Monthly Archives: April 2018

I love you more: MoPOP Pop Conference 2018

At the best MoPOP Pop Conference of the last eleven years of intermittent attendance, I learned about the centrality of Geto Boy Bushwick Bill’s shortness to his rapping, that Taylor Swift and Spandau Ballet stare at each other across the … Continue reading

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Worst Songs Ever: Poison’s ‘Unskinny Bop

Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when … Continue reading

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Singles 4/27

From Korean group Twice to Janelle Monae, the artists below could hide neither their ebullience nor a determination to explain themselves, garishly, intensely, or sketchily, as the case requires. Click on links for full reviews. Twice – What Is Love? … Continue reading

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My favorite debut albums

I realize country is woefully underrepresented, in part thanks to the singles-plus-filler that dominate the genre. 1. Pretenders – Pretenders 2. Guns ‘N Roses – Appetite for Destruction 3. Change – The Glow of Love 4. Saint Etienne – Foxbase … Continue reading

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‘Zama’ takes cool approach to obsession

Whether John Boorman, Terrence Malick, or Werner Herzog is behind the camera, films about European contact with indigenous peoples tend to abjure a hard narrative line in favor of a imagistic collage that often gets “hallucinatory” slapped on it like … Continue reading

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I don’t wanna have to pay for this: The best adult contemporary #1s of the 2000 and 2010s

Notice I smushed two decades together as the reigns at #1 get longer. From Faith Hill and Savage Garden and anthems by Lee Ann Womack and Martina McBride to Adele and Justin Timberlake. It was the era of Daniel Powter … Continue reading

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Bill Cosby’s sickest joke

Wesley Morris ponders the verdict in the Bill Cosby case: This is the heavy thing about this verdict. The sorting of the ironies has been left to us. Mr. Cosby made blackness palatable to a country historically conditioned to think … Continue reading

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A show of self: Ashley Monroe, Cardi B, John Prine

Ashley Monroe – Sparrow For listeners who love strings, Dave Cobb can arrange them. Whether lending a baby-I’m-burnin’ urgency to “Hard on a Heart” or buttressing the I-love-my-baby ardor of “She Wakes Me Up (Rescue Me),” they’re apposite and pleasurable … Continue reading

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I’m pouring Chandon: The best #1 R&B singles of the 2000s

The chart, renamed to the Top R&B/Hip-Hop songs in 2008, saw bewildering gyrations: Elliott-Timbaland productions, crunk&B, 50 Cent, Stargate (now make a Billy Joel rhyme out of’em). And a guy named Lil Wayne poked his head into the mix, looked … Continue reading

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‘Opuntia’ studies the attraction of land and the pull of myth

An explorer with an unusual run of bad luck, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was in April 1528 among the first Spaniards to land in Florida, near to what is now Tampa Bay. Tocobagas regaled him with stories about cities … Continue reading

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The best of the #1 R&B hits of the ’70s

Ah, the seventies. As white liberals turned on the Great Society, black America responded, in part by reminding these white liberals that the Great Society hadn’t been nearly enough. These songs show deluxe and delightful fantasy lives, allow cries from … Continue reading

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Worst Songs Ever: Stone Temple Pilots’s ‘Plush’

Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when … Continue reading

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