Albums are forever
July 28, 2021

10 of the best posthumous albums

Inspired by the recent success of late Pop Smoke, whose both posthumous albums reached the top of the Billboard 200 chart, Guardian chose "the best records from those lost too soon". Their choice includes Prince's 'Originals' as it gives a "tantalising glimpse into a restless genius’s artistic process", Joy Division's 'Closer' as it "oozes claustrophobia, Curtis’s sepulchral lyricism augmented by Martin Hannett’s haunted production", Janis Joplin's 'Pearl' as it "captures both her startling vocal prowess and electric live energy", and other forever-living albums by the ones gone too soon.

Revolver asked a number of musicians "which scream stands alone as the greatest out there". The Black Dahlia Murder's Trevor Strnad, Coheed and Cambria's Travis Stever, Testament's Alex Skolnick, Incendiary's Brian Audley, and more select Tom Araya, Bruce Dickinson, Chino Moreno, and others.

People are strange, music isn't
July 26, 2021

The best experimental albums from the last three months

Ceephax Acid Crew

Looking for some quality experimental music? Tone Glow writers chose 32 albums from the year’s second quarter that they enjoyed. Their selection includes various albums: there's vocal jazz and Mongolian long song on Enji's 'Urgal'; Vanessa Rosetto's 'Legends of American Theatre' recorded from artist's New York window showing "a theatre deprived of curtain calls where people-watching persists"; Naoko Sakata's 'Dancing Spirits' characterized by "wilderness"; Neupink's 'Seaweed Jesus' which just might pass as hard-core hyper-pop; and plenty more unusual music.

The list of sound
July 22, 2021

50 best producers of the 21st century

Max Martin

Billboard staff picked the 50 greatest producers of this century: the most innovative, impactful and important knob-twiddlers since 2000. The top 5 are:

5. Mike Will Made-It because he loves twisting the familiar into something far weirder and more rewarding

4. The-Dream & Tricky Stewart thanks to their zooming keys, gentle-but-insistent percussion, expansive soundscapes and the era's most lethal toplines.

3. Timbaland - fourth-dimension funk, with rattling drums, squelching bass, unrecognizable and disembodied vocal hooks

2. Pharrell Williams / The Neptunes - Liquid guitars, clanging percussion, and the most intoxicating synth tones you've ever heard

1. Max Martin -  the hooks we crave, the choruses we want to belt out, from the stars that have defined the mainstream over the past two decades

Better than the Belgian chocolate
July 14, 2021

Great mix - the year of 1937

Centuries of Sound is making mixes for every year of recorded sound, and this time around it's the year 1937. The artist that marked the year was - Django Reinhardt, a self-taught, illiterate guitarist with only 8 fingers who would change the face of jazz, and music as well. That year also had Stephane Grappeli, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Robert Johnson and so many more.

We will rock... later
June 28, 2021

Video: 10 albums critics hated (at first)

YouTuber Rocked counts down 10 albums music critics have hated at first, only to get lauded later. It's exclusively rock albums, by AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, Queen, Radiohead and some other big rock bands.

Who's pulling the strings?
June 14, 2021

8 records by the new generation of solo guitarists

Chris Schlarb

Pitchfork recommends eight recent releases that "show the guitar’s boundless potential". Among the selected ones there are: new album by Brooklyn’s Rachika Nayar who "uses her electric guitar to make quiet, visionary ambient music"; Rob Noyes is a 12-string guitarist based in Japan. whos music "enters the room like a strong gust of wind and resonates long after"; Chris Schlarb & Chad Taylor offer "droning 12-string ragas, gentle folk melodies, and quietly psychedelic mood pieces that transport listeners to a higher plane of thinking" on their collaborative album.

The summer of loving great music
June 08, 2021

Stereogum shares a list of 50 best albums of the year so far

An interesting selection by the Stereogum of 50 best albums of the five months of 2021 that are behind us. The top 10 (not so expectedly) are:

10. The Armed - 'ULTRAPOP'

9. Matt Sweeney & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - 'Superwolves'

8. Home Is Where - 'i became birds'

7. Armand Hammer & The Alchemist - 'Haram'

6. Spirit Of The Beehive - 'ENTERTAINMENT, DEATH'

5. Cassandra Jenkins - 'An Overview On Phenomenal Nature'

4. Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, & The London Symphony Orchestra - 'Promises'

3. serpentwithfeet - 'Deacon'

2. The Weather Station - 'Ignorance'

  1. Fiddlehead - 'Between The Richness'

Khaira Arby

'Afrique Victime' is the new, awesome album by the Touareg guitarist Mdou Moctar who made a list of albums, artists, songs and styles that made him the musician he is now. The Quietus assembled the list, which includes Van Halen, Abdallah Oumbadogou ("the founder, the source of my music"), Khaira Arby ("a golden voice"), Malam Maman Barka ("insanely good, totally insane"), Bob Marley ("a revolutionary and he’s someone who loved peace"), Tinariwen ("you have to write things to encourage people").

Stillwater

Spinal Tap were a fake band constructed for a movie ('This Is Spinal Tap'), yet not being real didn't prevent them from recording two albums and going on a tour. Others followed, like Stillwater from Cameron Crowe's 'Almost Famous', 'That Thing You Do!’s the Wonders, 'Under the Silver Lake’s Jesus and the Brides of Dracula, and MTV's 2gether. The Ringer discusses the nature of fake bands with the people behind some of them - including Crowe, Zooey Deschanel, Andy Samberg, and Emily Haines.

Cinephiles Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Matt Sweeney, who recently released a collaborative album 'Superwolves', made a selection of the best music films for Vice. The boys chose 'Gene Vincent: The Rock And Roll Singer' (1970) - "a tough watch, but a revealing study of a rare talent", 'Cisco Pike' (1972) - "music-infused crime film has earned a sizeable cult following", 'Oulaya’s Wedding' (2017)  - "astonishingly familiar feelings and ripping tunes", 'Payday' (1973) - "down and dirty character study of a country star indulging every vice under the sun as he hurtles towards annihilation", 'The Decline Of Western Civilization' (1981) - "a documentary about energy that's so loaded with power that it will never die", and other films.

Out Of Nowhere

Iranian metalcore band Out of Nowhere made a selection of 10 best Middle Eastern metal bands (or, we can call it Near East, depending, probably, on where we are). So, the best in metal from the vast region are:

Calibre - melodic metal core, Iran

Chopstick Suicide - mathcore, Turkey

Coast of Arms - metalcore, UAE/Qatar

Creative Waste - grindcore, Saudi Arabia

Kimaera - doom/death, Lebanon

Mortem Atra - melodic doom / death metal, Cyprus

New Carnis - death metal, Iran

Phenomy - thrash metal, Lebanon

Scarab - death metal, Egypt

Smouldering in Forgotten - death/black, Bahrain

Pitchfork looks back at 40 years of albums by "pop stars to metal urchins to avant experimentalists" covering the issue of climate danger. The list goes back to The Clash and Dead Kennedys, and also covers today's pop stars such as Grimes and Billie Eilish, as well as metal heroes Cattle Decapitation, avant-guard artist Babe, Terror, and indie-rock heroine The Weather Station.

The lost & found experience
April 23, 2021

45 most-wanted never-released albums

Stereogum made a list of 45 never-released albums they would want to hear "a collection of projects that at least supposedly existed in something approaching completion, that are formed enough that artists or other personnel have discussed their existence or their plausible release somewhere down the line". The list starts with the 1970 Jimi Hendrix' acoustic concept album 'Black Gold' that got forgotten in a suitcase. The list also includes unreleased works by U2, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Deftones, Beck, Soundgarden, Purple Mountains, and many more.

Rolling Stone renewed their list of great one-of albums by artists who published their debut LP and were promptly derailed by death, internal band politics or the simple desire to put something down and never pick it back up. Here's the top 10:

10. Madvillain - 'Madvillainy'

9. The Postal Service - 'Give Up'

8. Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers - 'L.A.M.F.'

7. Buena Vista Social Club - 'Buena Vista Social Club'

6. Minor Threat - 'Out of Step'

5. The Modern Lovers - 'The Modern Lovers'

4. Jeff Buckley - 'Grace'

3. Lauryn Hill - 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill'

2. Derek & the Dominos - 'Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs'

  1. Sex Pistols - 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols'

Happy being sad
April 05, 2021

A playlist of sad music

"Sometimes when I am a bit bummed, I don’t look for music to lift me up; I look for music that captures my mood. For some reason, I find solace in listening to songs from my sad bastard brethren" - Medium writes introducing its playlist of sad music. The songs are predominantly about heartaches and hearts breaking, mostly singer-songwriter stuff - Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Whiskeytown, Lucinda Williams, etc.

Thai Flow

"Over the last year or so, country's rappers and MCs have taken up grime and drill as idioms, reimagining and ushering them into electrifying new directions" - Pitchfork says presenting the new generation of Brazilian women in these genres. "Brazilian artists have redrawn grime and drill’s borders, threading in loops and kicks from different branches of baile funk and samba right alongside the speaker-knocking bass of 8-bar and the icy synths of eskibeat, all while they rap about life in the favelas". The ones that stand out now are: N.I.N.A. - a DJ-turned-rapper and forthright social critic; Thai Flow - the Rio de Janeiro-based raper with a great flow; Áurea Semiseria - influenced by samba and gospel rap; Peroli - bringing grime and funk closer.

"Even if you’ve heard them a million times or come across them in a dozen movie soundtracks, classics like 'My Girl', 'Come See About Me', or 'The Tracks of My Tears' still sound almost impossibly fresh, just as the radical spirit of 'What’s Going On' or 'Living for the City' resonates perfectly in our present political moment. And amid all the hits, there are still lesser-known gems to be discovered" - Rolling Stone writes introducing the 100 greatest Motown songs list, 60 years after label's first Number One hit, 'Please Mr. Postman', by the Marvelettes.

Robbie Williams & Alan McGee

New rock n' roll biopic 'Creation Stories', about the cult UK publisher Creation Records and its frontman Alan McGee, is out this week, made by the 'Trainspotting' team of Danny Boyle and Irvine Welsh as producer and screenwriter, while Ewan Bremner, who played Spud in 'Trainspotting', stars as McGee. Brooklyn Vegan took this opportunity to select 21 best records by Creation. Here's the Top 5:

5. House of Love - 'House of Love'

4. Oasis - '(What's the Story) Morning Glory?'

3. My Bloody Valentine - 'Isn't Anything'

2. My Bloody Valentine - 'Loveless'

  1. Primal Scream - 'Screamadelica'

Mötley Crüe

Richard Bienstock and Tom Beajuour, the authors of the new oral history 'Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion' choose eight of the most archetypal and illustrative videos of '80s hard rock. It's Poison's 'Talk Dirty To me', Guns N' Roses' 'It's So Easy', Mötley Crüe's 'Looks That Kill' and several others similarly ridiculous. As for Binstock and Beajuour's book, All Music argues it is a "treasure trove of stories, drama, and details from one of the most over-the-top eras in rock".

Women of the day, every day
March 09, 2021

Women in music with a global impact

Vanessa Craft

The music industry has risen to meet the challenges of the pandemic, and Variety chose several women - artists and executives - who are leading the charge. They are UK pop star Dua Lipa, Natascha Augustin, Senior creative director in Warner Chappell Germany, K-pop stars Blackpink, Vanessa Craft, Director of content partnerships in TikTok Canada, and others...

Adele has been named as the UK’s best-selling female album artist of the century by The British Phonographic Industry, according to Music Week. She holds the top spot above the stars such as P!nk, Madonna, Rihanna, Dido, Amy Winehouse, Kylie Minogue, Beyonce, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga. Her second album, ‘21‘, also holds the title for the UK’s number one album by a female artist since 2000, after shifting just shy of 6 million copies in the UK alone. The new statistics have been unveiled to coincide with the confirmed return of National Album Day on October 21, which will adopt ‘Celebrating Women In Music’ as its 2021 theme.

Check the keys
February 15, 2021

Chick Corea's 10 greatest recordings

Guardian jazz music critic combs through "one of the most garlanded and wide-ranging catalogues in the genre’s history" to present Chick Corea's 10 best recordings, from "showboating and sensitive", as the pianist "traversed the distance between experimentation and accessibility".

Love will list us apart
February 12, 2021

A different kind of list: 14 asexual anthems for Valentine's

Mitski

"There has been almost no dialogue about how asexuality is being explored - whether intentionally or through subtext - in song lyrics. That’s why I’ve been keeping a list of songs that have strong asexual themes" - them.'s Isabel Corp writes in her post about "fourteen songs that folks on the asexual spectrum can enjoy on February 14". There are 'Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)' by Kate Bush, 'A Pearl' by Mitski, 'Dry' by PJ Harvey, 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' by Joy Division...

Happy Singeltine
February 12, 2021

Billboard lists 50 top love songs of all time

Billboard made a list of the 50 biggest love songs of all time, based on their chart position. It's mostly ballads, and the earliest entry on the list is 1958's 'To Know Him Is to Love Him' by the Teddy Bears. It seems love isn't really much of a thing lately - the newest entry on this list is 2011's 'We Found Love' by Rihanna.

NME has made a compilation of 23 best drill songs from the history of genre. After being pioneered by Chicagoan producer Young Chop in 2012, drill has become rap’s most popular sub-genre. The list covers everything from Chief Keef's 2012 'I Don't Like' to last years' 'Dior' by Pop Smoke.

BBC revealed the 10 most played songs on UK TV and radio of the last decade:

10. 'Sex On Fire' - Kings Of Leon

9. 'Forget You' - CeeLo Green

8. 'Counting Stars' - One Republic

7. 'Uptown Funk' - Mark Ronson, ft Bruno Mars

6. 'I Gotta Feeling' - Black Eyed Peas

5. 'Can't Stop The Feeling!' - Justin Timberlake

4. 'Get Lucky' - Daft Punk, ft Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers

3. 'Moves Like Jagger' - Maroon 5, ft Christina Aguilera

2. 'Rolling In The Deep' - Adele

1. 'Happy' - Pharrell Williams