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 2019 Album of the Year

Lana Del Rey, Norman Fucking Rockwell! (Polydor/Interscope) Back in the mid-2010s I attended a panel discussion whose topic was something to the effect of, “Why are there no classic albums anymore, and what makes a true classic album?” There was a lot of good discussion, but the conversation kept drifting away from the crux of […]

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The 2019 Track of the Year

Charly Bliss, “Chatroom” Like so many great rock and pop songs, Charly Bliss’s gloriously hooky “Chatroom” is rooted in dark subject matter. According to singer/guitarist Eva Hendricks, the song was written in the wake of being sexually assaulted, in which blinding rage steadily morphs into empowering joy. Featuring verses that seethe with anger (“Everybody knows […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #2

2. Lana Del Rey, “Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have – but I Have It” From the very beginning – that being “Video Games” – Lana Del Rey crafted one of the more unique styles of the decade, but although my admiration for her has been steadily growing over […]

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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, #5

5. Weyes Blood – 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, #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 Albums of 2019, #8

8. Charly Bliss, Young Enough (Barsuk) How great was the second half of 2019? Well, back at the end of June, Charly Bliss’s fabulous second album was my favourite of the year so far, and now it’s at number eight. Don’t let that diminish Young Enough, though, but it was easily the biggest surprise of […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #9

9. Lana Del Rey, “Doin’ Time” On a masterpiece of an album loaded with astounding original compositions that established her as an American pop icon, Lana Del Rey also pulled off an astonishing cover of one of the best songs by the late, great ska-punk singer-songwriter Brad Nowell. Incredibly, Del Rey and producer Andrew Watt […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #10

10. Tove Lo, “Sweettalk My Heart” I could have chosen a much edgier Tove Lo track from 2019 to single out, but as the months have gone by, “Sweettalk My Heart” has grown on me tremendously. It’s a unique song in that its melody and sensibility is a lot lighter and brighter than anything she’s […]

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