Ranking Kanye West albums

I anticipate crap from fans. The list’s brevity is clear: Kanye’s achievement ended after 2008. I don’t rate anything after 2010, a few singles from the Jay Z collab Watch the Thrones and Yeezus aside. My Boring Conventional Fantasies is the kind of thought-through, meticulous achievement that sounds hamhandedly arranged and insular as any bedsit songwriter’s, yetContinue reading “Ranking Kanye West albums”

The thirty best films of 2018

Here’s the full list of thirty. If theres’s a film I regret not writing about, it’s Tully, an acerbic depiction of a pregnant Charlize Theron and her nanny. Whenever Reitman and Theron collaborate, something special happens. Tully is his best to date. 1. Claire’s Camera (Hong Sang-soon) 2. Zama (Lucrecia Martel) 3. Let the SunshineContinue reading “The thirty best films of 2018”

Worst Songs Ever: Tracy Chapman’s ‘Give Me One Reason’

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 possible eschew obvious selections. Songs beloved by colleagues and songs to which I’m supposed toContinue reading “Worst Songs Ever: Tracy Chapman’s ‘Give Me One Reason’”

The best films of 2018, final edition

We’ve reached the end. Click on hyperlinks for full reviews. 4. You Were Never Really Here, dir. Lynne Ramsay. “Twenty-seven years ago, Gus Van Sant captured something delicately fierce about River Phoenix as he tricked on Portland streets in My Own Private Idaho. Lynne Ramsay does the same with his younger brother Joaquin, but in YouContinue reading “The best films of 2018, final edition”

‘Vox Lux’ and its muddled look at how pop music works

A film, to use a flattering verb, organized around climaxes, Vox Lux begins with its most memorable and exploitative. In 1999, high schooler Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) suffers spinal injury after a Columbine-indebted shooting. Writer-director Brady Corbet stages the violence with restraint and precision: the shooter has his back to the camera until the shots fire,Continue reading “‘Vox Lux’ and its muddled look at how pop music works”

The best films of 2018, pt. 4

I inch closer to the top. Click on director hyperlinks for full reviews. 8. First Reformed, dir. Paul Schrader. The ending still annoys: a hairshirt and long kiss with the Woman of his dreams is too close to Paul Schrader’s idea of paradise. But the austerity of this depiction of a scribbling minister (Ethan Hawke)Continue reading “The best films of 2018, pt. 4”

Worst Songs Ever: Weezer’s ‘Undone (The Sweater Song)’

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 possible eschew obvious selections. Songs beloved by colleagues and songs to which I’m supposed toContinue reading “Worst Songs Ever: Weezer’s ‘Undone (The Sweater Song)’”

The best films of 2018, part three

Into the top ten I go. Click on hyperlinks for full reviews. 12. Sorry to Bother You, dir. Boots Riley. A mess of a film, but the story of 2018 at the movies, if a motif exists, is accepting tonal disparities and fictive leaps into the absurd. This office comedy that turns into an apocalypticContinue reading “The best films of 2018, part three”