The Agit Reader

About:Matt Slaybaugh

Matt Slaybaugh



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S. Carey
Hundred Acres

S. Carey certainly has a light touch. Most of the sounds on Hundred Acres—from his vocals to the drums—seem to be drifting by on the wind. Not that the album

David Duchovny
Every Third Thought

Like a man out of time, David Duchovny has released an album of mid-tempo, masculine rockers, perfectly in-step with the zeitgeist of of 1997. That

No Age
Snares Like a Haircut

A key variable in No Age’s work has been the number and depth of the layers they use to separate listeners from the impetus at the center of their songs. My

Forest Swords

Matthew Barnes’ work as Forest Swords is definitely an acquired taste. It’s not music you’d ever play at a party, and little of it is pretty or even pleasant. The

Son Volt
Notes of Blue

Notes of Blue starts out with a note of comfort. “Promise the World” takes me right back to the late '90s, when Jay Farrar and Son Volt played with confidence

Emperor of Sand

Mastodon is back with Emperor of Sand, and the lead-off single (and first track) “Sultan’s Curse” gets right to the point. Forty seconds in and you’ve

Thievery Corporation
The Temple of I & I

Thievery Corporation has always been known for its multi-culti blend of textures and trends—sitar meets acid jazz, trip hop takes on bossa nova tones, etc.—and the

Near to the Wild Heart of Life

I really like the Japandroids, and so I hope they have a long, prolific career, with a lot more highs than lows. Unfortunately, this uninspired release, Near

The XX
I See You

The XX’s new album, I See You, is one of the most uninterestingly beautiful recordings in recent memory. This album wants you to stand back and

Staff Picks of 2016: Matt Slaybaugh

Top 10 of 2016

10. David Bowie, Blackstar (Columbia Records)
What a way to end the story. The timing was incredible in and of itself, but the fact that Bowie recorded his best work in at least 35 years, one of his boldest adventures, makes Blackstar an achievement that might never be matched.

9. Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book (self-released)
It was May in Ohio, …

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