Tag Archives: Albums – 2011

Right side of history at last: Daryl Hall

I posted this on an Ann Powers-instigated Facebook discussion on blue-eyed soul: “Daryl Hall comes about as close as anyone did. What separates him from his forebears — white and black — is his sourness. Forget the songs and listen … Continue reading

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Last bit of housecleaning…

As the entire music community knows by now, The Village Voice published its Pazz & Jop poll yesterday. I got a few comments published here, here, here, and here. The winners: 1 tUnE-yArDs, w h o k i l l … Continue reading

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Atmosphere: “a euphemism for cocooning oneself in production”

For all its beauty, formal strength, and allusive power, Let England Shake didn’t convert me. Tom Ewing does as good a job as anyone in explaining its impact: If I didn’t love the record, I’d be boiling with resentment now … Continue reading

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Twenty Best Albums of 2011: #’s 7-9

9. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up The former leader of beloved nineties hip-hop trio Digable Planets shares the mic with fat-bottomed beats instead of confreres Doodlebug and Ladybug, and his intelligence and alliterative wordplay get the aural update he deserves. … Continue reading

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Twenty Best Albums of 2011: #’s 10-12

12. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake Another Harvey album reliant on a craftsmanship gimmick: White Chalk was her piano album, Let England Shake her autoharp one. The other striking thing about LES is too original to tag a gimmick: … Continue reading

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Twenty Best Albums of 2011- #’s 17-20

Today’s installment. I hope to post updates for the rest of the week.   20. Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What Skeptical about this album six months ago, I left two songs on my iPod to remind me … Continue reading

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Do you hear what they’re saying: Holy Ghost!

Neither practioner of wimp-o-matic eighties electro recidivism produced a first-rate album this year, but having just gotten to Holy Ghost’s I prefer its articulation of incoherent angst, one guitar guitar squiggle at a time, over Junior Boys’. I doubt Nick … Continue reading

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Snowed in

Of course she loves concepts — she’s even pretty good at delineating them in song suites and such. She’s even better at coaxing all manner of aural wickedness and mystery from samplers — “Waking the Witch,” “There Goes a Tenner,” … Continue reading

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A thought…

Drake’s Thank Me Later might be too dull to review fully, but I’m too busy with lechon and turkey to address this.

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Fourth quarter update – singles

Two weeks ago I posted a tentative list of the year’s best albums. Here’s the singles list, nothing cemented in place, of course. Britney Spears – Till The World Ends Diddy ft. Swizz Beats – Ass on the Floor Beyoncé … Continue reading

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Lost one: Cole World – The Sideline Story

For months one of our students has proselytized on behalf of J. Cole — “the best rapper in the game,” he claims. Jermaine Lamarr Cole, whose name reminds me of a late nineteenth century, aggressively bearded Supreme Court justice’s, is … Continue reading

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I’ll try to drown out my heart: Miranda Lambert’s “Four The Record”

Ecumenicalism can look like “Song of Myself” or it can look like a list; in an irritable mood “Song of Myself” looks like a list. The ease and precision with which Miranda Lambert slings polysyllables in Four The Record’s “All … Continue reading

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