Best Of 2015

The Early Bird: Top New Releases Reviewed 2-2-18 – 2-8-18

By Iman Lababedi | February 2, 2018

a potential smash

The Early Bird: New Big Releases Reviewed 9-22-17 – 9-28-17

By Iman Lababedi | September 22, 2017

it survives the curse of exposition

The Early Bird: New Big Releases Reviewed 9-15-17 – 9-21-17

By Iman Lababedi | September 15, 2017

the sound that made him a hero

The Early Bird: New Albums Overview 8-18-17 – 8-24-17

By Iman Lababedi | August 18, 2017

where art meant gentrification

The Early Bird: New Album Releases 7-28-17 – 8-3-17

By Iman Lababedi | July 28, 2017

hugely great fun just as music

2016: Best Albums Through January 31st

By Iman Lababedi | January 31, 2016

A trip hop beat, skronk jazz doomsday scenario

ABC Best Of The Year Part 3: Interpol, Joanna Newsom, Kurt Cobain And Los Lobos

By Alyson Camus | December 25, 2015

I have decided to look back at this past year in alphabetic order,… and this is the third part of the game….

Five Of The Best Melancholic-Dramatic Songs Of 2015

By Alyson Camus | December 13, 2015

I picked these five among many of others, since they seem to share an expansive and atmospheric sound.

The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through November 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | December 1, 2015

This song was so big it hit major when he wasn’t even looking, this is the one, that’s all.

The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through November 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | December 1, 2015

Angel made the audience her posse and she used them to push herself harder and yet never coming close to chaos, it was controlled happiness

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through November 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | November 30, 2015

Max Martin bringing some zip to Adele’s life and Justin nailing the hook of the month: “My mama don’t like you and she likes everyone… And the winner is… “Blackstar”??? Nope Adele and Max.

The Best Of 2015: Albums Through November 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | November 30, 2015

I am not crazy about it myself but as social phenomenons go, it is a social phenomenon

The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through October 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | November 2, 2015

Someone For Everyone – Jamie Lawson – If you think a song like this is easy, by all means give it a shot. A feel good universal love anthem so brimming with good vibes you wanna give the world a coke. Don’t fret? Good advice.

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through October 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | November 1, 2015

We are not quite a single culture, what we are is a song as opposed to an album culture, as is apparent from the sheer wealth of great songs we get on a monthly basis. Far more than great albums. It is the difference between Chance The Rapper and Roots Manuva. Between crushing it song by song by song, and having an uneven album. Roots is great, just not quite over 45 minutes. The same goes from Car Seat Headres

The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through October 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | October 31, 2015

Art Garfunkel – October 3rd – Carnegie Hall – Like a river it will flow… song to song, like those Rabbis over 60 years ago in tears and in prayer as this blonde haired Jewish boy made the ancient melodies come alive. It is still a gift from God.

The Best of 2015: Albums Through October 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | October 31, 2015

35 MPH Town – Toby Keith – The man who gave jingoism a bad name is pretty excellent when he keeps his flag in his pocket, this collection of country tracks stands head and shoulders above most keepers… even some of his betters.

Be Here Now: New Albums Reviewed For 10-30-15 – 11-5-15

By Iman Lababedi | October 30, 2015

Five years in the life, starting with an 100 Club gig recorded for US radio, followed by a 1978 liver circa the second album, around the time I saw them and was left than thrilled, the third album is the All Mod Cons tour, which I missed and is the highlight of the album, the fourth album and you have “Start” and “Eton” in the repertoire in 1980 Newcastle, and in 1982 at Wembley the superstars roll out stuff from The Gift. What a great way to put together a career spanner. It’s simple, if you love the Jam you will flip out over these beautifully recorded live songs. ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through September 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | October 2, 2015

The Hills – The Weeknd – The first song off the new album to seriously catch my attention, it is a sex driven disaster area with a shifting tempo to better describe the high as hell, marijuana wafting sex on the sheets sound. A clear cut masterpiece which improves the ore you listen to it.

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through September 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | October 1, 2015

A busy September, 33% more songs than August, and certainly Funkadelic alone makes this a great month. even if otherwise it could be considered somewhat more of an albums month. Nothing really jumps out, does it?
A busy September, 33% more songs than August, and certainly Funkadelic alone makes this a great month. even if otherwise it could be considered somewhat more of an albums month. Nothing really jumps out, does it?

The Best of 2015: Albums Through September 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | September 30, 2015

Secretions – Garfunkel And Oates – More songs about forgetting who you are giving a blowjob to. Liz Phair would be proud. If the question is whether it works as song without the comedy, the answer is yes, but only occasional Which is a whole lot better than most.

The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through September 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | September 30, 2015

“I’m feeling very nostalgic”, Madonna claimed about her return to MSG 30 years after her first performance here. But she shouldn’t be. Madonna didn’t have the rebel heart for it then, she hadn’t learnt how hard she could cry, how alone she could be. She didn’t appreciate human frailty the way she did last night

The Best of 2015: Albums Through August 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | August 31, 2015

Imaginary Life – Worriers – Indie rockers who have managed an album brimming with tunes and hooks and smarts and shenanigans; just past her first decade in the business, Lauren Denitzio has emerged as a major songwriter

The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through August 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | August 31, 2015

A beautiful evening with beautiful songs by a man at the peak of his powers at 67 years of age. Given all the ways James Taylor’s life might have gone, his brother Alex, sweet baby James pop, died of a drug overdose decades ago, that James could have lived through it all and reached this place better than ever? It is a testament

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through August 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | August 31, 2015

Sure, this is all over the damn place but that’s because there is no centrifugal force in pop, it is all on the fringes with pop EDM , country and hip hop vying for the charts and EDM winning by a hair. Later on I’ll figure favorites among the favorites but in pure pop for now people form? The Weeknd is unbeatable.

The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through July 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | August 3, 2015

Desire – Dej Loaf – Not only is this very sexy, and very smart, it rhymes hard, the beat is perfect, it is the best woman rap around headlining her new EP it is a self-portrait and a dream of the future. Trill chill, indeed

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through July 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | August 1, 2015

A better month for songs than I thought when you consider two of the weeks were more or less wash outs. Two absolute revelations, Alice Glass and Dej Loaf, who have nothing in common except extreme originality. I have heard nothing quite like them and I like Dej now the way I liked Nicki Minaj circa “Monster ergo very very much. One more name: Daniel Romanov: he sounds like other people, but in a very good way.

The Best of 2015: Albums Through July 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | August 1, 2015

The Most Lamentable Tragedy Of – Titus Andronicus – Whatever doubts you may have about this 29 song rock opera song cycle detailing the ebb and flow of manic depression, if only for its sheer audacity you will hear nothing more important this year. Plus, cmon, what price “Dimed Out”? It dimes out and then some.

The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through June 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | July 3, 2015

Fatal Flaw – Titus Andronicus – As we get closer to the release of The Most Lamentable Tragedy, it becomes clear there is a whole lot of baggage to go along with Patrick Stickles epic disaster disaster, sort of “Inside Outside” for solipsistic egomaniacs. And with songs as great as this, a flat out masterpiece and one of his greatest Stickles’ songs of all time, I could care less.

The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through June 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | June 30, 2015

Live is where he comes into his own as a no nonsense UK rocker who has a better feel for harmolodics then you might imagine, everything here is about arranging a sound where nothing sticks out and nothing goes under, just like Be Here Now taught us, it is like a mountain that is all peak.

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through June 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | June 30, 2015

Unlike most months you can think of, June belonged to two songs, Dawes “All Your Favorite Bands” and Titus Andronicus’ “Fatal Flaw”. The former is easily their best song, a genius benediction to a former love and the latter was so good it made the brilliant “Dimed Out” sound like an also ran. If these don’t end up in the top five singles of the year, I assure they will be in the top ten.

The Best of 2015: Albums Through June 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | June 30, 2015

Before This World – James Taylor – A late career masterpiece by Sweet Baby James Uncle, songs as sweet and strong as memory and as strong and lasting as this exact moment, as though before this world there was this world and just this world was then and now.

The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through May 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | June 1, 2015

L$D – A$AP Rocky – As in love, sex and drugs, this is a hallucination of a mood song, though well tinged by weed as well, so everything drags behind the beat and the sex is wet and exciting but slow and druggy.

The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through May 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | June 1, 2015

Azealia Banks – May 11th – Irving Plaza – This is it folks, in the battle of the women rappers (not to mention men rappers) we have a winner. Banks does everything she said she would, dances, raps, boogies down, takes us on. Pump-parrrrump-pa-rrum-pump

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through May 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | May 31, 2015

There are at least four songs here that sound major to me, Jason Isbell and Titus Andronicus at the top of the list and A$AP Rocky and ZZ Ward not far behind, so if this doesn’t feel like big time pop moment month, it isn’t because of the best, it is because of everything else. Two of my favorite songs this year, by Daytripper and Charlie Funk, aint even out yet. For Daytripper, God knows when she’ll get around to it

The Best of 2015: Albums Through May 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | May 31, 2015

California Nights – Best Coast – My favorite of their three albums is a collection of LA inky blue mood music which merges with Bethany’s weed inspired drowsiness and builds into symphonic OKness.

The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through April 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | May 1, 2015

Old Rock N Roll – Young Fathers – The Scottish Nigerian trio suggest here something that is just about self-evident, “I’m tired of playing the good black, I’m trying to have to hold back”. Which makes sense but not as much as Young Fathers equating racism with money and power. Which is where the real stuff is.

The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through April 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | April 30, 2015

Sufjan Stevens – Beacon Theatre – April 11th – With the album of the year under Sufjan’s belt, here he was performing it live on stage and you could have heard a pin drop, a magnificent performance of (mostly) an album that changes what the term “confessional” means

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through April 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | April 30, 2015

In which the songs catch up with the year, 63 songs, three from Brian Wilson alone, on an album that isn’t as good as its best moments and whose best moments are among the best of the year. And Young Fathers, who are as good as their best moments and who I still expect to crack the US in some form or the other.

The Best of 2015: Albums Through April 30th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | April 30, 2015

Carrie And Lowell – Sufjan Stevens – His mother left Sufjan when he was three maybe four, and again, and again, and then she died, and left Stevens to deal with it by writing the most equisitely beautiful album of this or many years.

The Best of 2015: rock nyc Best Songs In Order And Reviewed Through March, 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | April 2, 2015

Joan Of Arc – Madonna – An impossibly fragile madge, shows her heart is going up in flames as scumbugs like your truly put her through the ringer for being a middle aged diva well past her prime. Which she might well be, but you can’t tell from this song

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through March 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | April 1, 2015

Laura, Alisson, Madonna and Brandi all got two songs on this list, and that is while I was making a concerted effort not to get more than one song off an album. A very strong month for songs, although not for albums. I would love to see Alisson live again, but she doesn’t appear to be playing roud are way.

The Best of 2015: rock nyc In Order And Reviewed Through February 28th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | March 1, 2015

Up Above My Head – Rhiannon Giddens – Her achievement on this is not to iprove on Sister Rosetta Tharpe, neigh on impossible, but to sing it beautiful and to make make some of its heaven Rhiannon’s very own

The Best Of 2015: Concerts Through February 28th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | February 28, 2015

On Friday, February 12th, 2012, I witnessed Aretha Franklin honor her recently deceased Goddaughter Whitney Houston at Radio City Music Hall, part pop manifesto, part revival meeting, the queen of soul sublimated her pain in song and worship. It was the best show I’ve seen this century. And D’Angelo at the Apollo was the second best show I’ve seen this century.

The Best Of 2015 – Albums Through February 28th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | February 28, 2015

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late – Drake – Remix tape? I prefer it to his last album, though it has no “Hold On, We’re Going Home” or the single that won him a punk from Diddy and a Grammy. Any album with songs as good as “Legend” and “Jungle” needs no caveats at all.

The Best Of 2015: Songs Through February 28th, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | February 28, 2015

February was a come down afre a terrific January, the difference between the two wasn’t quantity (even though the first two weeks of January were dead so really, January had a lot more good songs, but quality. I’m not certain where to put D’Angelo in the great scheme of things but even if “really Love” was released 2014, for me it is a February song. So not a great February…

Best Of 2015: Best Concerts Through January 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | February 3, 2015

I thought these indie rockers from Cincinatti were great at the time and I thought they were greater when I thought back on it. Essentially, they are a midwestern Shellshag who didn’t make it through the long run as a couple have lived to explain the pitfalls and disasters of romantic love and this night played em down to the ground.

Best of 2015: rock nyc In Order And Reviewed Through January 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | February 3, 2015

As a lyricist Pete wetnz is a child of his emo rock urges, the strange drawn out song titles that turn and move in ways you don’t expect. Except it never quite manages to pay off well enough. Except this on does, a masterpiece of lost love which uses Judy Jetson’s mobility as a future history of a disappeared love.

The Best Of 2015 – Albums Through January 31st, 2015

By Iman Lababedi | January 31, 2015

17 albums isn’t bad for January, last year there where only 13 albums on my best of list at this point. Also, the rate of excellence is through the roof. Especially hip hop where from Lupe Fiasco to Joey BadA$$ and beyond it is on. Top of the heep i a huge album by David Bronson. A deal changer.

The Best Of 2015: Best Songs Through January 31st, 2015

By admin | January 31, 2015

I hope to be a little more discriminating in 2015, and weeded this list down from 60 songs. I also want to be more careful, my consumer bound. I plan three lists. One, best songs of the year, two best songs of the month and three very best songs of the year. Say the top thirty or so. The deside is not to have the unwieldy lists of last to as much a dregree as possible. This is (more or less) in order but my Top 20 is in definitive order