Monday, December 10, 2018


the list resumes...

61. Smoke (Cautious Clay): if Frank Ocean captured the mood out in the gay streets two years ago then Clay’s “Smoke” sends up flares in the heterosexual perspective…it’s just as chilling.

62. Make Me Feel (Janelle Monae): Infectious from the get-go, the slinky bassline oozes, pulling you into the groove, while tasteful keyboard stabs and clean syncopated rhythm guitar riffs keep taking you further into the funk. There's such an ease to Janelle Monae's "Make Me Feel" — a fluidity, much like Monae's public persona — but make no doubt about it, there's nothing ambivalent about this song. It's all about confidence, knowing who you are, what you want and feeling empowered by that honest expression. A perfect blend of smart, sensual lyrics and physicality that can't do anything but make you feel... good. (NPR)

63. Espionage (Preoccupations): whoever saids rock was dead hasn’t been listening to this track.

64. Okra (Tyler, the Creator): an unapologetic hard banger celebrating Tyler’s many wins. A blown-out bass ushers in Tyler’s crooked, Valee-nodding flow, as he rolls through an ambulance of imperial lines. (PITCHFORK)

65. Oh My (Natalie Prass): Even reading the news turns into a heartbreaking activity, as she sings on opener ‘Oh My’, with slapped bass, sharp synths and filtered backing vocals creating an alluring funk base for the singer’s soft, forlorn voice. (THEQUIETUS)

66. OG Beeper (A$AP Rocky): slyly tying the past and current use of tehnology.

67. Rank & File (Moses Sumney): the closing track on an EP from Moses Sumney that was inspired by the first protest he ever attended. “It was in the fall of 2014, after a grand jury decided not to charge the offending officer in the Mike Brown murder, delivering the verdict just in time for them to get home for Thanksgiving,” Sumney explained. “I felt like a camouflaged outsider at the protest, like an anthropologist performing a study amongst his own kind.” The track has all the anxiety of a protest, that builds under a stifling military beat, and even references a Marine Corps marching cadence. “Now I don’t care what I’ve been told,” Sumney sings on the track. “This police state is much too cold.” A cold, sparse beat is driven by snaps and a menacing bass pulse that chillingly captures a perilous time in American history. (ESQUIRE)

68. Don’t Blame Me (Taylor Swift): Sonically speaking, there’s something deliciously sacrilegious about the track, with Taylor laying out that love-as-a-drug imagery over a thunderous gothic church soundscape which applies this album’s slick synthetic sheen to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church.” Her voice lilts over the thick, dark production, and she sounds every bit like the fully-realized adult pop star she aimed to be with her earlier singles. This time, the delivery fully lands. (SPIN)

69. Noid (Yves Tumor): at the heart of the genre-busting fantasia Safe in the Hands of Love, "Noid" represents a new acme in Yves Tumor's career-long contempt toward the idea of taxonomy. Torquing the stylings of the late Lil Peep — that is, pop-punk at a few removes — plus a breakbeat, a bit of Brit-poppiness and a lyric sheet with the pathos of a poem by Claudia Rankine, it's the producer's most vulnerable and voluble work by an exponent. And, despite the shredding and the braying and whinnying, the siren blares and the solar scuzz, it's also a lattice of forces so unified and destabilizing, they sound like they've always existed together in easy harmony. (NPR)

70. Doesn’t Matter (Christine and The Queens): In a year in which pop music—from Robyn to Ariana Grande—was making a powerful statement, singer Héloïse Letissier, who performs as Christine and the Queens, arrived from France to continue the conversation about gender and identity on Chris. On “Doesn’t Matter”—over bold poppy ’80s drums and sparkling synth—Héloïse bravely addresses the pressures of the masculine gaze, suicidal thoughts, and the nature of relationships and faith. It’s a heavy and important conversation to be having—especially in a song filled with as much buoyant French fun as this one. (ESQUIRE)

71. Ever Again (Robyn): erupts in colorful sounds and pulse-pounding rhythms. Meanwhile, Robyn sings of never being heartbroken again, the sort of preposterous fantasy that pop usually trades in. It almost lands as a joke about the easy pleasures she’s been referring to—and withholding—throughout. (THEATLANTIC)

72. Cameraman (Field Music): takes its time to build into a river of thoughtful brilliance.

73. Bartier Cardi (Cardi B feat. 21 Savage): in a way, feels like a celebration of her stunning rise. The lyric “Cardi got rich, they upset, yeah” has the swagger of one of her signature Instagram jeers. While Cardi is a great talker, her unique eloquence hasn’t always translated to her raps. Here, though, her phrases sway naturally, the same way her chatter does. She never minces words, and in these verses, her taunts and insults are even more cutting. “Them diamonds gon’ hit like a bitch on a bitch-ass bitch,” she exclaims, her accent thrusting every word forward. She’s more forceful and unambiguous as the song goes on, her tone dismissive, shouting things like “I’m poppin’ shit like a dude.” Even her ad-libs are kinetic. (PITCHFORK)

74. Moon River (Frank Ocean): Ocean’s version of “Moon River” trades Hepburn’s gentle sigh for bold and confident yearnings. As he warbles about the wild surrounding world, Ocean envisions his own self-realization through double-tracked new lines like “What I see, What I become.” Ocean’s only sin here is cutting the original’s detail about “my huckleberry friend,” a sweet allusion to the carefree innocence of childhood that feels right up his alley. (As he once sang, wisely, “We’ll never be those kids again.”) Ocean’s “Moon River” retains the enchanting comfort of the Hepburn original without sacrificing any of his genius. It’s the balm we never knew we needed. (PITCHFORK)

75. Midnight Summer Jam (Justin Timberlake): bears the fingerprints of Pharrell, both in its funky guitar line and its falsetto coos. The rising interjections of fiddles are one of the best efforts to approach country on the project, but otherwise this is a pretty classic JT groove that doesn't feel the need to change directions unnecessarily like much of The 20/20 Experience. (HOTNEWHIPHOP)

76. Willow House (Solomon Grey): wispy and witchy at the same time.

77. Headlow (Anderson .Paak feat. Norelle): the best example of the irrefutable funk mastery he has within on his new album.

78. Magazin (White Denim): maintains a summer sound, softly swaying in and out of 60's infused psychedelia and blues-y riffs that make your ear canals smile. (THELINEOFBESTFIT)

79. 36 Oaths (Gaika): now see, this here is how Brit acts should be tackling reggae/dancehall instead of overcooking everything.

80. Suspirium (Thom Yorke): While his bandmate Jonny Greenwood has been out there creating masterful scores for Paul Thomas Anderson movies, Thom Yorke’s music outside of Radiohead has been in the form of two solo albums and work with his side project Atoms for Peace. Now, Yorke is getting in on the soundtrack game, too, creating the music for Luca Guadagnino’s upcoming Suspiria. “Suspirium,” the first single from that soundtrack. has none of the psychological horror of the film’s early trailers. Instead, his song is a lonely piano ballad. This is heartbreaking, not horrifying. But as the frontman of a band whose music is the stuff of vast cinematic soundscapes, his voice is the perfect companion piece for film. (ESQUIRE)