The second year of the COVID pandemic brought more of a sense of familiarity and normalcy with quarantines, cancelled plans, and further delays. While some albums still linger in the shadow of coronavirus, many records have found a place in the new normal and feel less like commentaries on the pandemic and more introspective than years past. Of course there are a few that are direct results of lockdowns (see: the #12 pick on this list). All that being said, it feels good to finally go back to concerts, and many of these records summed up the musical trends, while being some of my favorites.Continue reading
Remember on Recovery when Eminem straight up said, “Them last two albums didn’t count/Encore, I was on drugs. Relapse, I was flushin’ ‘em out?” While Recovery may not be the definitive album in Marshall Mathers’ catalogue, it was really great to see Eminem own up to two albums that were really just subpar, and that album was followed by Eminem’s best album in 11 years. Revival was a serious misstep for Eminem, and while there’s a certain excitement and viciousness in Kamikaze, it’s an even bigger one. Continue reading
The Grammys are usually predictable, but not painfully so, like this year. This has been a year with a lot of heartache, and after the Grammys have blown it in nominating rock artists of consequence or giving the album of the year to an undeserving pick two years in a row, it’s hard not to get a little cynical, but here are my best guesses of who will win and should win:
Album of the Year
Will Win: Lorde-Melodrama Continue reading
There’s never really a bad year for music. There are always going to be great albums from popstars like Lorde or underground masterpieces like Mount Eerie’s new album. When it comes to deciding a personal top ten, it becomes a mix of what releases seemed most significant and what I returned to the most. Where there were excellent albums from Kendrick, Japandroids, and Kesha, these were the albums that defined my year. Also, shoutout to Run the Jewels. RTJ 3 would’ve made the list, but they leaked it Christmas Day 2016, so too bad.
- The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die-Always Foreign
TWIABP continue to carry the torch they helped ignite in the emo revival. Always Foreign sees the band inching forward where Harmlessness left off. It’s the band’s most politically-minded release-to-date. “Marine Tigers” and “Fuzz Minor” are scathing social commentaries delivered by an impassioned David F. Bello. The band also doesn’t shy away from creating indie-rock with a sense of grandeur, as “Infinite Steve” and “Faker” see the band embracing post-rock the size of which the band hasn’t grown to before. With the songs “The Future” and “Dillon and Her Son,” TWIABP don’t shy away from Blink-182 style pop-punk, making this the most diverse set of songs TWIABP have ever released.
Brian Posehn has this joke that he tells about comedians having kids. He mentions that he hates his favorite comics had kids, because they lost their edge and stopped being funny. Now, Posehn’s joke is easy to transpose to other artistic mediums, especially music. Metallica changed their style when they cut their hair. Eminem softened up when he stopped doing drugs. It’s notable that both artists newfound maturity showed detrimental to their music. Tyler, the Creator’s fourth full-length Flower Boy is his most mature work to date, and unlike Slim Shady and Metallica, it’s his best album to date. Continue reading
This lineup boasts the return of Nine Inch Nails, as well as some common ground with Coachella in Mitski, DJ Shadow, Preoccupations and Glass Animals. Some other highlights include Angel Olsen, Cloud Nothings, Pinegrove, MGMT, Foxygen, Tyler the Creator, Girl Talk and many others.
We also get their childhood photos.