The Best Tracks of 2019, #3

3. Bille Eilish, “Bad Guy” As predicted ā€“ and orchestrated, skeptics will say ā€“ Billie Eilish absolutely blew the hell up in 2019, and when the 17 year-old released her debut album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? in March, the first song to grab listeners by the throat was the murky, confrontational […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #4

4. Tool, Fear Inoculum (Tool Dissectional) Back in 2006, a veritable lifetime ago, I reviewed Tool’s sixth album. I wasn’t overly fond of, if I can recall. Coming five years after the triumphant Lateralus, 10,000 Days had its great moments but I found it far too drawn out, too meandering to warrant a full recommendation, […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #4

4. Weyes Blood, “Everyday” “True love is making a comeback,” sings Natalie Mering on the pretty single “Everyday”. “For only half because the rest just feel bad.” That dynamic between the happy and the miserable drives the song, which sounds so much like a Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition that it feels familiar as soon as […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #5

5. Weyes Blood ā€“ Titanic Rising (Sub Pop) Singer-songwriter Natalie Mering had been building toward something big over the course of her first three albums under the Weyes Blood moniker, but in spite of whatever expectations people might have had, nothing could have prepared them for the blindsiding grandeur of Titanic Rising. A combination of […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #5

5. Sleater-Kinney, “Hurry on Home” For a band as confrontational as Sleater-Kinney, they never really opened up as much as they did on the first single from their daring album The Center Won’t Hold. On the direct, minimalist-yet-noisy “Hurry on Home”, Carrie Brownstein exudes self-confidence, singing, “You know Iā€™m dress down-able, uptown-able, hair grab-able, grand […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #6

6. Jenny Hval, The Practice of Love (Sacred Bones) For an artist as daring and non-traditional as Jenny Hval, to see her tackling a theme as banal as love is enough to make one do a double-take. She even addressed the seeming incongruity in a press release. “Love as a theme in art has been […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #6

6. FKA twigs, “Sad Day” Of course the one track on FKA twigs’ stupendous second full-length album that won me over the most was the one that is most indebted to Kate Bush. As soon as the track’s clattering beats come in underneath her plaintive singing (Skrillex was a co-producer) it echoes side two of […]

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