Album (Cover) of the Year

A good substitute for Xmas music--available on both Spotify and Tidal!


Top Tens

10 Best Films I Saw in 2017
01. Dawson City: Frozen Time (Morrison)
02. 24 Frames (Kiarostami)
03. Get Out (Peele)
04. The Florida Project (Baker)
05. Super Dark Times (Phillips)
06. On the Beach at Night Alone (Hong)
07. The Lost City of Z (Gray)
08. The Square (Östlund)
09. Call Me by Your Name (Guadagnino)
10. Mudbound (Rees)

10 Best Films of 2017, based on North American commercial release date
01. A Quiet Passion (Davies)
02. Dawson City: Frozen Time (Morrison)
03. The Death of Louis XIV (Serra)
04. Get Out (Peele)
05. The Florida Project (Baker)
06. Super Dark Times (Phillips)
07. Personal Shopper (Assayas)
08. On the Beach at Night Alone (Hong)
09. The Lost City of Z (Gray)
10. The Square (Östlund)

01. The Rough Guide to the Music of West Africa
02. Drake - More Life
03. Taylor Swift - reputation
04. Jay-Z - 4:44
05. Morrissey - Low in High School
06. SZA - Ctrl
07. Waxahatchee - Out in the Storm
08. Björk - Utopia
09. Kelela - Take Me Apart
10. Sleater-Kinney - Live in Paris

01. Childish Gambino - "Redbone"
02. Cardi B - "Bodak Yellow"
03. SZA - "Drew Barrymore"
04. Ariana Grande - "Everyday"
05. Aly & AJ - "Take Me"
06. Carly Rae Jepsen - "Cut to the Feeling"
07. Drake - "Passionfruit"
08. Taylor Swift - "Gorgeous"
09. Harry Styles - "Sign of the Times"
10. Selena Gomez - "Bad Liar"


It's Dark and Hell Is Hot

This article points to an important, and disturbing, connection. And this one, to a very telling absence. Which is all the more to say, that Super Dark Times (a must-see) is--in a way that's not on-the-nose obvious or didactic about it--a kind of Garden of Eden story for our current cultural moment, with the two decades in between a Freudian latency period.


That's Not Officially for Sale
Ghost World is on Criterion!!!!!


Vive le Sénégal!

Thanks to the front-to-back fantastic Rough Guide to the Music of West Africa, my love of Afro-pop has fully been rekindled, not least Orchestra Baobab and their reunion masterpiece Specialist in All Styles and Youssou N'Dour's astonishing Egypt, two of the best records of the twenty-first century. The video above, from a concert earlier this year, very seriously begs the question: Is this the world's greatest band?


This ain't for the best / My reputation's never been worse...

Even if I'll always prefer her first three records (and especially the self-titled debut), there's no denying that Taylor 2.0 has her own distinctive charms, and this is the most impressive Taylor 2.0 record yet. When it's good, it's awfully good; reputation's six or seven best songs would hold their own with the six or seven best songs on any recent pop record or, for that matter, any Taylor 1.0 record. That's in part because she sounds altogether more confident in her reinvented persona (never more so than on "Ready for It?" and "I Did Something Bad") than she did on Red or 1989, but in part, too, because, persona aside, she actually hasn't reinvented as much as she lets on: going back to "Our Song" and "Tim McGraw," her greatest strength has always been her laserlike specificity as a songwriter, capturing very particular people, situations, moments, feelings more impeccably, and sometimes devastatingly, than any of her contemporaries. By contrast, she's at her worst when she goes for deep/cryptic/vague, especially when her 2.0 sonics aren't good enough to bail her out. That's why "Look What You Made Me Do" is probably the worst song she's ever released (and seemed like a dreadful portent for the record it was meant to preview). And it's why "Delicate" is her best track in years; and "Gorgeous" and "Call It What You Want" are nearly as terrific. These three, in particular, are perfect adaptations of New Taylor's of-the-moment pop palette to what she's always done best. With more songs as good as these, maybe I won't always prefer Old Taylor.