Tierra Whack broadens her worldview on “Only Child”

One of 2018’s most ambitious projects was Tierra Whack’s Whack World, a fifteen minute, fifteen track visual album that was as impressive sonically as it was visually. Tierra built up a lot of goodwill with that project, and the first thing she’s released since – “Only Child” – makes good on the promise of World.

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Chromatics return as good as they ever were

Maybe because Valentine’s Day just passed, but Johnny Jewel, the Chromatics mastermind, has jumpstarted the anticipation for Dear Tommy once again with the excellent new single “Time Rider” and news of a forthcoming Spring 2019 tour.

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Lizzo brings the house down on the eye-opening ballad “Cuz I Love You”

When we said goodbye to 2018, the one certain thing about Lizzo was that she was supremely talented with a rising star. A month+ into the new year, and it feels as though Lizzo will be one of 2019’s breakout stars as her new single, “Cuz I Love You,” has the potential to make her a household name.

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“Ghostin'” is the emotional core of Ariana Grande’s new album

You have to give it up for Ariana Grande, who put on the bravest of faces for her 2018 album Sweetener. That album found Grande finding a strength, resolve within herself impossible to ignore. thank u, next – her latest effort – is another stoic showing for Grande, albeit with more vulnerability pouring through than she allowed on her 2018 LP.

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Predicting the 2019 GRAMMY Awards

It’s that time of year again. Every year we tune in to Music’s Biggest Night with high hopes and leave with those hopes largely dashed. Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar have both been snubbed numerous times recently for albums universally hailed as modern masterpieces, with awards instead given to Daft Punk, Beck, Taylor Swift, Adele, and Bruno Mars. This year, the Album of the Year category is devoid of a zeitgeist-capturing masterstroke, leaving the category as wide open as it’s been in some time. My personal favorite of the lot – Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy – would be a monumental win, but that feels like a long-shot. And unless Drake or Post Malone walk away with the AOTY, there would hardly be a lot for viewers to get upset about (I can already see the “Who the fuck is Brandi Carlile?” tweets being queued up now, though).

This is my attempt and predicting this year’s winners in some of the biggest categories, with some dark horse contenders to consider as well. Last year, I correctly prediction 24k Magic would walk away with Album of the Year, although I didn’t get much else right. Check out my predictions below, and feel free to mock me come next Monday.

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Deerhunter, James Blake, Future, and making albums when you have no one to surprise

Everyone enjoys their moment in the sun. It’s a different story when the sun sets, though, yet three disparate acts – all releasing albums this Friday – are reveling in their very own magic hour. Deerhunter, James Blake, and Future (three musical acts I’m sure haven’t been discussed in unison previously) were all at one time the pioneering voices of indie rock, electronica, and rap, respectively.

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Cub Sport open our eyes with “Party Pill”

The Brisbane, Queensland alt-pop group Cub Sport have a new album coming out tomorrow (January 18) amid a slew of anticipated new albums from James Blake, Deerhunter, Sharon Van Etten, Future, Maggie Rogers, and Steven Gunn. Don’t let the high volume of new releases drown out Cub Sport’s self-titled effort, which has been led by the singles “Sometimes,” “Summer Love,” and the best of the lot, “Party Pill.”

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Pop Music Is Changing

A reflection on pop music in 2018, from rap’s resurgence, to the year of Ariana, to a new global pop world order

Once upon a time, in the early to mid-aughts, rap ruled the radio. We lived in a world where D4L, Mims, Yung Joc, and Chamillionaire could all score #1 hits, and no one would think twice about it. The past decade saw the genre pushed back into the margins, but in 2018 rap made a major resurgence in the pop landscape.

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Surveying the Potential 2019 Grammy Nominees Field

By this time tomorrow, we’ll know for certain who is nominated for the 2019 Grammy Awards, representing the best in music from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. So, save your “#JusticeForABriefInquiryIntoOnlineRelationships” for this time next year. But as often the case, there will be outrage, ridicule, and, just maybe, someone somewhere will be happy.

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