Kendrick Lamar's landmark 2015 album 'To Pimp a Butterfly' had overtaken the top spot on the popular community review site Rate Your Music, surpassing Radiohead’s 'OK Computer' as the highest-ranked album of all time. 'To Pimp a Butterfly' now has a 4.34 rating, the highest on the platform; 'OK Computer' is at 4.26. Rate Your Music uses a complex algorithm to calculate an album’s score, which considers factors including total number of reviews, each user’s activity level on the site, and more. Radiohead, however, have a total of three albums in the Top 10, Pink Floyd have two.

Happy being sad
January 29, 2023

The 20 best sad albums

Consequence has rounded up a list of "20 of the most bleak, grim, melancholic albums out there for the most efficient commiserating", because "sad songs are so cathartic". The interesting list starts with Greet Death’s 'New Hell', at No. 20, to reach the catharsis with Mount Eerie's 'A Crow Looked at Me' at No. 1. Check out the full list.

Belgian Tomorrowland has been voted world’s No. 1 festival in the DJ Mag Top 100 Festivals poll 2022, with over 100,000 verified votes counted. "Since launching in 2005, Belgium's Tomorrowland festival has pushed the boundaries of production, imagination and curation", DJ Mag argues, adding "the flagship event expanded from two to three weekends in July 2022 for 'The Reflection of Love', welcoming 600,000 visitors from 200 countries, and hosted its Winter edition in L'Alpe d'Huez in France".

The top 10 festivals on DJ Mag's list are:

  1. Tomorrowland, Belgium
  2. Ultra Music Festival, USA
  3. EDC Las Vegas, USA
  4. Creamfields North, UK
  5. Exit, Serbia
  6. Glastonbury, UK
  7. Awakenings, Netherlands
  8. Coachella, USA
  9. Untold, Romania
  10. Sunburn, India

Happy new list
January 24, 2023

25 artists to watch this year

Liv.e/Akai Solo

Pitchfork has chosen 25 artists they’re "keeping a keen eye on this year... from twisted R&B auteur Liv.e to club rap regenerator Bandmanrill to indie rock realists Wednesday". Some are quite new in music like Akai Solo, and Grace Ives, a few have been around for a while but this year just might be the one for them, like Yasmin Williams, and Soul Glo.

It’s good to witness the current flourishing of what we might call Green Pop – though others may prefer Eco-Pop, Eco-Rock, etc... - challenging the current state of our environment - PopMatters writes proudly about the new wave of music dealing with climate change, and nature protection. PM presents American folk musicians that preceded them - Woody Guthrie, Neil Young, Chris Webby, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Malvina Reynolds, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, and Don Maclean.

Let's jazz in
January 20, 2023

The 20 best jazz albums for beginners

"Sure jazz is a big body of music, but it is full of wonders. If you’ve always wanted to get interested in jazz, just jump in. Don’t approach it with fear or a sense that you don’t know enough about it. It’s just a smorgasbord of stuff to enjoy. Or not. Take your pick from the variety" - PopMatters dares you to give jazz a chance. There are two lists - "the historical canon for those who want to be students [Coltrane, Holiday, Davis, Ellington...], but first I’m giving you a list designed to draw you in [Billy Cobham, Louis Jordan, Cassandra Wilson, Aaron Parks...]. No lessons here. No crusty things that don’t groove or only appeal to the brain. But, yes, it’s JAZZ, with the improvising and the daring but without the scary stuff".

Strangers in the Alps
January 19, 2023

The best of Slovenian electronic music

Pouch Envy

The Quietus' dance music columnist Jaša Bužinel sheds light on the "small Slovenian electronic music scene and shares his favourite recent releases from the likes of Vid Vai, POUCH ENVY, dvidevat and Black Dot". "By including mainly names which you may never have heard of before," the writer says he hopes "to shed some light on all the talented Slovenian producers and artists who really deserve to be heard abroad".

Will be happy to say "told you so"
January 13, 2023

MixMag chooses 24 best new artists

"There’s an exciting energy in the air at the start of each year, knowing that a whole new wave of exciting music and dancefloors moments are soon to be experienced" - MixMag introduces the selection of 24 DJs, producers, and rappers to watch in 2023. Included are English rapper Clavish with "some of the most formidable wordplay in UK rap right now", Irish DJ Fio Fa - "expect to see him get dancefloors shaking in 2023", Chinese DJ Hao who "pulls dancers through pneumatic beats up to blinding trance-inflected climaxes with a sense of momentum that’s relentless and exhilarating", and LA DJ Introspekt because "any artist who can master the full stylistic range garage offers is immediately essential".

Alpha, beta, gama, metal
January 11, 2023

Heavy Blog is Heavy chooses the 50 best albums of 2022

The good people from Heavy Blog is Heavy have waited for the year 2022 to end, listened to all the albums coming out in December, and have served us now with a very good list of the 50 best (mostly) metal albums (and one interesting non-metal addition). Since HBIH considers music not to be a contest, they listed the 50 chosen ones from the "phenomenal year for music" in alphabetical order. A good one.

Wait & see
January 09, 2023

10 pop acts about to smash it in 2023

The Face chooses 10 pop acts they expect to "smash it" this year - Colombian-American producer/DJ Nick León, whose "tracks are powered by dembow rhythms, often fusing Latin genres like reggaeton and perreo with ambient, IDM, Miami bass and electro"; New York rapper Clip, distinct for her "nonchalant delivery and a love of scuzzy, leftfield rap production", Bar Italia who Mix "jagged art rock and grey-scale dream-pop"; and others.

"Deep, empathetic bond between artist and listener is the most elemental connection in music" - Rolling Stone introduces its list of the 200 best singers of all time, which, "encompasses 100 years of pop music as an ongoing global conversation". The ultimate criteria was "originality, influence, the depth of an artist’s catalog, and the breadth of their musical legacy". Here are the top 10:

10. Al Green

9. Otis Redding

8. Beyoncé

7. Stevie Wonder

6. Ray Charles

5. Mariah Carey

4. Billie Holiday

3. Sam Cooke

2. Whitney Houston

  1. Aretha Franklin

The former American president revealed his favorite songs of 2022. In includes SZA’s 'Shirt', Danger Mouse and Black Thought’s 'Belize' featuring MF DOOM, Lizzo’s 'About Damn Time', Rosalía’s 'SAOKO', Beyoncé’s 'Break My Soul', Bad Bunny’s 'Tití Me Preguntó', Kendrick Lamar’s non-album hype track 'The Heart Part 5', and others.

Music writer Ted Gioia made a list of his favorite online articles and essays from 2022 on music, arts, and culture - "if the article is good enough, I include it, no matter what the subject". Interesting pieces about heavy metal’s fascination with Roman emperors, the connection between Mozart na J Dilla, using music as torture, and many more.

Defying high expectations
December 20, 2022

Brooklyn Vegan chooses 50 best punk albums of 2022

"In the punk world, 2022 was a year of innovation, a year of new generations staking their claim, a year of new trends emerging and old trends making comebacks. For the purposes of this list, "punk" incorporates punk, pop punk, indie-punk, emo, hardcore, post-hardcore, screamo, metalcore, ska-punk, and various other microgenres that fall under those" - Brooklyn Vegan introduces their list of 50 best punk albums. The top 10 are:

10. The Interrupters - 'In The Wild'

9. Pinkshift - 'Love Me Forever'

8. JER - 'Bothered / Unbothered'

7. The Wonder Years - 'The Hum Goes On Forever'

6. Pool Kids - 'Pool Kids'

5. Mindforce - 'New Lords'

4. The Callous Daoboys - 'Celebrity Therapist'

3. Drug Church - 'Hygiene'

2. Anxious - 'Little Green House'

  1. Soul Glo - 'Diaspora Problems'

Listen and read!
December 19, 2022

Variety chooses the best music books of 2022

There are many, many great books released this year - Variety introduces its list of the best music books released in 2022. "Bono writes beautifully about his relationship with his parents and his wife... Tom Breihan’s new book looks at how 20 top tracks affected the culture, and/or changed the game, musically and sociologically... Stunning 'The Byrds: 1964-67', a comprehensive oral history and a gorgeous coffee-table photo book all in one...  In his first book, the ace New York Times reporter Coscarelli puts a microscope on the thriving and enormously influential Atlanta hip-hop scene".

Only one of the top ten most-searched songs of the year on Google came from a Western artist,  the search engine's trending searches of 2022 show. The list features several Indonesian and Japanese singers, a reggaeton-inspired Pakistani track, and one from Nigerian singer-songwriter Burna Boy. The top spot is taken by 'Tak Ingin Usai' ('Don’t Want to End'), by Indonesian singer Keisya Levronka. The only Western artist on the list is Harry Styles with 'As It Was' at number seven.

The most precious metals
December 15, 2022

The best metal albums of 2022

"This has proved a fantastic year for extreme music and metal, and the new wave is masterfully progressing" - PopMatters points out about the year 2022 in metal. They selected 20 albums with technical death metal band Aeviterne's 'The Ailing Facade' on top. Stereogum selects 10 albums - Blut Aus Nord's 'Lovecraftian Echoes' takes the top spot. Treblezine expanded its list from 25 to 30 albums, with grindcore band Cloud Rat taking the No. 1 spot with 'Threshold'. Loudwire is the most generous - they selected the 50 best rock and metal albums.

Watch and enjoy
December 15, 2022

The best music videos and movies of 2022

"From show-stopping set design and performances in videos by Björk and Rosalía to stirring documentaries on Phil Elverum, Sinéad O’Connor, and Poly Styrene, music-focused visual media helped to flesh out the stories and aesthetics of great artists past and present" - Pitchfork introduces its selection of the best music videos, movies and TV of 2022.

Moin

"Electronic music may have its problems and peculiarities... but one thing the genre doesn’t suffer from is a lack of quality music" - First Floor introduces its list of best dance electronic music of 2022. Three albums "that resonated the most this year" are: Hudson Mohawke's 'Cry Sugar' - "a manic album in which elements of happy hardcore, stadium rap, emotive R&B, swaggering EDM and kaleidoscopic bass contortions all live side by side"; Moin's 'Paste', a "guitar-driven post-hardcore album... made like a techno record"; The Range's 'Mercury' which melds "elements of electronic music, hip-hop, soul and R&B into remarkably potent little pop packages".

Time to read
December 12, 2022

Complex chooses the best articles of 2022

The Complex UK team (and extended family) chooses the best of what they have been reading and rating in 2022. There's a New York Times article about the exhibition on how grime transformed British music. LA Mag's piece about the killing of Drakeo the Ruler, Dazed & Confused's article on West London musician Dréya Mac, Miccheque's piece on best UK rap albums of all time, and plenty more. Check them all out here.

Turn the pages
December 12, 2022

Five recent music books worth reading

usic books released recently. Among them are 'Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music' by Ann Powers - "an ambitious and brilliant examination of US pop that puts sex front and centre in the importance of music", as well as 'Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, the Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm' by Dan Charnas, the "rare biography that explains the how and why of the music".

"Vigorous, explorative and righteously angry, nothing struck quite so profound a chord with us in 2022 as this extraordinary record from Baltimore’s Infinity Knives and Brian Ennals" - Loud And Quiet argues in favor of their choice of the album of 2022. Their top 10 are:

10. They Hate Change: 'Finally, New'

9. Dry Cleaning: 'Stumpwork'

8. Katie Alice Greer: 'Barbarism'

7. Kendrick Lamar: 'Mr Morale and the Big Steppers'

6. Thank: 'Thoughtless Cruelty'

5. Caroline: 'Caroline'

4. Charlie XCX: 'Cream'

3. Kai Whiston: 'Quiet As Kept, F.O.G.'

2. Jockstrap: 'I Love You Jennifer B'

  1. Infinity Knives and Brian Ennals: 'King Cobra'

They love you electro-pop
December 06, 2022

Jockstrap top Quietus' best albums list

Quietus' writers have assembled a wide list of best albums of 2022. It looks into the art, alternative, metal, classic, alt-pop and other scenes. Plenty to listen to there. The top 10 are:

  • 1: Jockstrap – 'I Love You Jennifer B'
  • 2: Diamanda Galás – 'Broken Gargoyles'
  • 3: caroline – 'caroline'
  • 4: Richard Dawson – 'The Ruby Cord'
  • 5: Decius – 'Decius Vol. I'
  • 6: Sea Power – 'Everything Was Forever'
  • 7: Kendrick Lamar – 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers'
  • 8: The Ephemeron Loop – 'Psychonautic Escapism'
  • 9: Emeka Ogboh – '6°30'33.372"N 3°22'.66"E'
  • 10: Oren Ambarchi – 'Shebang'

"2022 was the year of the comeback. As the music industry stumbled out of its pandemic fog, many artists finally delivered long delayed, highly anticipated, and sonically experimental albums that met some of the expectations built up for them" - Pitchfork introduces its Top 50 albums of 2022 list. The top 10 are:

10. Alex G: 'God Save the Animals'

9. Yaya Bey: 'Remember Your North Star'

8. Lucrecia Dalt: '¡Ay!'

7. Big Thief: 'Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You'

6. Rosalía: 'Motomami'

5. Bad Bunny: 'Un Verano Sin Ti'

4. Special Interest: 'Endure'

3. Alvvays: 'Blue Rev'

2. Sudan Archives: 'Natural Brown Prom Queen'

  1. Beyoncé: 'Renaissance'

Ladies choise
December 02, 2022

The Forty-Five chooses 45 albums of 2022

Jockstrap

The Forty-Five collective of female-led journalists has selected 45 best albums of the year, which "attempt to make sense of the troubled times we live in, that capture the zeitgeist or just provide an hour of much-needed escapism". The top 10 albums are:

10. Sampa the Great: 'As Above, so Below'

9. Weyes Blood: 'And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow'

8. Taylor Swift: 'Midnights'

7. Rosalia: 'Motomami'

6. Beyonce: 'Renaissance'

5. Sudan Archives: 'Natural Brown Porm Queen'

4. Mitski: 'Laurel Hell'

3. Shygirl: 'Nymph'

2. Wet Leg: 'Wet Leg'

  1. Jockstrap: 'I Love You Jennifer B'

Top of the pops
December 01, 2022

Rolling Stone chooses best albums of 2022

"It was a very big year for very big albums... a year in music we have a feeling we’ll be thinking about (and dancing to) for a long time to come" - Rolling Stone writes introducing its list of best 100 albums of 2022. Their top 10 are:

10. Wet Leg, ‘Wet Leg’

9. J-Hope, ‘Jack in the Box’

8. FKA Twigs, ‘Caprisongs’

7. King Princess, ‘Hold on Baby’

6. Pusha T, ‘It’s Almost Dry’

5. Harry Styles, ‘Harry’s House’

4. Rosalía, ‘Motomami’

3. Taylor Swift, ‘Midnights’

2. Bad Bunny, ‘Un Verano Sin Ti’

  1. Beyonce, ‘Renaissance’

Snow operator
November 24, 2022

A nice selection: Jazz in a snow globe

All About Jazz writer Chris Vella made a collection of songs that allows you to get lost and "have it transport you to a state of bliss. Like the diamonds of the music, no matter the era or style, they just shine... They're not splashy or overly complicated... You can just hang inside the groove like it's in some kind of snow globe heaven".

Music lining
November 23, 2022

Pitchfork chooses 15 books of 2022

The best music books this year kept it personal" - Pitchfork points out introducing the best 15 books of 2022. Among them are "affable, conversational, and always funny, with surprising insights and ear-catching phrasings gliding in from every direction" book 'The Number Ones' by Tom Breihan about American No. 1 pop hits, as well as "an astoundingly intimate book-length conversation on art and grief" with Nick Cave by Sean O'Hagan. and 'Queer Country' by Shana Goldin-Perschbacher who draws "a vivid portrait of a movement at a point of breakthrough".

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