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James Hunter

James Hunter has written for the New York Times Arts & Leisure section; New York Times Sunday Business; LA Style; LA Weekly; Boston Globe; Boston Phoenix; Village Voice; New York Observer; New York Times Magazine; Louisville Courier-Journal; GQ; Details; Rolling Stone; Mademoiselle; Vibe; US magazine; Mens Journal; TV Guide;  The New Yorker and The Atlantic (both purchased pieces not published); The Believer; Request; Record; Mix; Music & Sound Output; Creem (updated, not the original, storied in some quarters publication); Blender; Spin.

38 articles

By Artist | By Date

List of articles in the library by artist

Aerosmith, The Cult, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Whitesnake: Heavy Metal: The Sound Too Dense to Die

Comment by James Hunter, L.A. Weekly, 16 October 1987

TWENTY SUMMERS ago, it was love. In 1987 it was metal, pop-metal, ushered in by Bon Jovi's much less musicianly 7-mil play on Van Halen's ...

Burt Bacharach: Little Big Things: Burt Bacharach's What the World Needs Now

Review by James Hunter, L.A. Weekly, 28 April 2003

IN THE LATE '80s, I sat with the great Japanese pop artist and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto on a hotel rooftop in L.A. talking about Burt ...

Backstreet Boys, Robbie Williams: Backstreet Boys: Millennium (Jive); Robbie Williams: The Ego Has Landed (Capitol)

Review by James Hunter, New York Observer, 24 May 1999

Backstreet Boys Play Coy, Robbie Williams Is a Joy ...

Anita Baker: Compositions (Elektra Entertainment)

Review by James Hunter, Musician, August 1990

FOUR YEARS ago, Anita Baker quietly stormed the pop music charts with Rapture, a reclamation of jazz-soul balladry driven by acoustic resonances and Baker's forthright ...

Chet Baker, John Barry: Playing by Heart: John Barry in All His Glory

Review by James Hunter, New York Observer, 17 January 2000

A SUPERNATURAL-LOOKING CD entitled Playing by Heart is billed to John Barry, Chris Botti and, weirdly enough, Chet Baker. On the black-and-white CD cover, in ...

Blur, William Orbit: Blur: 13 (Virgin)

Review by James Hunter, New York Observer, 5 April 1999

Blur's Tender Mercies Shine Through Sheen of 13 ...

Jackson Browne: Time The Conqueror

Review by James Hunter, Rolling Stone, 2 October 2008

AFTER SPENDING the late part of last year stumping for John Edwards, Jackson Browne continues to address the frustration, outrage and heartbreak over the Bush ...

Tevin Campbell, Keith Sweat: Keith Sweat: Keep It Comin' (Elektra); Tevin Campbell: T.E.V.I.N. (Quest/Warner Bros.)

Review by James Hunter, Musician, March 1992

SINCE 1987, Keith Sweat has exhibited the grip and attitude of a classic soul singer, rather than a conventionally powerful voice. He and frequent collaborator ...

The Cure: Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities – 1978–2001: The Fiction Years

Review by James Hunter, The Village Voice, 25 May 2004

THE CURE'S Join the Dots: B-Sides & Rarities: 1978–2001: The Fiction Years is titled with the exhaustiveness that can, in every sense, characterize box sets. ...

D'Angelo: Brown Sugar (EMI)

Review by James Hunter, Vibe, August 1995

THIS RISKY debut is puzzling. D'Angelo, a 21-year-old Virginia native, is determined to give pre-hip hop forms like blues, soul, gospel, and jazz a mid-'90s ...

Dru Hill: Heart Doctors

Interview by James Hunter, Vibe, February 1999

YOUNG, GIFTED, AND MACK, BALTIMORE SOUL SLINGERS DRU HILL SING SONGS THAT MAKE MEN MOODY, BUT MAKE THE LADIES SCREAM. ...

Donald Fagen: Morph the Cat (Reprise) — Catdown to Ecstasy

Review by James Hunter, The Village Voice, 16 March 2006

Steely Dan's unfashionable co-founder catches a New York where things changed forever ...

Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Tom Ze: David Byrne Has Got His Ears Wide Open

Interview by James Hunter, New York Observer, 28 June 1999

  FOR THE last 10 years, David Byrne has run Luaka Bop, the Manhattan-based record label that specializes in international pop, with Yale Evelev, formerly of ...

Al Green: "There are riders approaching"

Interview by James Hunter, Record, December 1983

THE CONTINUING TRANSFORMATION OF AL GREEN, MAN OF GOD ...

Faith Hill: Redrawing Country's Borders

Interview by James Hunter, The New York Times, 24 November 2002

IN 1999, THE Mississippi-born country singer Faith Hill released 'Breathe', and it sold more than eight million copies. Country music purists were put off by ...

Faith Hill, Tim McGraw: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill: Love and Industry

Profile by James Hunter, The Village Voice, 25 May 1999

COUNTRY MUSIC Nashville is a town of handlers, of purportedly insightful managers and publicists and producers and record company presidents. In 1993, when Tim McGraw ...

Whitney Houston: I'm Your Baby Tonight (Arista)

Review by James Hunter, Rolling Stone, 10 January 1991

Whitney Gets Warmer ...

George Jones: Wine Colored Roses (Epic)

Review by James Hunter, Rolling Stone, 21 May 1987

THIS IS the finest George Jones record in more than five years. Still working with producer-arranger Billy Sherrill, Jones commands a mix of ten songs ...

Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Traveling Wilburys: Jeff Lynne's Guitar Craze

Interview by James Hunter, Musician, August 1989

A Wilbury explains why Tom Petty's solo album sounds the way it does ...

Loretta Lynn: Van Lear Rose

Review by James Hunter, L.A. Weekly, 20 May 2004

VAN LEAR ROSE is an album of 13 songs explosively written and sung by Loretta Lynn. Jack White, of the White Stripes, produced it. Eric ...

Kylie Minogue, Robyn: Robyn: Robyn/Kylie Minogue: X

Live Review by James Hunter, The Village Voice, 29 April 2008

MOST OF Robyn recasts the teenage hitmaker of a decade ago as a formidable 26-year-old Stockholm chick. ...

N.E.R.D., Pharrell Williams: N.E.R.D.: Recombinators

Profile and Interview by James Hunter, L.A. Weekly, 22 April 2004

PHARRELL WILLIAMS doesn't shout. Today, the co-producer of Jay-Z and Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake and No Doubt (and others) is sort of urgently whispering ...

Elvis Presley: From Elvis In Memphis

Review by James Hunter, Rolling Stone, 10 July 2001

IN THE Elvis Presley mythology, 1968 marks the year of the TV Renaissance, when Presley delivered a mesmerizing, passionate performance on NBC, which regenerated his ...

Siouxsie: Mantaray

Review by James Hunter, The Village Voice, 25 September 2007

ON HER RECENT Out of the Woods, Tracey Thorn, singing about artists who awed her early on, mentions "Bobby D in '63". But she also ...

Sting: Gentleman's Agreement: Sting dreams a world without junk...

Comment by James Hunter, The Village Voice, 2 December 1994

"IN THE POLICE he was a pop star, the best we've had, a potent force delivering blistering reggae-tinged chart-friendly hits apparently to order." ...

George Strait: A Conversation With George Strait

Interview by James Hunter, Entertainment Weekly, 19 April 2002

Press-shy trad-country giant goes On The Record for a no-bull Q&A ...

Susie Suh: Anti-Diva: Susie Suh

Profile by James Hunter, The Believer, 1 June 2005

SUSIE SUH'S eponymous collection is the debut of a twenty-five-year-old who grew up performing Korean folk songs on local TV with a children's choir in ...

Take That: 'Back For Good' (Arista)

Review by James Hunter, Rolling Stone, 2 November 1995

BEAUTIFUL LOSER ...

Tracey Thorn: Sublimely nonchalant electro-pop majesty: Tracey Thorn's Out of the Woods

Review by James Hunter, The Village Voice, 20 March 2007

TRACEY THORN, of the now-on-hiatus duo Everything But the Girl, sings with the transparency of country air and the significance of Louis XIV furniture. Alone ...

Travis: Luv Hurts: Travis' The Man Who

Review by James Hunter, L.A. Weekly, 17 May 2000

POP RECORDS can come with some pretty heavy reps. Travis' The Man Who appears in the U.S. after moving two and a half million copies ...

U2: All That You Can't Leave Behind

Review by James Hunter, Rolling Stone, 26 October 2000

U2'S TENTH STUDIO album and third masterpiece, All That You Can't Leave Behind, is all about the simple melding of craft and song. Their first ...

Luther Vandross, Dionne Warwick: Dionne Warwick: How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye (Arista)

Review by James Hunter, The Village Voice, 3 January 1984

Dionne's Hot Date ...

Lucinda Williams Is Ready for Her Close-Up Now

Profile by James Hunter, New York Observer, 29 June 1998

THE COGNOSCENTI are wigging. "How did a 45-year-old 'neurotic diva' with one foot in Faulkner's South and one foot in Garth's make the year's best ...

Marion Williams: Surely God Is Able (SpiritFeel/Shanachie)

Review by James Hunter, Rolling Stone, 20 September 1990

COMMENTATORS OFTEN place the Olympian gospel singer Marion Williams, a thriving veteran who got her start singing with the Ward Sisters during the late Forties, ...

Robbie Williams: Fly Like an Ego: Robbie Williams' Escapology

Review by James Hunter, The Village Voice, 13 May 2003

WHEN LONDON'S Robbie Williams released his 1999 U.S. debut, he warned Americans. The Ego Has Landed, he called the thing, a shrewd compilation of even ...

Dwight Yoakam: Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. (Reprise)

Review by James Hunter, Rolling Stone, 5 June 1986

KENTUCKY-BRED singer and songwriter Dwight Yoakam makes his Los Angeles country music get up and go. As he boasts on the Johnny Horton cover that ...

ZZ Top: La Futura

Review by James Hunter, Rolling Stone, 22 September 2012

IN THE 1970s, ZZ Top broke through with a regional sound – simmering Texas blues – and then, in the next decade, reimagined their sound ...

List of genre pieces

Chain Store Hairdos: Totally Hits 2

Review by James Hunter, The Village Voice, 25 July 2000

THERE'S SOMETHING strange about the idea of Totally Hits 2, the compilation of recent pop smashes by various names, a follow-up to 1999's equally incongruous ...

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