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 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, #13

13. Chelsea Wolfe, Birth of Violence (Sargent House) Initially a strange, black metal-referencing curiosity at the beginning of the decade, Chelsea Wolfe has metamorphosed into a genre-bending artist who has been able to attract audiences from a wide spectrum of music. Being such a clingy crowd, the metal scene particularly took an obsessive shine to […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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The Best Tracks of 2018, #17

17. Mitski, “Geyser” It only takes 183 seconds for Mitzki Miyawaki to achieve more than most other pop songs in 2018 could in four minutes. I never cared for her music prior to this year, but “Geyser” floored me with its boldness, its complete abandonment of convention. There’s no structure, there are some shocking surprises […]

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The Best Tracks of 2017, #14

14. Torres, “Three Futures” The title track from Torres’s ambitious third album is probably the saddest song I heard in 2017. Atop a dry, morose arrangement of drum machine, ambient synths, and a carefully plucked guitar melody, Mackenzie Scott’s protagonist confronts a former lover, expressing deep resentment (“You trusted me to love your parents”), regret […]

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