Kimbra – Primal Heart: I’m a foreigner everywhere I roam.

Artist: Kimbra
Album: Primal Heart
Year: 2018
Grade: B-

In Brief: Kimbra’s third record doesn’t lay on the nostalgia and experimentation quite as thick as her last two, but it’s still a unique and worthwhile modern pop/R&B record, in its own low-key way.

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Rina Sawayama – RINA EP: Not yet a Superstar, but quite out of the Ordinary

Artist: Rina Sawayama
Album: RINA EP
Year: 2017
Grade: B+

In Brief: You can call it pop, you can call it youthful, you can call it a throwback… you can even call it teenybopper if you want. Just don’t call it shallow. While this isn’t a style I dabble in often, I appreciate Rina’s smart commentary on contemporary Internet culture, wrapped up in the popular sounds of her own childhood from before social media was even a thing.

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Haim – Something to Tell You: Baby, it’s about time!

2017_Haim_SomethingtoTellYouArtist: Haim
Album: Something to Tell You
Year: 2017
Grade: B

In Brief: No shocking changes here – the Haim sisters stick largely to what worked on their first album. There might be a few more slick R&B grooves and guitar solos that sneak up on you, and that helps to keep this from feeling like a total retread of Days Are Gone. Still, that album is slightly better song-for-song than this one.

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My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall: Mostly on the right side of that thin line between loving it and wasting my time.

2015_MyMorningJacket_TheWaterfallArtist: My Morning Jacket
Album: The Waterfall
Year: 2015
Grade: B+

In Brief: The most musically unified and consistently enjoyable album I’ve heard from MMJ thus far. It doesn’t jump all over the place musically as much as their last two records, but it still has a strong 70s folk rock/jam bad/psychedelic vibe, and I love it all the more due to how committed they are to that aesthetic this time around.

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Kimbra – The Golden Echo: Came back in a year and it just felt different.

2014_Kimbra_TheGoldenEchoArtist: Kimbra
Album: The Golden Echo
Year: 2014
Grade: B

In Brief: A bold, dense, and sometimes downright bizarre album that throws everything but the kitchen sink at the type of music a singer born at the beginning of the 90s loved during her childhood. Fans of Vows might find it tough to swallow at first, but don’t cry “sellout”, because even at some of its poppiest moments, The Golden Echo is more concerned with making art than with finding an easy route to the charts.

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