Top 40 Albums of 2018

40. Re:Piano by Chad Lawson Chad Lawson re-imagines piano composition.   39. Disease by the Beartooth With an interesting mix of hardcore, pop punk, and hard rock, Beartooth provided the most intriguing heavy music for my listening palate.   38. Black Panther: The Album by Kendrick Lamar and Various Artists I haven’t seen the movie. Hopefully someday. But, the soundtrack is out of this world. Kendrick Lamar’s verse in “King’s Dead,” is probably the rap highlight of my year.   37. Lost Friends by Middle Kids This debut shows the songwriting chops of this Australian band. I expect even better as this group matures.   36. Just for Us by Francis and the Lights Francis masterfully blends electronic soundscapes with… Read More →

January Playlist 2014

In an effort to switch things up and keep better track of my listening habits, I have decided to shift music reviewing strategies. Instead of trying to unpack an album and try my best to make sense of its artistic milieu, I will instead track music in short snippets on a monthly basis. Hopefully this direction can help get me out of the writer’s block I often experience when it comes to music criticism. As a disclaimer, this list doesn’t necessarily mean music released in January 2014; it’s just a reflection of what I’ve been listening to. Neko Case — The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You An indie-rock veteran,… Read More →

Album Review: Shut Down the Streets

Shut Down the Streets by A.C. Newman (Matador Records, 2012. 40 minutes) A.C. Newman is a Canadian singer-songwriter. After contributing as a band member of Superconductor and Zumpano, Newman currently leads The New Pornographers. He launched his solo career in 2004. Dreaming Solo When I was in a band, a solo project always sat in the back of my mind. Going solo offers unique creative opportunities compared to a collaborative band setting. Compositional and lyrics choices are yours alone. Truthfully, most solo projects should never find the light of day because collaborative band settings function as an editing process. Most band members keep each other from making major musical mistakes. But, a rare few hold the talent to do it… Read More →