The 2018 Album of the Year

Ghost, Prequelle (Loma Vista) The potential for Ghost to metamorphose into a major headlining rock/metal act was always there, which is why Loma Vista signed the Swedes to a lucrative deal in 2012. Since the 2010 cult favorite Opus Eponymous it’s been a slow build, but over time more and more curious listeners have been […]

Read More The 2018 Album of the Year

The 2018 Track of the Year

Ghost, “Dance Macabre” Lurking sneakily on side two of Ghost’s revelatory fourth album, “Dance Macabre” is not only a raucous depiction of dancing the night away in the face of impeding doom, but a pitch-perfect celebration of classic pop metal from the 1980s. Fitting somewhere between Also Nova’s “Fantasy” and Blue Öyster Cult’s “Dancing in […]

Read More The 2018 Track of the Year

The Best Tracks of 2018, #2

2. Robyn, “Missing U” “Can’t make sense of all of the pieces of my own delusions,” Robyn sings on her masterful comeback single, “Can’t take all these memories / Don’t know how to use ‘em.” In one sense, it’s the classic Robyn narrative that permeated such classic singles as “Dancing on My Own” and “Call […]

Read More The Best Tracks of 2018, #2

The Best Albums of 2018, #2

2. Christine and the Queens, Chris (Because) Back in 2015, I was at the Osheaga fest in Montreal and went to check out a new artist called Christine and the Queens on one of the side stages. Because she was French and had achieved some trans-Atlantic success in Quebec, she drew a sizable crowd, and […]

Read More The Best Albums of 2018, #2

The Best Tracks of 2018, #3

3. Billie Eilish, “You Should See Me in a Crown” After releasing a pair of viral pop singles, teenager Billie Eilish sent listeners’ jaws straight to the floor with the minimalist “You Should See Me in a Crown”. Equal parts hip-hop and avant-garde electronic, the track is dominated by producer (and Eilish’s brother) Finneas O’Connell’s […]

Read More The Best Tracks of 2018, #3

The Best Albums of 2018, #3

3. Sleep, The Sciences (Third Man) It was admittedly cute seeing Sleep reunite after a long dormancy, and their headlining performance at Roadburn 2012 was the stuff of legend. Seriously, that show in Holland was one of the most memorable concerts I have ever attended. But it was a good novelty, a seemingly quick diversion […]

Read More The Best Albums of 2018, #3

The Best Tracks of 2018, #4

4. Lana Del Rey, “Venice Bitch” I’ve greatly admired the way Lana Del Rey flirted with novelty status, righted herself, and became one of the more enduring solo acts of this decade. Her concept and persona seem shallow at first glance, but again and again she finds new ways to experiment with her sound. At […]

Read More The Best Tracks of 2018, #4

The Best Albums of 2018, #4

4. Robyn, Honey (Konichiwa) In the eight years between her last two albums, pop music felt empty without Robyn. Her metamorphosis from teenaged Max Martin-produced pop star to trend-setting auteur is the stuff of legend, and you’d be hard pressed to find another artist who equals her in terms of vision. She has always been […]

Read More The Best Albums of 2018, #4

The Best Tracks of 2018, #5

5. Christine & the Queens, “Girlfriend” In one audacious three and a half-minute track Héloïse Letissier, as her alterego Chris, obliterates any and all gender norms on the stupendous “Girlfriend”. Atop an ebullient arrangement that’s equal parts New Jack, Michael Jackson, and Janet Jackson (lotsa jacks) Chris is the sexual aggressor, full of desire but […]

Read More The Best Tracks of 2018, #5

The Best Albums of 2018, #5

5. Gwenno, Le Kov (Heavenly) Best remembered as a member of the Pipettes, a band whose first album I still adore, Gwenno Saunders kicked off her solo career in 2015 with Y Dydd Olaf. A jaw-dropping sci-fi concept album sung primarily in Welsh that mined the innovative sounds of such art rock legends as Can, […]

Read More The Best Albums of 2018, #5

The Best Tracks of 2018, #6

6. Grimes, “We Appreciate Power” It was a big year for Grimes, for all the dumbest reasons. Good for her for having some fun with Elon Musk, but in a year where a lot of her admirers – myself included – eagerly awaited the follow-up to 2015’s Art Angels, arguably the best album of the […]

Read More The Best Tracks of 2018, #6

The Best Albums of 2018, #6

6. Kamasi Washington, Heaven and Earth (Young Turks) It’s easy for me to understand the annoyance hardcore jazz fans felt when music publications and casual jazz listeners – dare I say, “tourists” – gravitated en masse toward the heavily-hyped new album by Kamasi Washington. I totally get it. When I’m in public and hear someone […]

Read More The Best Albums of 2018, #6

The Best Tracks of 2018, #7

7.CHVRCHES, “Graves” Of all the great tracks on CHVRCHES’ excellent third album, “Graves” is the one I kept going back to the most. Frankly I always enjoy it when the trio crank up their dance influences, and “Graves” is as good as a banger as I’ve heard from them. Curiously, for all the visceral power […]

Read More The Best Tracks of 2018, #7

The Best Albums of 2018, #7

7. Hubert Lenoir, Darlène (Simone) One of the weirdest things about Canada is how the province of Quebec has its own popular culture, different from any other francophone nation, and wildly different from English Canada. It’s a kooky little culture bubble that exists in its own insular universe, and only on the rarest of occasions […]

Read More The Best Albums of 2018, #7