The 2017 Album of the Year

                      1. Zola Jesus, Okovi (Sacred Bones) Nika Rosa Danilova has been flirting with greatness for the past decade, her unique blend of darkwave and Kate Bush-derived art pop establishing her as a burgeoning talent over the course of five albums. She’s come close, from […]

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The 2017 Track of the Year

  1. Selena Gomez, “Bad Liar” Going back to Sugababes’ “Freak Like Me” many moons ago, I’ve always enjoyed pop music that deconstructs an existing piece of music and transforms it into something completely new. That’s exactly what Selena Gomez, songwriter Julia Michaels, and producer Justin Kirkpatrick do on the innovative and brilliant “Bad Liar”. […]

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The Best Albums of 2017, #2

                    2. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rest (Because Music) The story behind the creation of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s first studio album in seven years was total critic-bait: following the tragic death of her sister, photographer Kate Barry in 2013 Gainsbourg relocated from Paris to New York and started collaborating […]

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The Best Tracks of 2017, #2

2. Paramore, “Told You So” For all the words written about Paramore’s struggles to keep the band intact amid a revolving door of supporting members, the bedrock has always ben the musical partnership between singer Hayley Williams and guitarist Taylor York. From the revelatory 2007 single “That’s What You Get” through 2013’s spectacular self-titled fourth […]

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The Best Albums of 2017, #3

                      3. Pallbearer, Heartless (Profound Lore) I’m tempted to just come out and grandiosely declare Pallbearer the best American metal band of the 2010s. And five years ago I never thought I’d ever say that about this band. Contrary to the curmudgeons who grumble pathetically, […]

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The Best Tracks of 2017, #3

3. Lana Del Rey, “Love” In a year riddled with tragedy and unrest it was Lana Del Rey who came through with a song that cut through all the misery and offered a tiny glimmer of hope. It’s almost as if this world has gotten too cynical for a simple song about love to connect […]

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The Best Albums of 2017, #4

                    4. Partner, In Search of Lost Time (You’ve Changed) Rock music needed an album like this so badly: something with volume, power, gigantic hooks, humour, and poignancy, if only to reassure me that the music is in the capable hands of a new generation of […]

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The Best Tracks of 2017, #4

                  4. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Cut to the Feeling” Nobody has cornered the effervescent side of North American pop music quite like Carly Rae Jepsen has in the past couple years. Arriving on the heels of 2015’s triumphant Emotion, “Cut to the Feeling” continues that soaring momentum. […]

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The Best Albums of 2017, #5

                    5. Paramore, After Laughter (Fueled By Ramen) If there’s one album that perfectly reflect the cultural angst that has permeated 2017, especially in America as seen by a concerned but crisis-fatigued outsider, it’s Paramore’s superb, surprisingly mature and world-weary fifth album. The story behind After […]

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The Best Tracks of 2017, #5

5. Haim, “Want You Back” It’s always a little refreshing to hear a love song that doesn’t fixate on the whole “wronged victim” trope that permeates pop music. Haim’s shimmering “Want You Back” turns things around, and actually expresses remorse. There’s no hope of resolution, just regret and longing, which is conveyed so well by […]

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The Best Tracks of 2017, #6

6. Zola Jesus, “Siphon” I can’t remember hearing as eloquent, compassionate song about attempted suicide as what Nika Rosa Danilova has composed in the form of “Siphon”. It conveys a strong sense of urgency and tension, but for all the dark undertones lies a sense of support and positivity that steadily takes over the song. […]

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The Best Albums of 2017, #6

                    6. Spirit Adrift, Curse of Conception (20 Buck Spin) A strong sense of history informs Spirit Adrift’s revelatory second album, whose sublime melodies echo King Crimson’s Red, the classic doom of Trouble, the more melancholy side of Metallica, and Judas Priest’s masterpiece Stained Class. Where […]

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The Best Albums of 2017, #7

                    7. Queens of the Stone Age, Villains (Matador) I was skeptical upon learning that Mark Ronson was going to produce the seventh Queens of the Stone Age album. Not that the idea had zero chance of working, but so often have these big name cross-genre […]

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The Best Tracks of 2017, #7

7. Charlotte Gainsbourg, “Deadly Valentine” “Deadly Valentine” is simple in its approach: recited wedding vow text atop an airy electronic arrangement. What Charlotte Gainsbourg and producer SebastiAn create, however, is a fusion of romance, tragedy, light, and darkness…which you can dance to. It’s a track that bridges art and pop like few others this year, […]

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The Best Albums of 2017, #8

                    8. Biblical, The City That Always Sleeps (New Damage) The best way I can describe the mind-bending, abstract psychedelic progressive stoner metal that comprises Biblical’s triumphant second album is that it is the album Mastodon and Between the Buried and Me were born to make […]

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