Craig Jenkins is a critic who writes about music and television and comedy and video games. He was a 2021 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism.

  1. remembrance
    Tina Turner Bet on HerselfWhen the industry turned its back, she refused to give in.
  2. game review
    Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Taps the Ceiling of What Switch Can DoIt’s a god game with the patina of a ronin story that makes you wonder, This is good, but is this as good as it gets?
  3. remembrance
    Andy Rourke Paid His DuesThe Smiths’ late bassist was the band’s driving force even as he fought for credit.
  4. vulture lists
    The 100 Hardest Video-Game Levels of All TimeDizzying shooters, agonizing puzzles, and water stages (ugh) that raise the question: Continue?
  5. q+a
    billy woods Is on an Indie-Rap Hero’s JourneyHe’s running an acclaimed record label, resurrecting old weed strains, and releasing the best music of his career.
  6. comedy review
    Hannah Gadsby Feels GoodIn Something Special, the comedian strives toward a new balance.
  7. album review
    The Ed Sheeran Formula Hits a RoadblockHis grief-stricken new album is personal, messy, and necessary.
  8. best of 2023
    The Best Albums of 2023 (So Far)The best music of the year is a celebration of the endurance of the human spirit.
  9. remembrance
    Harry Belafonte Dragged Us Into the FutureThe late legend ditched stardom for something far greater.
  10. album review
    Lighten Up and Listen to Everything But the GirlThe duo’s new album eases the pain without sacrificing pleasure.
  11. album review
    Metallica Vanquish Their DemonsTheir new album conquers the present by conversing with the past.
  12. album review
    Boygenius Is Here to Blunt Whatever Life Throws Our WayTheir debut album is about finding strength in themselves.
  13. a long talk
    Mo’Nique Says It LoudlyThe comedy veteran’s new special is a reintroduction: “It lets you understand why I fight the way that I fight.”
  14. a long talk
    ‘We Were Obsessed’Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda didn’t plan to revisit the band’s 2003 album Meteora — until he found a lost demo.
  15. album review
    Lana Del Rey Has Come to ConfessOn Ocean Blvd, the singer sets her fears on fire.
  16. album review
    Miley’s Californication Is CompleteEndless Summer Vacation showcases a more unified and refined version of Cyrus, but is almost too meticulously crafted to soundtrack summers.
  17. the industry
    De La Soul’s Music Is Here to Stay (For Now)The seminal trio’s albums have emerged from the streaming rights wilderness.
  18. album review
    Just Give In to the New Gorillaz AlbumDamon Albarn’s earnest, schmaltzy Cracker Island is restless enough to work.
  19. album review
    Skrillex Is Reinventing HimselfVibes shift, and the wub man endures.
  20. eldorado ballroom
    Solange and Saint Heron Are Honoring Black Innovation at BAMIn a rare interview, Solange talks about bringing together a lineup of Kelela, KeiyaA, the Clark Sisters, and more.
  21. chat room
    Liv.e Isn’t Afraid to ’Shroom at the Club“I’m an edgy bitch regardless. That’s just how I’ve always been.”
  22. rihview
    Rihanna’s Halftime Show Was More Than EnoughIt hit the points it needed to — and then got going.
  23. album review
    Kelela Knows How to Interrupt a GrooveHer first album in six years wages war on a world that wrings artists dry.
  24. album review
    Lil Yachty’s Great Gig in the SkyThe rapper’s surprising new psych-rock album delights in sensory overload.
  25. album review
    Sam Smith Toes the Line on GloriaThe singer’s new album is sharp, occasionally cringe-y, and full of heartfelt schmaltz.
  26. a long talk
    The John Cale ChallengeThe prolific singer and producer could have made things easier on himself — but easy “is not very interesting.”
  27. don’t bless this mess
    Let’s Not Do This AgainToo many musicians spent the year gleefully abandoning their better judgment.
  28. album review
    SZA Wants It AllSOS processes loss and success and pain and desire from the middle of millions of ogling eyes.
  29. best of 2022
    The Best Albums of 2022The question of how to find peace hung heavily over the year’s most impactful records.
  30. a long talk
    ’Tis the Season for SufjanThe singer-songwriter on what he’s learned about the holidays after releasing 100 Christmas songs.
  31. chat room
    Fousheé Is Done Sulking and Wants to Rage“I would encourage people to stop being a bitch,” says the newly Grammy-nominated artist. “Embrace different. Be a part of the renaissance.”
  32. album review
    Our LossDrake’s new album, billed as a collaboration with 21 Savage, renews his interest in bars but also excitable, chauvinistic cruelty.
  33. remembrance
    Takeoff Was the GlueIt’s beyond shocking seeing tragedy strike a group that forced fair-weather listeners and staunch old-heads alike to appreciate the craft.
  34. song review
    Rihanna’s Return Is a Careful Balancing Act“Lift Me Up” is closer to a prayer than a proper comeback single.
  35. the sounds of horror
    John Carpenter Has Only One Criteria for a Film ScoreThe horror master on synths, getting paid, and (not) sharing his Kurt Russell stories.
  36. album review
    Midnights’ Moonlit LessonsTaylor Swift’s tenth album reveals a simpler fantasy: the desire to be truly free.
  37. album review
    Lil Baby Knows Exactly What You Want From HimOn It’s Only Me, the rap star is successful enough to take chances but understands his appeal too well to stray from the script.
  38. a long talk
    The Jon Brion MethodThe super-producer has spent 30 years perfecting the art of collaboration with everyone from Beyoncé to Elliott Smith.
  39. a long talk
    Danger Mouse Has the Cheat CodesExploring 20 years of hits, surprises, and DOOM stories with the elusive producer.
  40. review
    Kid Cudi’s Entergalactic Is Pretty, Affecting, and a Little Too SmoothThe new album and Netflix project hit their marks but will make you pine for something stranger.
  41. a long talk
    Life, Death, and Titus AndronicusFrontman Patrick Stickles used his band’s new album to process loss. Now he just needs to get their van fixed.
  42. album review
    It’s Cam’ron’s HarlemU Wasn’t There, his new album with A-Trak, feels like an uptown therapy session.
  43. album review
    Ari Lennox Knows Exactly What She WantsOn a/s/l, you can try your luck with the singer, but you might get your feelings hurt.
  44. a long talk
    Genuinely John DarnielleThe Mountain Goats’ frontman on keeping the faith, loving the occult, and sad songwriting.
  45. album review
    Megan Thee Stallion Takes Control of Her News CycleTraumazine is a reminder there’s a human on the other side of the headlines.
  46. a long talk
    TDE President Punch: ‘I Understand the Backlash’But he’d still like to correct the record on long-awaited albums from SZA, ScHoolboy Q, and Jay Rock.
  47. album review
    Beyoncé’s Sequined RevolutionRenaissance, a love letter to Black queer innovators, comes at a precarious moment in history.
  48. superlatives
    Usher on His Most Enduring and Misunderstood Music“It’s a sore spot for me. I ain’t even lying.”
  49. album review
    Lizzo Is Hedging Her BetsSpecial seems invested in uplifting everyone in earshot but anxious to secure its slice of the pop radio market share.
  50. a long talk
    ‘Geminis Create Change’Steve Lacy used to be afraid of rock stardom. His new album helped fix that.
More Articles