A solo artist since the 90s and a core member of the Canadian supergroup The New Pornographers, Neko Case has worn many hats throughout her career. But while her output has always been strong, her last release—2009’s “Middle Cyclone”—didn’t do much to push the envelope of Case’s sound, and it seemed as though we might’ve seen all she had to offer. Fortunately, 20 years into her career, Case has crafted her most innovative and engaging album yet.
The last time No Doubt came out with an album, the year was 2001. Modern staples like the iPhone and Facebook weren’t even ideas yet, Barack Obama was a virtually unknown name, and Justin Bieber had probably just lost his first tooth.
Needless to say, the culture in which No Doubt finds itself today is worlds away from the music scene they dominated in the 90s, which means the band needs some its strongest work yet to win over this new generation of listeners. It’s unfortunate then that Push and Shove, while a thoroughly pleasant listen, may not be the home-run they need to put them back on top.
Evaluating an Animal Collective album is a daunting task. Whereas a couple of spins of most artists’ records will give you a good sense of their charms, hearing any of Animal Collective’s work just a few times is barely scratching the surface. If first impressions hold true, however, the journey on which fans are about to embark with the band’s latest full length, Centipede Hz, stands to be as rewarding as any Animal Collective has sent them on before.