No Baudelaire, Just Glitter Lust

Goldfrapp’s ongoing project of reissuing their albums on vinyl has given me a good chance to revisit those records (all of which I have obsessed over to some degree) and write about them a second time, if only to see how time has treated the music, and to gauge my own visceral reaction to it […]

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Shut Up, Already. Damn!

As ubiquitous as Prince was in the 1980s (you could not escape the reach of his brilliant songs if you tried) I’ve always been a little behind the rest of the crowd when it comes to fully appreciating much of his work. I had 1999 on cassette back in 1984, I thought it was pretty […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #2

2. FKA twigs, Magdalene (Young Turks) Although it was completely understandable that it took Tahliah Barnett five years to put out a full-length follow-up to 2014’s LP1 – she experienced a crushing end to her long-term relationship and then underwent surgery to have six fibroid tumours removed from her uterus – the music world was […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #3

3. Bille Eilish, “Bad Guy” As predicted – and orchestrated, skeptics will say – 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, #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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The Best Tracks of 2019, #7

7. Jenny Hval, “Ashes to Ashes” Jenny Hval’s music keeps getting increasingly more hook-oriented, but don’t think that comes at the expense for her often lofty lyrical concepts. “Ashes to Ashes” is indeed one of the catchiest tracks Hval has ever written, as its gently pulsating dance arrangement underscores the pretty chorus. Delve a little […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #12

12. FKA twigs, “Cellophane” Four long years after the outstanding M3LL155X EP, FKA twigs announced her much-awaited return in triumphant fashion with the aching ballad “Cellophane”, a song seemingly inspired by her engagement to actor Robert Pattinson and the racist remarks made by cruel Twilight fans (just another reason to avoid that series). That engagement […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #20

20. Carly Rae Jepsen, Dedicated (604) At one point four years ago I was locked in a pretty darn intense discussion about Carly Rae Jepsen, insisting that Emotion was an indisputable classic pop album. At the time it felt like I was talking to a brick wall, but as this decade comes to a close, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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