Rebel Heart

For many years, Madonna avoided the Internet like gluten. But in December, the Internet decided to stop waiting for Madonna, and everything went wrong: Her music was stolen and leaked; her hasty, emotional responses on Instagram used terms like “rape” and “terrorism,” provoking (you guessed it) Internet outrage. Her swift…

Physical Graffiti: Deluxe Edition

“Changes fill my time,” Robert Plant sings on the extended country-soul drama “Ten Years Gone.” It was a fitting sentiment. Led Zeppelin’s relentless, searching bravado across their first five albums — out of Delta and Memphis fundamentals through psychedelia, Welsh-country romanticism and North African fantasia — climaxed at the twin peaks of…

Fan of a Fan: The Album

Chris Brown and Tyga present themselves as friends, but on their first full album together, they seem more like enablers. A true pal would have responded to lines like “She’ll cook and clean, I got it made/Handcuffed like she a slave” (from Tyga, on the narcissistic sex fantasy “Remember Me”)…

Future Brown

Missy Elliott’s Super Bowl moment said plenty about hip-hop’s current creative drought. This timely set from four style-hungry producers recalls Elliott’s turn-of-the-century heyday, with post-national street beats and an army of fresh MCs and singers. It feels like a genuine next-generation moment. Dominican-American MC Maluca spits hot Spanish over a…

Dark Sky Paradise

Over four years and two albums, Detroit rapper Big Sean has made his biggest mark as a semi-novelty hitmaker (the awesomely stupid “Dance (A$$),” the giddily spiteful “IDFWU”) and the worst part of at least five Kanye West songs. Big Sean is G.O.O.D. Music “trying to make ‘fetch’ happen” — keep supporting this guy, and…

First Kiss

“I got them red-blooded white-boy blues,” Kid Rock sings. Now 44, he finds himself looking back wistfully, tracking the passage of time. He laments that “we can’t fight this getting older” — but the LP’s muscular rock & roll tells another story. The Kid has no intention of aging gracefully — happily,…

What Happens Next

At their peak, Gang of Four stylized 1970s dissent into cutting post-punk. Sadly, the qualities that once made the English act so influential are gone on its ninth LP, and first since co-founding singer Jon King’s departure. The question posed by the record’s title is not one the band seems…

Gliss Riffer

Bearded roly-poly Baltimore EDM dude Dan Deacon looks a little like a highly intelligent teddy bear — a perfect fit for his playful, complex music. Deacon’s previous works have included the high-octane 2007 album Spiderman of the Rings and a mischievous remix of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop.” His latest features…