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Decade End Lists

Silversun Pickups – “Skin Graph” On the heels of 2009’s Swoon, Silversun Pickups’ trajectory over the course of the ensuing decade will depend on who you ask.  There’s a lot of staunch supporters of the band’s first two albums who feel that everything they’ve done since has been varying grades of disappointing.  For me, I […]

Ariana Grande – “Into You” On 2016’s Dangerous Woman, we witnessed Ariana turn a corner and hit her stride as an artist: one who became aware of her strengths and how to best utilize them.  Sure, Yours Truly and My Everything demonstrated flashes of brilliance, but even those moments sounded more like question marks than resounding statements – as if […]

Tame Impala – “Elephant” I was late to the Tame Impala party, finally discovering them in 2017 through a co-worker who played ‘Elephant’ for me – and it blew my mind.  Who were these modern Beatles, playing their psychedelic hearts out, only to an even more addicting rhythm?  The sheer confidence and craftsmanship made me […]

Glen Hansard – “Don’t Settle” Oh hey, 2019 represent!  Sometimes a song is just too brilliant; too immediately impactful and emotionally profound to be placed on the back burner.  “Don’t Settle” falls into this category – a track that defines Hansard’s superb record This Wild Willing in such a way that putting off recognition is […]

St. Vincent – “Digital Witness” When you’re a well-established musician, it can be difficult to surprise listeners and achieve success at the same time. St. Vincent’s self-titled record accomplishes that feat, and it’s in no small part due to “Digital Witness” – an expansive, artful pop masterpiece. The lyrics are a scathing indictment of “the […]

The War on Drugs – “Eyes To The Wind” If I were to choose the songs from 2010-2019 that make me feel the most free, in a sense that is entirely liberating and nearly indescribable, “Eyes To The Wind” could easily top that list.  Adam Granduciel allegedly wrote this song in only four minutes, in […]

Gates – “Persist in Delusion” We all have those bands that we look back on and wonder how in the world they didn’t take off.  I have quite a lengthy list of talented artists that I believe should be more popular than they are, but Gates has to be somewhere near the top of that […]

Let’s Eat Grandma – “Donnie Darko” In terms of underrated pop artists this decade, few are as talented as the duo of Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth – also known as Let’s Eat Grandma.  Perhaps that’s because they’re only 18 (17 at the time of this release) and their 2016 debut I, Gemini went largely […]

Sturgill Simpson – “Breakers Roar” Country music wouldn’t get such a bad rap if there were more Sturgill Simpsons in the world.  Simpson is everything that’s right with country music, and “Breakers Roar” is easily one of the most gorgeous songs that I’ve ever heard.  The strings here swell and ache in gorgeous entanglement, and […]

Carly Rae Jepsen – “Run Away With Me” For the longest time, I never understood the fascination surrounding Carly Rae Jepsen.  She writes cute, catchy 80’s influenced pop songs…and it’s not like she’s the first or even the best to do so.  Like any self-assured heterosexual man should, I jammed out to “Call Me Maybe” […]

Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors” The 20/20 Experience changed the way I view pop.  That may be a bit of a naive take, but it’s true based on my late introduction to modern music (I was that kid in high school who was obsessed with 70’s rock) and the fact that the album – especially Part […]

The Roots – “Stomp/Lighthouse” I have a special relationship with The Roots that I don’t have with very many artists, much less of the hip-hop variety.  They were the first “rap” that I ever listened to on my own.  Purchasing Game Theory from F.Y.E. when I was in high school is still fresh in my […]

Coheed and Cambria – “Key Entity Extraction I: Domino The Destitute” When I fell in love with Coheed and Cambria, it was a swoon over their heavier side: Claudio Sanchez’s bitter lyrics in “Welcome Home”, the epic waves of electric riffs, and the complex solo spanning the latter portion of the song.  That isn’t to […]

There Will Be Fireworks – “River” Singing loud enough to wake the dead, not enough now that you’ve left There’s a lot of factors that go into making great music, and too often I believe we focus on the wrong things.  Intricacy and technical prowess can only get you so far; the best bands in […]

Florence + The Machine – “Shake It Out” It’s always darkest before the dawn… Sometimes I’m convinced that Florence Welch doesn’t get enough credit.  Commercially, sure, she receives due monetary cash flow for superb singles like “Dog Days Are Over” and this very song – but as a real, true artist, I’m not sure that […]

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