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Three-quarters through the year (and, significantly, pre-VIFF), these are--in a very general sense--the things I've liked most in 2014.

01. Boyhood (Linklater)
02. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jarmusch)
03. True Detective (S1)
04. Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea - "Problem"
05. The Immigrant (Gray)
06. Tove Lo - Truth Serum (EP)
07. Mad Men (S7 pt. 1)
08. Miranda Lambert - Platinum
09. Orange Is the New Black (S2)
10. Shakira feat. Rihanna - "Can't Remember to Forget You"
11. Snowpiercer (Bong)
12. Game of Thrones (S4)
13. Morrissey - World Peace Is None of Your Business
14. The Killing (S4)
15. Nicki Minaj - "Anaconda"


Nobody Does It Better
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In his brilliant review of Bob Stanley's book, Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé, Christgau crafts a shorter spiritual sequel to his classic article "US and Them: Are American Pop (and Semi-Pop) Still Exceptional? And by the Way, Does That Make Them Better?" (preserved for posterity here). Meanwhile, over at Billboard, he uses a piece ostensibly on Jason DeRulo to reiterate a personal statement of purpose.

From the time that I first discovered music criticism, I have enjoyed reading Christgau's Consumer Guide columns and his annual Pazz & Jop essays. Today, I read far less music writing generally than I once did, yet I still actively look forward to reading his new work--in whatever format, wherever it happens to turn up. He's still the Dean for a reason.