider talent for his debut effort Break Mirrors in 2010. The fact was he’d already established himself among the fraternity of musicians. 444 more words

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T.I.: Paperwork

There are moments on Paperwork where rapper T.I. sounds as vital, bright, infectious, and tuneful as Nas in his prime, but don’t get it twisted, as this vibrant effort is often so pop that it is more like an Illmatic aimed at taking on the chart dominance of Iggy Azalea and not the gang violence in Queensbridge. 267 more words

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Ana Tijoux: Vengo

Though French-Chilean Rapper Ana Tijoux has been making music since the late 1990s, she is best known for 2010’s 1977 and 2012’s La Bala. Vengo… 467 more words

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