1 – Up Above My Head – Rhiannon Giddens – Her achievement on this is not to inprove on Sister Rosetta Tharpe, neigh on impossible, but to sing it beautiful and to make make some of its heaven Rhiannon’s very own.
2 – Really Love – D’Angelo – Really released late 2014 of course, still, it lives on as a 2015 song. A ballad as good as anything but the best he has ever written.
3 – The Blacker The Berry – Kendrick Lamar – This is what rap needs to be. This is where art and politics intermingle. This is self-confidence without bullshit.
4 – Jet Pack Blues – Fall Out Boy – 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.
5 – Song Of Life – David Bronson – The song the great singer songwriter to pinpoint his concerns and also to anwer his concerns: it is where he answer the one question, how to live with love.
6 – Bad Place for A Good Time – Kate Tempest – The observant Ms. Tempest asks is this life or is life different? The place in the song title is, well, right here.
7 – Fool For Love – Lord Huron – I bet they don’t have another song this great in em, and I bet this is a song this great. Even the intro is excellent.
8 – No Cities to Love – Sleater-Kinney – If this isn’t agit-prop, than what is it. If they aren’t rebuling David Byrne, or rebuling where you live or why, they are teaching you how to choose better.
9 – Blur My Hands – Lupe Fiasco – This is where r&b meets hip hop, with a rock guitar playing winding licks right behind it.
10 – Charles De Gaulle – Letts – Great songer songwriter, “don’t walk away from me” is a great as a hook as you’ll hear this year.
11 – Reprise – Natalie Prass – The album might not be as good as everybody is claiming it is… MAYBE, but this grgeous track is.
12 – – Honey Trap – Shinobi Ninja – Without a doubt, the best guitar hook the band has ever come up with.
13 – Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) – AWOLNATION – This sounds like Of Montreal before they jumped off the deep end, and the chorus is very hooky indeed, and the beat keeps tripping itself up.
14 – Underwater – Matt Whipkey – The best rock song you won’t hear this year
15 – Wishing Well – Screaming Females – written so Marissa’s Grandma would like something by the band. Grandma and everybody else.
16 – Top Shelf Drug – Ryan Bingham – Terrific metaphor for love for a song that sounds like a cross between between and Exile
17 – 6pm In New York – Drake – “oh you gotta love it”, now this is unbridled ego.
18 – Blueberry Island – The Julie Ruin – Organ based pure pop for now people
19 – Now That I Have Found You – The Juliana Hatfield Three – A true beauty, as goo as anything she’s ever written…well, except for the very best.
20 – Go Out – Blur – droning guitars meets an addictive chorus,when was the rest time Damon was involved in an addictive chorus.
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – October 1972 (Volume 4, Number 5)
We leap ahead almost a year
A flatout triumph from a major performer
New Wave pop bliss out
I WISH I HADN’T GONE
a time-capsule type of roster
Creem -America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1971 (Volume 3, Number 6)
“Sure, we don’t pay much but then who else do ya know who’ll publish you?”
in the immortal words of Jason Isbell to me at Gov Ball a coupla years ago: “let’s do this…”
one of the great top tens of the 2020
old school Puerto Rican underground sounds
a masterful pop about loving a drug addict