Gabriel Garzón-Montano Jardín | Stones Throw Records Grade: A-

Gabriel Garzón-Montano makes quiet magic on ‘Jardín’

In February 2015, a full year after releasing his debut album Bishouné: Alma del Huila, Gabriel Garzón-Montano emerged from obscurity to become an overnight sensation as the sampled voice on Drake’s “Jungle” that suffocated so tenderly under Drake’s own vocals. In the years that followed, there was no new music
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Migos Culture | 300 Entertainment Grade: A-

Migos defines ‘Culture’ on latest album

Migos’ second studio album, Culture, opens with a boast from perennial hypeman DJ Khaled. Maybe having DJ Khaled spit out his Snapchat truisms on a track is a symbol of the Atlanta-based rap trio’s heightened clout. But here, Khaled operates as a mediator — a middleman who handily, if bluntly,
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the xx I See You | Young Turks Grade: A-

The xx ages with grace on latest album ‘I See You’

Since the release of the xx’s near-perfect debut, 2009’s eponymous xx, and its fine sequel, 2012’s Coexist, the xx left and re-entered a pop space that has undergone a drastic tonal shift that they’ve helped to pioneer. There are acts like the Chainsmokers, who pilfered the hazy romantic chords of
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Kid Cudi Passion, Pain and Demon Slayin' | Republic Records Grade: B+

Kid Cudi returns with some ‘Demon Slayin’

Kid Cudi hasn’t had the most successful set of years. After breaking out with his much heralded Man on the Moon: The End of Day and Man on the Moon: Legend of Mr. Rager, Cudi quit smoking marijuana and had a kid — both massive milestones for anybody. Yet, musically, Cudi’s public good
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The Weeknd Starboy | XO/Republic Records Grade: D

The Weeknd falls down rabbit hole with ‘Starboy’

By trying to fix something that wasn’t broken, The Weeknd, real name Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, breaks it all with Starboy — our hearts, our ears and his soul. Somewhere amid the 18 tracks, we lose The Weeknd, and The Weeknd loses us. But rather than heading off into the elusive darkness
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