EditorialFor the love of music


For when you’re feeling social


Craig Clemens

February 16, 2016

On This Day..

1961 – On this day Frank Sinatra founded his own label, Reprise Records, in order to gain more artistic freedom and alternatively earning him the nickname “The Chairman of the Board”. One of the label’s founding principles under Sinatra’s leadership was that each artist would have full creative freedom, and at some point complete ownership of their work. Reprise later became the home of many influential US acts such as Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman and the Beach Boys.

1973 – After becoming ill during a concert in Las Vegas Elvis Presley presented Doctor Sidney Bowers with a Lincoln Continental to show his appreciation for all his work.

1974 – David Bowie turned down an offer from the Gay Liberation group to compose ‘the world’s first Gay National Anthem.’

1982 – The marble slab was stolen from the grave of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s singer Ronnie Van Zant, police found it two weeks later in a dried up river bed.


Brand New Music

The Life of Pablo | Kanye West
Very few people, in my personal circle of friends, co-workers or critics that I read regularity, like Kanye West as a person. Kanye seems vapid and self-centered to say the least. Additionally, as critics, us at Playback constantly struggle to find the fine line between personal taste and critical bias – to empart knowledge about something that we know is good even if it’s by somebody we don’t like. Letting the music speak for itself. That being said: yes, Kanye West is a complete asshole, but The Life of Pablo is good. A freewheeling snap-shot of this weirdly thrilling and emotional adventure that Kanye is on right now, The Life of Pablo feels like a retrospective on how weird it is that someone like Kanye West even exists. It’s not his greatest work, or the “best album of life” as he had previously proclaimed, but it probably cracks his own top 3 – even if he was an asshole about it.

Cardinal | Pinegrove
Another place, in another time, this one may have created widespread acclaim for a band that had just released an insanely intimate record. This Montclair, NJ outfit rides their ability to craft a sort of fly-by-night, emotional, Americana-indie rock right to the hearts of their listener. Expressing a weird sort of intimate anxiety they completely compensate for any lack of showiness in their delivery.

Good Advice | Basia Bulat
Do NOT sleep on Basia Bulat. Suddenly accessible with her delicate feel-good pop, Bulat is raising a ton of eyebrows with this one. It’s not stadium-pop, nor is it Beach House or Grizzly Bear, but it is an incredibly bold and brash hit of confidence.