Mikal Cronin, R.L. Grime, Little Boots: Critic’s Notebook

Notable recordings from the world of pop music.


The new album by Little Boots could serve as a good insurance policy against the new Daft Punk album being a disappointment.

Mikal Cronin

This California dreamer can flip on the charisma as if it were as simple as stomping on a distortion pedal – which means his vibrant new disc, “MCII,” might end up being the most likable rock album of the year. Contemplative but never ponderous, conflicted but never fussy, his lyrics casually wrap themselves around crunchy power-pop choruses that feel as magnetic as they are melodic.

Mikal Cronin performs at Comet Ping Pong on June 21.

R.L. Grime

Practitioners of trap – a bludgeoning style of dance music that’s risen amid the aftershocks of American dubstep – don’t really do subtlety. Or do they? R.L. Grime, a Los Angeles producer whose stage name is a goof on “Goosebumps” author R.L. Stine, has made some impressive revisions to “Love Sosa,” the persistent street anthem by Chicago rapper Chief Keef. Colossal, yet spry, it’s an incredible hulk of remix that never loses its temper.

R.L. Grime performs at U Street Music Hall on May 7.

Little Boots

And what if this hyper-hyped Daft Punk album is a dud? Have you prepared yourself for this grievous possibility? Play it safe and start stockpiling new music from artists like Little Boots, a British singer whose plush new disc, “Nocturnes,” spelunks the same classic disco diamond mines that Daft Punk has reportedly been camping out in. Her voice is glitter-bright and her studio collaborators are top-notch: Andy Butler of Hercules and Love Affair, James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco and DFA Records
co-founder Tim Goldsworthy.

Chris Richards has been the Post's pop music critic since 2009. He's recently written about black erasure at the Grammys, the spiritual endurance of Willie Nelson and the secret utility of rock star trash talk.
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Ron Charles · May 5, 2013

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