Featuring Drake, Pusha T, Kacey Musgraves, Kali Ulchis and more

As the calendar turns to June, the temperature rising and we brace for a long summer, now’s as good a time as any to reflect on the best music of the year, from January 1 to now. Today, I bring you the 25 best tracks of the year, tomorrow the 10 best albums. It’s going to be a hot summer, but these 25 tracks will help make it bearable. Continue reading “Featuring Drake, Pusha T, Kacey Musgraves, Kali Ulchis and more”

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A Man Is an Island: On the new albums from Kanye West and Father John Misty

Over the past decade, no artist has come close to Kanye West when it comes to securing headlines. Over a decade ago, West first made waves for non-music reasons when he called out George W. Bush for his slow response to Hurricane Katrina, and since then, he’s drawn attention to himself for award show outbursts, his marriage to Kim Kardashian, and, most recently, his alignment with Donald Trump and the alt-right. This last month has been the most trying for those who have otherwise looked past West’s previous antics, with the legendary rapper-producer praising alt-right figures, donning MAGA gear and, most insidiously, declaring slavery in America a choice. This latest blip on West’s career arc culminated with the release of Ye, his eighth studio album, his slightest effort yet, and not just for its sub-thirty minute runtime.  Continue reading “A Man Is an Island: On the new albums from Kanye West and Father John Misty”

The Different Styles That Led to the Best Arctic Monkeys and Beach House Albums to Date

Within the last month, two of the year’s best albums were released, Arctic Monkeys’ Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino and Beach House’s 7, delivered by bands whose very names are at odds with each other, their music equally so. Up until Tranquility Base, Arctic Monkeys made a name for themselves off their potent pop hooks on singles such as “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,” “Fluorescent Adolescent,” “Do I Wanna Know” and “R U Mine?” whereas Beach House became the beloved act they are today based off music that couldn’t be any further from containing economic pop riffs. Continue reading “The Different Styles That Led to the Best Arctic Monkeys and Beach House Albums to Date”

Grammy Predictions: 24k Magic looks to shine bright (Updated as winners announced)

Record of the Year

“Redbone”


Childish Gambino

 

“Despacito”

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber

 

“The Story Of O.J.”

JAY-Z

 

“HUMBLE.”

Kendrick Lamar

 

“24K Magic”

Bruno Mars

Donald Glover has become a pop culture force since he broke though as an actor on the NBC sitcom Community. “Redbone” is as great of a song as Atlanta is a TV show, and his “Awaken, My Love!” cut should be rewarded as such.

UPDATE Bruno Mars universal charm proved to be too much to resist for Grammy voters, as 24K Magic‘s lead single – released in November 2016 – was able to win the Record of the Year Grammy in January 2018. Continue reading “Grammy Predictions: 24k Magic looks to shine bright (Updated as winners announced)”

SZA and Kendrick Lamar team up for the glowing ‘Black Panther’ collaboration “All the Stars”

The new Black Panther film, part of the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe, is one of the year’s most hotly anticipated films, and with a Kendrick Lamar-executive produced soundtrack, the Black Panther universe has the potential of becoming one of the best things of what already looks like a no good 2018. Continue reading “SZA and Kendrick Lamar team up for the glowing ‘Black Panther’ collaboration “All the Stars””

Bruno Mars and Cardi B join forces on the “Finesse” remix

“Don’t we look good together,” proposes Bruno Mars on “Finesse,” and now that the remix features the hottest rapper in the game at the moment, Cardi B, the answer is self-evident. Already a standout track on his streamlined pop masterpiece 24k Magic, the “Finesse” remix adds Cardi B – who just joined the Beatles and Ashanti as the only artists to have their first three Hot 100 charting singles all land in the top 10 concurrently – ensuring the song reaches the chart’s upper echelon. Continue reading “Bruno Mars and Cardi B join forces on the “Finesse” remix”

Year In Review: The 10 Best Albums of the Year

After seeing albums from Miguel, the xx, Perfume Genius and Julie Byrne among the spots 50-11 on the year-end chart, here are the top 10 albums of 2017. See who joins Panda Bear (2007), Fleet Foxes (2008), Animal Collective (2009), Arcade Fire (2010), tUnE-yArDs (2011), Chromatics (2012), Beyoncé (2013, 2016), the War On Drugs (2014), and Kendrick Lamar (2015) with the #1 album of the year. Continue reading “Year In Review: The 10 Best Albums of the Year”