Tag Archives: Albums – 2012

Betty Who – “Somebody Loves You”

If I say “Lose the sawtooth synths, please,” the track wouldn’t summon the “1984″ sound as well. If I asked, “Can we show some personality?” the Everywoman normality of its sentiments and lived-in adult quality of her voice (think Alison … Continue reading

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It’s a bad religion

Last night’s Frank Ocean performance at the Grammys didn’t surprise: a clumsy song performed by an off-pitch singer. I’m with Ned: It took, say, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs until their third album for me to think they were more than … Continue reading

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For the last time…

Pazz and Jop ballot sent. Herewith, my favorite albums of 2012: 1. Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream 2. Dwight Yoakam – 3 Pears 3. Jessie Ware – Devotion 4. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music 5. Jens Lekman – I Know What … Continue reading

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2012 – #10-#12

10. Saint Etienne – Words and Music by Saint Etienne Not their best since 1993: Finisterre is a rival, as I learned replaying both last weekend. A modest summa, embellished with the sparkliest of modern dance filigrees. Forty year olds … Continue reading

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Rolling and trolling: Ke$ha

After enjoying Ke$ha’s Warrior for the last week as a not particularly burdensome or welcome bit of ephemerality, I had nothing to say until I read Jonathan Bogart‘s essay severed from its rebarbative headline (in the subhead, we’re told, she … Continue reading

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This much is true: Solange Knowles

My favorite track on Solange Knowles’ True EP registers as pure aural pleasure: spare drums and bass, synth squiggles worthy of Bernie Worrell, ominous piano chords, and the singer oh-oh-oh’ed as frog chorus. It’s called “Don’t Let Me Down,” and … Continue reading

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It’s November 2012

Barring sudden inclusions, this looks my top twenty. Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream Jessie Ware – Devotion Dwight Yoakam – 3 Pears Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music Jens Lekman – I Know What Love Isn’t Kellie Pickler – 100 Proof Fiona … Continue reading

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“More likely to have super churches than supermarkets”

As good as Jeff Chang’s piece is, he hasn’t persuaded me to love “Backseat Freeystyle,” or MC Eiht’s bit in “”m.A.A.d city.” Still. His semi-autobiographical good kid, m.A.A.d. City is unrelentingly dark. (“m.A.A.d.,” Lamar has explained, means “my angry adolescence, … Continue reading

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Free your mind: Jerrod Niemann

The sleeve for Free The Music evokes the baroque artwork on a late-period Michael Jackson album, a signal that Jerrod Niemann wants listeners to weave title, art, and music into a conception of country music as a genre in need … Continue reading

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Whatcha doin’ uptown: Sunken Condos

Everything Must Go deserved Two Against Nature‘s plaudits. Besides a credible anti-Bush (I think) song (“Godwhacker”), four or five of Walter Becker’s most elegant and acerbic solos, and indelible ones all over the place by saxophonist Walt Weiskopf, it even … Continue reading

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Recognizing the appeal of violence

David Drake: It’s also interesting, though, how rap music is as much a part of the text as it is a source for the record’s producers. Jeezy pops up on the aforementioned “The Art of Peer Pressure,” while E-40’s lyrics … Continue reading

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A dramatic turnaway: Taylor Swift’s Red

The best track on Taylor Swift’s Red is “Starlight.” Buried in the last third of a sixteen-track album, it boasts the most Swiftian lyric: during the violet hour of a past that might exist, dreams become flesh to the accompaniment … Continue reading

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