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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES Pazz & Jop

Pazz & Jop Comments: It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop

Popular music, at its top-dollar best, is either music to drive to or music to grill to; at its bestest best, it’s both. By my reckoning, track by track, the Carters’ Everything Is Love record is for: grilling, driving, driving, grilling, driving, grilling, grilling, driving, grilling. “Music has my kids sound asleep” might not be a lyric that will appeal to many, but it did to me as the year hit its crescendo, the hills on fire on every corner of America’s 8 1/2 by 11, the sky turning peach. “Summer’s light like summer’s night/It’s like Christ’s masterpiece” indeed.
— Daniel Brockman

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https://youtu.be/syi60tUIP48

On Room 25, Noname delivered on a sophomore album with a lot more dizzying raps than her first. It’s almost like she heard the masses talkin’ shit about her skills and went wild on this record. Who else’s pussy is writing a thesis on colonialism?
— Tirhakah Love

Not enough can be said about the weight of this genre-welding meeting of titanic Texas forces: On “Gone Away,” Bun B writes what is, in all likelihood, his final letter to UGK bandmate Pimp C, but does it in a way that’s broad enough to be applied to any lost kin; Leon Bridges delivers a somber and vulnerable hook, and Gary Clark Jr. cleans up with a solo reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Little Wing.” They’re truly the Texas triumvirate, and it’s a wonder we aren’t talking about the magnitude of this collaboration more as a culture. What’s better, it all takes place over a beat cooked up by Big K.R.I.T., whose beats have, in the wake of Pimp C’s death, given Bun’s delivery an unmatched comfort and ease. Put this one right up there with UGK’s own “One Day” in the canon of Southern rap eulogies.
Sama’an Ashrawi

Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired ByNo mere album can live up to the cultural impact of this extremely ambitious comic book movie, but it’s a great companion piece nonetheless.
— Carol Cooper

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A rundown of personal and social horrors that’s less frantic but also far less calculated than the 1975’s “Love It If We Made It,” Lil Peep’s Life Is Beautiful is far more devastating. “Tryin’ to keep your cool at your grandfather’s funeral/Finding out eventually the feeling wasn’t mutual/You were not invited ’cause you’re nothing like the usual” — damn, that’s bleak. And it cuts much harder than the “My girlfriend left me so I’m depressed and I’m gonna take lots of drugs to cope” lyrics Lil Peep specialized in, as sincere as they clearly were.
— Steve Erickson

Travis Scott’s world domination is more than just a crowning achievement for an artist who’s long been a critical darling, but it’s a clear statement that the South, and especially Houston, the nation’s most diverse city, has got something to say.

Drenched in Houston’s legend’s sweat, Astroworld is a referendum on hip-hop as a genre and an art form. The album is slowed down, tripped out, and bombastic, as Scott liberally references Houston’s past as a hip-hop hotbed while pushing it past its Screwston reputation. Astroworld feels both futuristic and classic at the same time, and that’s something only Kendrick Lamar has been able to accomplish in the last half-decade.

But there will be no Nobel Prize for Astroworld. No Taylor Swift collabs, no Marvel soundtracks. It’s all just too druggy. Too street. Too Southern. Too real. 

And maybe that’s how it should be. But, one thing is for sure, Travis Scott’s moment is now, and he’s going to run with it straight to the Super Bowl halftime show, and he’s going to keep running with it till someone comes to take it from him.
— Jaime-Paul Falcon

By my count, Kids See Ghosts is the seventh time Kanye has made the best album of the year. But it’s no accident that this isn’t the 2018 record he put his name on, or that he needed a co-host to pull it off, or that it’s impossible to remember a single word he says throughout  —  which, thank God.
Nick Farruggia

Drake, “In My Feelings”: Only in 2018 Atlanta could I drive crosstown from berating a Bush speechwriter in a Roman Catholic sanctuary to Aubrey & the Three Migos at State Farm Arena preaching a center-right message of Maya Angelou vibes featuring Future, Young Jeezy, and Trey Songz. Did it for the culture. But you can imagine compassionate conservative Michael Gerson kicking himself for not writing “I wanna thank God for working way harder than Satan.” Elevate.

The next morning I returned to work, where a sickle cell anemia patient almost hemolyzed to death. 2018!
— Maureen Miller

With Cardi B’s “Bickenhead,” nasty hos from across the globe finally get the anthem they so righteously deserve.
— Jessica Hopper

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The day Pusha T’s “The Story of Adidon” dropped was unforgettable. I listened as it rolled out on Funk Flex (the first major terrestrial radio event in a while!), and he kept stopping at every new bar, overwhelmed, and then he would replay it from the beginning. I remember wanting him to get through the whole song, but this approach made sense — it’s a lot to take in. An unbelievable achievement in diss tracks, and Pusha’s best work this year.
Evan Minsker

Childish Gambino, “This Is America”: Donald Glover’s incantatory recitation would work without visuals, but Hiro Murai’s video represents America in 2018 as acutely as the newsreel footage in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. Utterly unnerving.
— Kathy Fennessy

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I like Childish Gambino’s “This Is America,” but Earl Sweatshirt’s “December 24” gets the Gil-Scott Heron “Winter in America” mood more right than anything else I came across this year. (Which, my annual disclaimer, amounts to 1 percent of 1 percent of whatever hip-hop was out there in 2018.) It must be my shortest number one ever at 1:46 — I wish it went on for another 7 or 8 minutes. At the risk of sounding white-guy stupid, where does the opening genuine-dialect quote come from? I’ve Googled it, looked up the album credits, nothing. The significance of December 24 escapes me, too, but it feels right: aspirations, a plan, something that came up just short. Quote I came across in a Goon Sax interview: “Sad music is made for a reason and maybe it’s to repurpose something you’ve gone through.”
— Phil Dellio

The Carters, “Apeshit”In perhaps pop culture’s Blackest year — Black Panther, Kendrick’s Pulitzer, and Beyoncé’s own history-making Coachella set, for starters — Black America’s reigning monarchs deliver a worthy soundtrack.
— Trevor Anderson

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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES Pazz & Jop

Pazz & Jop Comments: My My, Hey Hey, Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay

Auckland’s Beths might be the 4,000th indie rock band from ever-fecund New Zealand — let alone the entire globe. But others don’t have Elizabeth Stokes. Not to slight her bandmates on Future Me Hates Me; they’re bubbly-effervescent and post-punky-barbed excited-sounding, too. But to confront “You Wouldn’t Like Me,” “Not Running,” or the title track is to be like a trained guard dog that rolls over and seeks belly rubs instead of barking. Stokes is ridiculously infectious and disarming, making this least-ephemeral kind of guitar pop ear candy. Future us will still love her.— Jack Rabid

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It seems reports of rock and roll’s death have been greatly exaggerated. On Young & Dangerous, the Struts’ Butch Walker–produced sophomore banger, Luke Spiller (the band’s spectacularly Zandra Rhodes–caped frontman, who could have easily played the lead in Bohemian Rhapsody if Rami Malek hadn’t been available) and his fellow British glam-rockers vamp and amp their way through the disco-rock euphoria of “Who Am I?” (think the Stones’ “Miss You” or Rod the Mod’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”), the Crowes-y cowbell jam “Primadonna Like Me,” the hard-charging football terrace chant “Bulletproof Baby,” and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show themes “Body Talks” and “In Love With a Camera” with unbridled Jagger swagger. Dave Grohl, authority on all things rawk, declared the Struts the best opening act to ever tour with the Foo Fighters, but expect them to be headlining stadiums on their own in 2019.
— Lyndsey Parker

https://youtu.be/dNxCz-Iyu0g

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, “Shallow”: OK, the two best films of the year were First Reformed and Shoplifters, but the most thrilling moment on the screen was unquestionably when Gaga summons her inner rock goddess with “huuuh, uhhh, ahhhh ah wah haaa ahhhhhhhhh.” I mean, the film could have fallen off the cliff from there and I would have been happy.
— Ken Capobianco

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Paul McCartney, Egypt StationHis best since Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, and a nice bit of political commentary on “Despite Repeated Warnings.”
— Gillian Gaar

Mighty Mighty BosstonesFollowing a seven-year recording absence, the veteran Boston ska-rock group came back strong with the socially conscious While We’re At It, where the still-gravelly-voiced Dicky Barrett penned lyrics with vivid imagery.
— George A. Paul

Andrew W.K., “Music Is Worth Living For” 
It is.
— 
Ian Mathers

Apparently Love Is Dead is Chvrches “selling out,” even though they were already a pretty poppy band to begin with. This is music designed to boom in the big venues Chvrches have rightly earned, and it, as they say, slaps.
— Brice Ezell

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Though Will Toledo technically debuted Car Seat Headrest’s “Bodys” sometime in the late 2000s on Bandcamp, it got its chance to shine this year on the reworked Twin Fantasy. Tumbling synths, pristine drum machine loops, and an impending sense of complicated youthful bliss make this song one of my favorites of 2018. Toledo connects the fragility of young love to the delicacy of the human body, the vessels that allow us to experience life fully.
— Ellen Johnson

Amen Dunes, “Miki Dora”: I don’t listen to music to learn stuff — not stuff that can be put into words, anyway. But reading up on this song’s eponymous subject was fascinating: a guy from the Fifties who helped popularize surfing (he’s in every one of those Frankie Avalon–Annette Funicello movies) but who supposedly hated the commercialization of what he’d helped usher in, and who conveyed his disgust by acting out in various ways — swastikas, crucifixion imagery, crime, exile. I’m old enough to remember when there’d be an occasional surfing segment on Wide World of Sports; also, Laura Blears Ching in Playboy…I digress. I came across this one interesting quote from the president of the Hang-Ten Chapter of Malibu Surfers just after Dora’s swastika incident: “You had a surfer on one side that was bad, and you had a group of surfers on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say it, but I will say it right now.” I like the sound of “Miki Dora” fine — it starts off like a dreamy, singer-songwriter version of “Come as You Are” — but it’s primarily the story that draws me in.
— Phil Dellio

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Making her own mythologies, reassembling our monuments. Neko Case is forever.
Ann Powers

Greta Van Fleet emerged from the wide-scale savaging of social media haters loud and proud.
— Bud Scoppa

Is Parquet Courts’ “Total Football” about Colin Kaepernick? I refuse to look it up and spoil the meaning of this song for myself. Anyone who says football isn’t political is an idiot. It’s very political because it’s very capitalistic, and Parquet Courts actually understand that.… Wide Awaaaaaake! is a very relevant political evolution for PQ, with signature catchy tunes about everything from feeding cats to global warming to why Tom Brady sucks.
— Troy Farah

Parquet Courts, Wide Awaaaaaake! Even Patriots fans dig the “fuck Tom Brady” coda of “Total Football.”
— Michael Fournier

On Wide Awaaaaaake!, Parquet Courts, the last (?) of the great downtown New York art-guitar bands, get woke, attacking everything from violence and global warming deniers to Patriot QB Tom Brady in the most remarkable cultural shift since the Beasties’.
— Roy Trakin

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Pazz & Jop Comments: Ladies First

For these lists, I always gravitate toward music that says something about the year, whether it’s the world at large or simply my little place in it. Low’s Ones and Sixes helped me make sense of a chaotic 2015 that involved moving and the selling and buying of houses with two young kids in tow. A Tribe Called Quest’s We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service was the perfect antidote to a divisive election season in 2016. (If there’s one thing my friends and I can all agree on, it’s A Tribe Called Quest.) Julien Baker’s Turn Out the Lights was my window into one woman’s brutally/beautifully honest attempt at trying to figure it all out when you’re in your twenties. This year, Merrill Garbus’s work as Tune-Yards felt necessary and funky and brave, like both a response to, and soundtrack for, the kind of digital world we now can’t escape. And my kids loved singing along to “Heart Attack.”

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[Until this year] Pazz & Jop has awarded its Album of the Year designation to just two female artists, one of them being the woman who also happened to make my favorite record of 2018. Is this a fault specific to P&J? And maybe a fault specific to me, as one of its voters? (I’m a white guy about to turn forty, I should mention.) P&J is made up of hundreds of critics; it’s only as pure as its critics. (Atticus Finch, in To Kill a Mockingbird: “A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men” — men! — “who make it up.”) Pitchfork’s track record in giving female artists Album of the Year honors over the same time period is about the same (members of Arcade Fire in 2004; brother-sister duo the Knife in 2006; Solange in 2016; Mitski in 2018), while the Grammys — whose outgoing president last year told women to “step up” if they want more opportunities in the music business — actually fare much better in this category (Lauryn Hill, Norah Jones, Dixie Chicks, Alison Krauss, Taylor Swift, Adele), as long as we don’t think too much about gender and race at the same time. So what to even make of a “best of” list anymore? What did I miss? What did I not hear? Did holding something up mean I was pushing something else down?
— Michael Pollock

The underdog but undeniable standout project from Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music’s summer rollout plan was this eye-opening project that proves Teyana Taylor has tons more to offer as a musician. Even after Pusha T declared Daytona the rap album of the year, he said Taylor’s K.T.S.E. was the best G.O.O.D. project in 2018.
— Jeff Benjamin

Taylor Swift, “Delicate”: When the fireworks of “Look What You Made Me Do,” “…Ready for It?,” and “End Game” fizzled, it was this low-key musing that gave her reputation its necessary jolt. A comforting companion on a rainy night that proves the depths of Swift’s palette are much more interesting than its flash.
— Trevor Anderson

Rosalía: Illuminating a 13th-century manuscript with beats and brains and root-chakra energy, this enrapturing 21st-century encounter with flamenco made my ears feel new the way nothing else did this year.
— Ann Powers

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Australian trio Camp Cope grab a fistful of garage punk, a fistful of bubblegum pop, and a fistful of folk and braid those strands together into a gloriously fun and endlessly catchy style. The second record from singer-guitarist Georgia McDonald, bassist Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich, and drummer Sarah Thompson, How to Socialise & Make Friends is a jolt of energy, with sing-along anthems brimming with righteous anger, feminist critiques, and introspective determination.
— Eric Swedlund

Neko Case, Hell-OnAlmost too sprawling and impassioned for its own good, but a grand-scale reminder of Case’s skills as a vocalist, songwriter, and producer.
— Mark Deming

https://youtu.be/syi60tUIP48

Conscious hip-hop (do people still say that?) with neo-soul touches. Compared to the other two woman-fronted hip-hop records on my list, this is less pop but more “musical” than Tierra Whack, and more immediate but arguably less interesting than the Jean Grae & Chris Quelle record. However, Noname can rap, and some of her verses were the most memorable things I heard in 2018. 

“Fucked the rapper homie, now his ass is making better music/My pussy teaches ninth-grade English/My pussy wrote a thesis on colonialism/In conversation with a marginal system in love with Jesus/Y’all still thought a bitch couldn’t rap, huh?”

“But I love you even though we’re not meant to be, I still love you/I hope you find everything that you want, and she loves you/Everything is everything just know that I love you.”

“And yes and yes, I’m problematic too.”

Musically, the tracks run the gamut from straight funk to string ballads to Caribbean faux-calypso groove, and if Noname’s not necessarily a virtuoso MC, she gets her point across with no strain. One to watch.
— Dominique Leone

Mitski, Be the CowboyEverything has gone to hell. The country, the relationship, the hope. It’s all just gone bad, and all we have is the memory, and the hope that it all gets better. Never has being sad sounded so lush and lovely.
— Jaime-Paul Falcon

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Tracey Thorn, alternative rock’s big sister in the Nineties, became a mother, yet the men who run it can’t deal with a mom who still loves to dance to the “same old shit” she calls it.
— Alfred Soto

“There is no resolution,” Robyn sings on Honey, dismantling the notion that her long-awaited full-length return will deliver answers that are easy to swallow. Still, Robyn makes the world go down smooth. In making Honey, the Swedish icon abandons many traditional structures while submerging in her club-kid roots, resurfacing through the filter of her life, loves, and losses. Robyn is still sexy without commercializing female sexuality, and still demonstrates her minimal-beat, major-chord-chorus dance pop that has been so influential on artists like Lorde, Carly Rae Jepsen, Troye Sivan, and more. Simultaneously happy and sad and something beyond, Honey holds truths both banal and complex — and makes them float.
— Katie Moulton

Tierra WhackWhen was the last time a brand-new artist made an opening statement this weird and lovable? We need her.
— Alex Frank

Soccer Mommy, “Your Dog”: In no uncertain terms, Sophie Allison turns the tables on Iggy Pop by kicking off the leash, pronouncing her independence, and biting the hand that presumably feeds her.
— Roy Trakin

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Kali Uchis , Isolation: As she shifts genres as effortlessly as she changes language, her obvious genius captures a mood that exists only at the yawning edges of a twilit Miami shoreline. And however real the power and sex at its core, they exist for you because she dreamt them up. She wants you to know that.
— Nick Farruggia

The Beths, Future Me Hates MePunkish pop-rock with a Nineties sheen that nonetheless totally inhabits the current moment, via sharp-as-nails songwriting and self-deprecating humor that rides an amped-up guitar-pop wave like nobody’s business.
— Dave Heaton

Lucy DacusThoroughly compelling, Historian is filled with excellent songwriting that is expertly supported by the music arrangement and production. The album also serves as a representative for her Boygenius project and her collaborators (Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker) and this whole generation of phenomenal singer-songwriters.
— Mike Berick

Pistol Annies, Interstate GospelIf a lot of modern country music is regurgitated Eagles, maybe we should start thinking of Miranda Lambert’s projects as the Stones revivified. Only since she’s not Mick, she’s not an asshole. Or at least not as much of an asshole.
— Rod Taylor

https://youtu.be/ynul6E4zUJ8

If only Boygenius was an album. If it was a full-length LP, it would be my album of the year. But it’s just a wee bit too short at six songs, its only flaw. But I’ll forgive Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus for keeping things short and sweet — they’re busy, and in high demand. And their collaborative album might just be their greatest work of all. These three women just get each other. They’ve had such parallel experiences, and their sisterly bond shines through the EP’s all-too-short 22 minutes.
— Ellen Johnson

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No album has so confidently and concisely chronicled the chaotic life of a twentysomething pop star — from a tragic bombing outside of a tour stop to a whirlwind romance and spontaneous engagement — more so than Ariana Grande’s Sweetener. And though such situations are entirely unique to Grande, she still emerged this year as one of music’s most relatable personalities. Her consistent presence on Instagram and Twitter aside, there was only one format on which her story could be perfectly packaged: the album. Despite debate over the format’s future, Grande, knowingly or not, became the poster child for its importance. (Even if she did claim on Twitter that she doesn’t want to conform to a routine or formula anymore). Sweetener gave fans the most intimate look at Grande’s life yet, one that even a selfie couldn’t capture, because it was a direct line into her heart and mind. It’s as if she tore a page straight from her diary with of-the-moment interlude “Pete Davidson,” and on closer “Get Well Soon” she gifted listeners with a swelling instructional ballad on self-care told from firsthand experience. And even though so much of Grande’s life has drastically changed in the five months since the album’s release, with some moments, like the untimely death of her friend and ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, being more bitter than others, that’s exactly what makes this album so special. Its sweetness will forever be preserved.
— Lyndsey Havens

Although you can find lots of bemused critical commentary about the fact that Cardi B’s pop crossover success was largely driven by cameo appearances on a cable television series, there has been less journalistic punditry on how big a push scripted TV dramas like Star and Insecure continue to give new singles and original soundtrack albums.

The musical protagonists in Lee Daniels properties like Empire and Star might chew the scenery more than many would like, but these extra shenanigans don’t stop them from putting out some mighty fine singles. Making songs available right after viewing seems to have replaced radio rotation as the most effective way to “break” new recordings. With both Star and Issa Rae’s Insecure having successfully wrapped their third seasons, it seems imprudent not to critically address how such female-centered and music-driven shows (created and/or directed by black talent) came to enjoy repeated commercial success. It is, after all, an intriguing phenomenon.

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I suspect the teen-to–late-twenties demographic is slowly shifting established paradigms for nighttime soap operas, daytime talk shows, and reality TV. That’s why, for me, 2018 begged the musical question: “What will post-ratched pop culture look and sound like?”

This query pivots around the fact that (contrary to the online Urban Dictionary) the terms “ratched” and “wretched” aren’t really synonyms. Neither term glibly equates poverty with stupidity, or having money with intelligence. But being genuinely ratched can also be a cynical, deliberate pose, whereas being genuinely wretched cannot. Class determines the state of being wretched in ways it can neither define nor determine the fluid, deceptive role of being ratched.

Entertainers like Wendy Williams and Cardi B — despite a vast difference in their ages and backgrounds — deliberately adopted media personalities that straddle the line between being “low-class” and being streetwise. This shrewdly includes making an audience want to behave (vicariously) like them.

When performing, Cardi B currently does this better than Williams (or Nicki Minaj, or Remy Ma, or almost all her musical competition) because the emotionally complex, contemplative candor of songs like “Be Careful” steers slyly away from where the old ratched formulas of diss and shady brags have gotten stale. In her melodic and lyrical choices, Cardi B attempts a significant shift in the way the ratched meme presents and interprets itself.

Years of Jerry Springer Showstyle cat fights on various networks, plus Bravo’s Grand Guignol Housewives franchise, have addicted Americans to consuming embarrassment theater in great quantity. There is nothing morally elevated about it. Instead, the performers and themes of embarrassment theater too often earn fans by making audiences feel superior to who and what entertains them.

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Accordingly, rap stars, actors, and talk show hosts alike have become masters of snarky condescension and schadenfreude. But every major pop trend eventually starts to wane, including the unwholesome celebration of embarrassing or scandalous behavior.

2018’s ill-advised attempt to turn one of Dr. Phil’s attitudinal teen guests into a rapper named Bhad Bhabie proves it takes more than televising a laughably undercivilized demeanor to attract enough attention to launch a recording career. Appealing to people’s voyeuristic curiosity alone won’t work.

I wish Bhad Bhabie well, but even she should be wary of anyone trying to run a Kesha con on her by marketing a borderline personality disorder as comedy or as ratched wigger chic.

If Cardi B’s best tunes are any indication, she presages a new type of ratched pop star who is not content to make bank off of burlesquing herself or some train wreck of a life. Hopefully those fans looking to feel better about themselves by laughing at the ratched will develop better taste once they find a shrewd court jester has replaced the geek in the carnival.

Perhaps the popularity of embarrassment theater developed as a counterbalance to the increasingly fascist tone of politically correct rhetoric. Sneering at the whole human race became acceptable as soon as scapegoating specific individuals or groups was not. But that trend has touched the bottom of the pool and is already heading back up to the light and air. The world of music and topics to sing or rap about is wide. And if the ratched take advantage of all the opportunities this world can offer, they will transcend — not just take over — the pop chart.
— Carol Cooper

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Pazz & Jop Comments: Let Us Now Praise Kacey Musgraves

2018 was the year of the non-consensus. Publications and blogs were all over the place in their choices for album of the year, which I think is a good thing and indexes a healthy music ecosystem. But for me, personally, there was no doubt in my mind. I knew my favorite album of 2018 the first time I heard it. Until I worked in music, I’d often been stingy toward country music. Despite having lived in the South my whole life, I hated the small-town tropes, weepy twang, and songs about beer and trucks. But Kacey Musgraves’s Golden Hour showed me country is so much more than that. Her crossover appeal is strong, somehow having found favor with pop fans, snobby hipsters, and even the LGBT community (she recently appeared on an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars). So, in Golden Hour, I discovered not only my new favorite record, but also an entirely new genre. Musgraves, with her genius wordplay, sun-soaked production, and disco leanings, showed me that country music isn’t at all what I thought. Thanks to her, I’m now a proud fan of Margo Price, the Pistol Annies, and so many other progressive country women, and I’ve even learned to embrace the classics, too, like Dolly and Loretta. There’s a whole lot of room in my heart for Sturgill and Jason, too, and 2018 was the year that showed me everything country is and can be. I owe it all to Kacey. Golden Hour made a country convert out of me, and for that, I’m forever thankful.
— Ellen Johnson

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Same Trailer Different Park: weed
Pageant Material: whiskey
A Very Kacey Christmas: eggnog, but not enough
Golden Hour: acid
She can keep it up so long as she skips heroin. Nobody wants to hear: “Livin’ on a hope and a prayer/Sitting shootin’ dope in my granddaddy’s chair.
— 
Nick Farruggia

In the year when plenty of country younguns, including Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini, drifted into pop, 2018’s best crossover effort belongs to Kacey Musgraves. Her country twang marries just as well to ballads as it does to disco beats. It’s a pleasant stroll through the county fair…while you’re on acid.
— Trevor Anderson

What’s most irresistible about the album it its Daft Punkness. Nearly two decades after Faith Hill went a little Cher on “The Way You Love Me,” country’s gradual embrace of EDM and hip-hop production tropes has proceeded in fits and starts (rest in peace, Avicii). But Musgraves and her ace team of Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk offered a fully realized collection of from-the-ground-up electro-twang gems, with everything from banjos that sound like they’re played at the bottom of a ravine to synths that squeal with delight. I needed this album this year.
— Chris Molanphy

The whole album’s great, but with “Space Cowboy,” Musgraves reinvented her genre as coolly as someone exhaling cannabis mist from a vape pen.
— Ann Powers

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This doesn’t sound much like a country album to me, apart from the banjo played on almost all its songs. As of the time I write this, Golden Hour has only sold 120,000 copies, but it’s reached an audience that rarely listens to mainstream country music. But genre tags don’t matter much. Musgraves expresses a fairly unique perspective: She’s full of an innocent, frequently stoned wonder that’s fully capable of recognizing toxic men and telling them to fuck off out of her life.
— Steve Erickson

Because in the Trump era, the YUGE-est recording should be from a female country singer on acid.
— Steve Forstneger

Country meets Lite FM for the most earnest, heartwarming, and cohesive album of the year. Should win the top prize at the Grammys.
—Alex Frank

Country pop taken in a sunlit, daydream, philosophical direction. Filled with clever turns and breathtaking moments; it is possible still for an album to keep surprising.
— Dave Heaton

A chill ride where Musgraves celebrates the glow of her marriage, the magic of nature, and the general joys of life.
— Paul Robicheau

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Our baby boy was born in early 2018. Through much trial and error, it became clear that Golden Hour was the wee lad’s car seat soundtrack of choice. I cherish Spacey Kacey for her infant-soothing properties as much as for her innovative, clear-eyed take on contempo-country.
— Gabe Vodicka

From the electropop of “High Horse” to the rustic psychedelia of “Slow Burn” to the stadium tour with Harry Styles, Musgraves’s creative risks rankled purists, but the CMA award for Album of the Year confirms that her resemblance to the genre-spanning Bobbie Gentry is more than just skin deep.
— Kathy Fennessy

Musgraves expanded her sound — and her mind — with the psychedelic country stylings of her fourth LP. Her accomplished songwriting continues to improve, too, from the hoedown funk of “High Horse” to the twangy strut of “Butterflies.”
— Eric Renner Brown

It took Kacey Musgraves’s CMA Awards performance of “Slow Burn,” in November, to open this record up for me beyond the “country for people who don’t like country” bullshit hype. And I’m glad it finally happened, because, goddamn, the songwriting here. And — much less credited, but no less deserving — her singing! The epitome of gorgeous.
— Thomas Inskeep

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Pazz & Jop Voters Ballots: 2018 Singles

Click the names below to see which singles our critics voted for in this year’s poll. To see which albums they voted for, click HERE.

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Pazz & Jop Voters Ballots: 2018 Albums

Click the names below to see which albums our critics voted for in this year’s poll. To see which singles they voted for, click HERE.

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Pazz & Jop: The Top 50 Singles of 2018

America’s critical establishment has spoken, naming Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” the top single of the yearAll told, this year’s Pazz & Jop Music Critics Poll featured nearly 400  voters and over 1,400 songs. Listen to the Top 50 Singles on Spotify, and check out the year’s top albums HERE.

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Pazz & Jop: The Top 100 Albums of 2018

For the 45th (or 46th) time since 1971, America’s critical establishment has spoken, with Kacey Musgraves’s Golden Hour narrowly beating out Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer for the number one spotAll told, this year’s Pazz & Jop Music Critics Poll featured nearly 400 voters and over 1,200 albums, with all five top spots taken by female artists for the first time ever. Check out the year’s top 50 singles HERE.

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Pazz & Jop: Top 10 Singles by Year, 1979–2017

1979 

1. Ian Dury & the Blockheads: “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”/”Reasons to Be Cheerful, Pt. 3”

2. M: “Pop Musik”

3. Donna Summer: “Hot Stuff”

4. (Tie) Sister Sledge: “We Are Family”/”He’s the Greatest Dancer”
The Pretenders: “Stop Your Sobbing”/”The Wait”

6. (Tie) Fleetwood Mac: “Tusk”
The Knack: “My Sharona”

8. Blondie: “Dreaming”

9. (Tie) The Brains: “Money Changes Everything”
The Flying Lizards: “Money”

[related_posts post_id_1=”572924″ /]

1980 

1. Kurtis Blow: “The Breaks”

2. Joy Division: “Love Will Tear Us Apart”

3. Blondie: “Call Me”

4. (Tie) The Clash: “Train in Vain”/”London Calling”
Pretenders: “Brass in Pocket”

6. Stevie Wonder: “Master Blaster (Jammin’)”

7. John Lennon: “(Just Like) Starting Over”/Yoko Ono: “Kiss Kiss Kiss”

8. The Vapors: “Turning Japanese”

9. Lipps, Inc.: “Funkytown”

10 (Tie) Diana Ross: “Upside Down”
Bruce Springsteen: “Hungry Heart”

1981 

1. (Tie) Laurie Anderson: “O Superman”/”Walk the Dog”
Rolling Stones: “Start Me Up”

3. Grandmaster Flash: “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel”

4. (Tie) Kim Carnes: “Bette Davis Eyes”
Yoko Ono: “Walking on Thin Ice”

6. Tom Tom Club: “Genius of Love”

7. (Tie) Pete Shelley: “Homosapien”
Soft Cell: “Tainted Love”/”Where Did Our Love Go?”

9. Funky Four Plus One: “That’s the Joint”

10. Prince: “Controversy”

1982 

1. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: “The Message”

2. Marvin Gaye: “Sexual Healing”

3. The Clash: “Rock the Casbah”

4. Prince: “1999”/”How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore?”

5. Soft Cell: “Tainted Love”/”Where Did Our Love Go?”

6. Musical Youth: “Pass the Dutchie”

7. Pretenders: “Back On the Chain Gang”/”My City Was Gone”

8. Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force: “Planet Rock”

9. (Tie) ABC: “The Look Of Love”
Aretha Franklin: “Jump To It”
The Human League: “Don’t You Want Me”

[related_posts post_id_1=”572924″ /]

1983 

1. Michael Jackson: “Billie Jean”

2. The Police: “Every Breath You Take”

3. The Pretenders: “Back on the Chain Gang”/”My City Was Gone”

4. (Tie) Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force: “Looking for the Perfect Beat”
Prince: “Little Red Corvette”

6. Eddy Grant: “Electric Avenue”

7. Michael Jackson: “Beat It”

8. Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel: “White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)”

9. Run-D.M.C.: “It’s Like That”/”Sucker M.C.s”

10. Talking Heads: “Burning Down the House”

1984 

1. Prince: “When Doves Cry”/”17 Days”

2. Bruce Springsteen: “Dancing in the Dark”/”Pink Cadillac”

3. Tina Turner: “What’s Love Got to Do With It”

4. Hüsker Dü: “Eight Miles High”

5. Van Halen: “Jump”

6. Prince: “Let’s Go Crazy”/”Erotic City”

7. (Tie) Afrika Bambaataa & the Godfather of Soul James Brown: “Unity”
Run-D.M.C.: “Rock Box”

9. Chaka Khan: “I Feel for You”

10. (Tie) Cyndi Lauper: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
Cyndi Lauper: “Time After Time”

1985 

1. Artists United Against Apartheid: “Sun City”

2. Aretha Franklin: “Freeway of Love”

3. John Fogerty: “The Old Man Down the Road”/”Big Train (From Memphis)”

4. Hüsker Dü: “Makes No Sense at All”/”Love Is All Around”

5. Ramones: “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg”

6. Don Henley: “The Boys of Summer”/”A Month of Sundays”

7. Eurythmics: “Would I Lie to You?”

8. Lisa-Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force: “I Wonder If I Take You Home”

9. Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew: “The Show”/”La-Di-Da-Di”

10. Kate Bush: “Running Up That Hill”

1986 

1. Run-D.M.C.: “Walk This Way”

2. Cameo: “Word Up”

3. Prince & the Revolution: “Kiss”/”Love or Money”

4. Peter Gabriel: “Sledgehammer”

5 (tie). Billy Bragg: “Levi Stubbs’ Tears”
R.E.M.: “Fall on Me”
Timbuk 3: “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”

8. Steve Winwood: “Higher Love”

9 (tie). Public Image Ltd.: “Rise”
Talking Heads: “Wild Wild Life”

1987 

1. Prince: “Sign ‘O’ the Times”

2. Suzanne Vega: “Luka”

3. Los Lobos: “La Bamba”

4. Prince: “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man”/”Hot Thing”

5. M/A/R/R/S: “Pump Up the Volume”

6 (tie). Grateful Dead: “Touch of Grey”
Bruce Springsteen: “Brilliant Disguise”/”Lucky Man”
R.E.M.: “The One I Love”

9. Prince: “U Got the Look”/”Housequake”

10 (tie). Bruce Springsteen: “Tunnel of Love”
X: “Fourth of July”/”Positively Fourth Street”

1988 

1. Tracy Chapman: “Fast Car”

2. Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock: “It Takes Two”

3. Guns N’ Roses: “Sweet Child o’ Mine”

4. Prince: “Alphabet St.”

5. Midnight Oil: “Beds Are Burning”/”The Dead Heart”

6 (tie). Public Enemy: “Don’t Believe the Hype”/”Prophets of Rage”
Traveling Wilburys: “Handle With Care”

8. Bobby Brown: “My Prerogative”

9 (tie). Eric B. & Rakim: “Follow the Leader”
D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince: “Parents Just Don’t Understand”
The Primitives: “Crash”

1989

1. Public Enemy: “Fight the Power”

2. Neneh Cherry: “Buffalo Stance”

3. Soul II Soul: “Keep On Movin’ ”

4. Fine Young Cannibals: “She Drives Me Crazy”

5. Tone-Loc: “Wild Thing”

6. Young M.C.: “Bust a Move”

7. Madonna: “Like a Prayer”

8. The B-52s: “Love Shack”

9. Tom Petty: “Free Fallin’ ”

10. Rolling Stones: “Mixed Emotions”

1990 

1. Deee-Lite: “Groove Is in the Heart”/”What Is Love”

2. Sinéad O’Connor: “Nothing Compares 2 U”

3. Digital Underground: “The Humpty Dance”

4. Madonna: “Vogue”

5 (tie). Faith No More: “Epic”
Lisa Stansfield: “All Around the World”

7. Black Box: “Everybody Everybody”

8. Madonna: “Justify My Love”

9. Soho: “Hippychick”

10. Public Enemy: “Welcome to the Terrordome”

1991 

1. Nirvana: “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

2. R.E.M.: “Losing My Religion”

3. Naughty by Nature: “O.P.P.”

4. Geto Boys: “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”

5. Metallica: “Enter Sandman”

6 (tie). P.M. Dawn: “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss”
Crystal Waters: “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)”

8 (tie). Public Enemy: “Can’t Truss It”
Seal: “Crazy”

10. EMF: “Unbelievable”

1992 

1. Arrested Development: “Tennessee”

2. House of Pain: “Jump Around”

3. Kris Kross: “Jump”

4. En Vogue: “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)”

5 (tie). Arrested Development: “People Everyday”
Cypress Hill: “How I Could Just Kill a Man”/”The Phuncky Feel One”

7. Sir Mix-a-Lot: “Baby Got Back”

8. U2: “One”

9. The KLF: “Justified and Ancient”

10. Sophie B. Hawkins: “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover”

1993

1. The Breeders: “Cannonball”

2 (tie). Digable Planets: “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)”
Nirvana: “Heart-Shaped Box”

4. Dr. Dre: “Nuthin’ but ‘

G’ Thang”

5. Salt-N-Pepa: “Shoop”

6 (tie). Radiohead: “Creep”
Soul Asylum: “Runaway Train”

8. The Juliana Hatfield Three: “My Sister”

9. Urge Overkill: “Sister Havana”

10 (tie). Ice Cube: “It Was a Good Day”/”Check Yo Self”
Tony! Toni! Toné!: “If I Had No Loot”

1994 

1. Beck: “Loser”

2. Veruca Salt: “Seether”

3. Coolio: “Fantastic Voyage”

4. Warren G: “Regulate”

5. Beastie Boys: “Sabotage”

6. R.E.M.: “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?”

7. Pavement: “Cut Your Hair”

8 (tie). Hole: “Doll Parts”
Liz Phair: “Supernova”

10. Offspring: “Come Out and Play”

1995 

1. Coolio: “Gangsta’s Paradise”

2. Edwyn Collins: “A Girl Like You”
Alanis Morissette: “You Oughta Know”

4. Elastica: “Connection”

5. TLC: “Waterfalls”

6. Joan Osborne: “One of Us”

7. PJ Harvey: “Down by the Water”

8. TLC: “Creep”

9 (tie). Dionne Farris: “I Know”
Shaggy: “Boombastic”

1996 

1. Quad City DJs: “C’mon N’ Ride It (The Train)”

2 (tie). Beck: “Where It’s At”
Smashing Pumpkins: “1979”

4 (tie). Oasis: “Wonderwall”
Pulp: “Common People”

6. Busta Rhymes: “Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check”

7. The Chemical Brothers: “Setting Sun”

8 (tie). Beck: “Devils Haircut”
Blackstreet: “No Diggity”
Primitive Radio Gods: “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand”

1997 

1. Hanson: “MMMBop”

2. Chumbawamba: “Tubthumping”

3. The Verve: “Bitter Sweet Symphony”

4. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott: “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)”

5. Blur: “Song 2”

6. Cornershop: “Brimful of Asha”

7. The Chemical Brothers: “Block Rockin’ Beats”

8 (tie). Erykah Badu: “On and On”
Smash Mouth: “Walkin’ on the Sun”

10. The Notorious B.I.G. (featuring Puff Daddy and Mase): “Mo Money Mo Problems”

1998 

1. Fatboy Slim: “The Rockafeller Skank”

2. Lauryn Hill: “Doo Wop (That Thing)”

3. Beastie Boys: “Intergalactic”

4. Madonna: “Ray of Light”

5. Aaliyah: “Are You That Somebody?”

6. OutKast: “Rosa Parks”

7. Hole: “Celebrity Skin”

8. Fastball: “The Way”

9. Jay-Z: “Hard Knock Life”

10. Natalie Imbruglia: “Torn”

1999 

1. TLC: “No Scrubs”

2. Eminem: “My Name Is”

3. Len: “Steal My Sunshine”

4. Madonna: “Beautiful Stranger”

5. Backstreet Boys: “I Want It That Way”

6. Cher: “Believe”

7. Smash Mouth: “All Star”

8 (tie). Ricky Martin: “Livin’ La Vida Loca”
The Roots: “You Got Me”

10. Santana featuring Rob Thomas: “Smooth”

2000

1. OutKast: “Ms. Jackson”

2. Eminem featuring Dido: “Stan”

3. OutKast: “B.O.B.”

4. U2: “Beautiful Day”

5. Madonna: “Music”

6. Nelly: “(Hot S**t) Country Grammar”

7. Eminem: “The Real Slim Shady”

8. Mystikal: “Shake Ya Ass”

9. Destiny’s Child: “Say My Name”

10 (tie). Aaliyah: “Try Again”
Macy Gray: “I Try”

2001 

1. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott: “Get Ur Freak On”

2. Gorillaz: “Clint Eastwood”

3. Jay-Z: “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”

4. Alicia Keys: “Fallin’ ”

5 (tie). Coldplay: “Yellow”
Pink: “Get the Party Started”

7. Eve feat. Gwen Stefani: “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”

8. Mary J. Blige: “Family Affair”

9. Weezer: “Hash Pipe”

10 (tie). Ryan Adams: “New York, New York”
Daft Punk: “One More Time”

2002

1. Missy Elliott: “Work It”

2. Eminem: “Lose Yourself”

3. Nelly: “Hot in Herre”

4. The Hives: “Hate to Say I Told You So”

5. Eminem: “Without Me”

6. The White Stripes: “Fell in Love With a

Girl”

7. Kylie Minogue: “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”

8. Nirvana: “You Know You’re Right”

9. Rapture: “House of Jealous Lovers”

10. Tweet: “Oops (Oh My)”

2003

1. OutKast: “Hey Ya!”

2. Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z: “Crazy in Love”

3. The White Stripes: “Seven Nation Army”

4. Kelis: “Milkshake”

5. 50 Cent: “In Da Club”

6. Johnny Cash: “Hurt”

7. Fountains of Wayne: “Stacy’s Mom”

8. R. Kelly: “Ignition — Remix”

9. Junior Senior: “Move Your Feet”

10. Panjabi MC featuring Jay-Z: “Beware of the Boys (Mundian To Bach Ke)”

2004 

1. Franz Ferdinand: “Take Me Out”

2. Jay-Z: “99 Problems”

3. Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris: “Yeah!”

4. Modest Mouse: “Float On”

5. Britney Spears: “Toxic”

6. Kanye West: “Jesus Walks”

7. Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell: “Drop It Like It’s Hot”

8. M.I.A.: “Galang”

9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: “Maps”

10. U2: “Vertigo”

2005 

1. Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx: “Gold Digger”

2. Amerie: “1 Thing”

3. Kelly Clarkson: “Since U Been Gone”

4. Gorillaz/De La Soul: “Feel Good Inc.”

5 (tie).Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley: “Welcome to Jamrock”
Gwen Stefani: “Hollaback Girl”

7 (tie). Franz Ferdinand: “Do You Want To”
Madonna: “Hung Up”

9. The White Stripes: “My Doorbell”

10. Three 6 Mafia featuring Young Buck & Eightball & MJG: “Stay Fly”

2006 

1. Gnarls Barkley: “Crazy”

2. T.I.: “What You Know”

3. Christina Aguilera: “Ain’t No Other Man”

4. Justin Timberlake featuring T.I.: “My Love”

5. The Raconteurs: “Steady, As She Goes”

6. Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland: “Promiscuous”

7. Justin Timberlake: “Sexyback”

8. Dixie Chicks: “Not Ready to Make Nice”

9 (tie). Lupe Fiasco: “Kick, Push”
Arctic Monkeys: “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”

2007 

1. Amy Winehouse: “Rehab”

2. Rihanna featuring Jay-Z: “Umbrella”

3. LCD Soundsystem: “All My Friends”

4. Feist: “1234”

5. Justice: “D.A.N.C.E.”

6. M.I.A.: “Paper Planes”

7. Kanye West: “Stronger”

8. UGK featuring Outkast: “International Players Anthem”

9. Peter Bjorn & John: “Young Folks”

10. Battles: “Atlas”

2008

1. MIA: “Paper Planes”

2. Estelle featuring Kanye West: “American Boy”

3. Beyoncé: “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”

4. MGMT: “Time to Pretend”

5. Lil Wayne: “A Milli”

6. Santogold: “LES Artistes”

7. Hercules & Love Affair: “Blind”

8. Coldplay: “Viva la Vida”

9. Kanye West: “Love Lockdown”

10. Fleet Foxes: “White Winter Hymnal”

2009 

1. Jay-Z (featuring Alicia Keys): “Empire State of Mind”

2. Phoenix: “1901”

3. Animal Collective: “My Girls”

4. Grizzly Bear: “Two Weeks”

5. Dirty Projectors: “Stillness Is the Move”

6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: “Zero”

7. Lady Gaga: “Bad Romance”

8. Girls: “Lust for Life”

9. Phoenix: “Lisztomania”

10. Taylor Swift: “You Belong With Me *”

2010 

1. Cee Lo Green: “Fuck You!”

2. Janelle Monáe (featuring Big Boi): “Tightrope”

3. Robyn: “Dancing on My Own”

4. Kanye West (featuring Pusha T): “Runaway”

5. Kanye West (featuring Dwele): “Power”

6. Kanye West (featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver): “Monster”

7. Big Boi (featuring Cutty): “Shutterbugg”

8. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti: “Round and Round”

9. The National: “Bloodbuzz Ohio”

10. Sleigh Bells: “Rill Rill”

2011

1. Adele: “Rolling in the Deep”

2. Beyoncé: “Countdown”

3. Nicki Minaj: “Super Bass”

4. M83: “Midnight City”

5. Jay-Z and Kanye West: “Niggas in Paris”

6. Azealia Banks: “212”

7 (tie). Britney Spears: “Till the World Ends”
Lana Del Rey: “Video Games”

9. Adele: “Someone Like You”

10 (tie). Tyler, the Creator: “Yonkers”
Foster the People: “Pumped Up Kicks”

2012 

1. Carly Rae Jepsen: “Call Me Maybe”

2. Miguel: “Adorn”

3. Usher: “Climax”

4. Frank Ocean: “Thinkin’ ’Bout You”

5. Japandroids: “The House That Heaven Built”

6. Taylor Swift: “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

7. Solange: “Losing You”

8. Gotye (featuring Kimbra.): “Somebody That I Used to Know”

9. Kanye West (featuring Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz): “Mercy”

10. Frank Ocean: “Pyramids”

2013 

1. Daft Punk (featuring Pharrell Williams): “Get Lucky”

2. Lorde: “Royals”

3. Haim: “The Wire”

4 (tie). Kanye West: “New Slaves”
Robin Thicke (featuring T.I. and Pharrell): “Blurred Lines”

6. Drake (featuring Majid Jordan): “Hold On — We’re Going Home”

7. Kanye West: “Black Skinhead”

8. Icona Pop (featuring Charli XCX): “I Love It”

9. Miley Cyrus: “We Can’t Stop”

10. Kanye West: “Bound 2”

2014 

1. Future Islands: “Seasons (Waiting on You)”

2. FKA Twigs: “Two Weeks”

3. Taylor Swift: “Blank Space”

4 (tie). Taylor Swift: “Shake It Off”
Kendrick Lamar: “I”

6. ILoveMakonnen (featuring Drake): “Tuesday”

7. Sia: “Chandelier”

8. Charli XCX: “Boom Clap”

9 (tie). Beyoncé (featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie): “****Flawless”
DJ Snake (featuring Lil Jon): “Turn Down for What”

2015

1. Drake: “Hotline Bling”

2. Kendrick Lamar: “King Kunta”

3. The Weeknd: “Can’t Feel My Face”

4. Kendrick Lamar: “Alright”

5. Courtney Barnett: “Pedestrian at Best”

6. Missy Elliott (featuring Pharrell Williams): “WTF (Where They From)”

7. Fetty Wap: “Trap Queen”

8. Mark Ronson (featuring Bruno Mars): “Uptown Funk”

9. Adele: “Hello”

10. Jamie xx (featuring Young Thug & Popcaan): “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)”

2016

1. Beyoncé: “Formation”

2. Kanye West: “Ultralight Beam”

3. Solange: “Cranes in the Sky”

4. Rae Sremmurd (featuring Gucci Mane): “Black Beatles”

5 (tie). A Tribe Called Quest: “We the People”
Mitski: “Your Best American Girl”

7. Leonard Cohen: “You Want It Darker”

8. David Bowie: “Lazarus”

9 (tie). David Bowie: “Blackstar”
Rihanna (featuring Drake): “Work”

2017 

1. Cardi B: “Bodak Yellow”

2. Kendrick Lamar: “HUMBLE”

3. Carly Rae Jepsen: “Cut to the Feeling”

4. Lorde: “Green Light”

5. Kendrick Lamar: “DNA”

6. Lil Uzi Vert: “XO TOUR Llif3”

7. St. Vincent: “New York”

8. Charli XCX: “Boys”

9 (tie). Future: “Mask Off”
Selena Gomez: “Bad Liar”

Categories
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A Chorus of Voices Defending Freedom of the Press

On Thursday, more than 300 newspapers across the country published editorials in protest of President Donald Trump’s characterization of the media as the “enemy of the people.” The Village Voice stands in solidarity with these newspapers and the #FreePress initiative:

Albuquerque Journal

Ames Tribune
Freedom of the press, our democracy, at risk under Trump

Anchorage Daily News

The Altamont Enterprise
Journalism needs a champion — you

The Athens News
In attacking journalists, Trump damages all Americans

Atlantic City Weekly
Joining in solidarity with the Boston Globe, others 

Athol Daily News
Trump’s media attacks are dangerous

Austin American-Statesman
Journalists are watchdog neighbors, not enemy of the people

The Baltimore Sun
News media won’t back down under pressure from president

Bangor Daily News
The media is the enemy only if you don’t want to know what your government is doing

The Berkshire Eagle
Trump’s assaults on press are assaults on democracy

The Bismarck Tribune
We aren’t the ‘enemy’ when covering news 

The Boston Globe
Journalists are not the enemy

Boise Weekly
No, we’re not your enemy. Never have been. Never will be

Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Journalists aren’t the enemy; we are you 

The Cape Cod Chronicle
Unmoored

Chicago Sun-Times
This newspaper is the ‘enemy’ of all that hurts ‘the people’

Chicago Tribune
Mr. President: We aren’t enemies of the people. We’re a check on government

The Chronicle-Express
We are not the enemy of the people

The Commons
Make no mistake: This attack on our free press — your free press — is deliberate and calculated

Chagrin Valley Today
Local news is real 

The Chronicle
The media are not the enemy 

The Columbian-Progress
The ultimate friend of the people

The Daily Free Press
Journalists are not the ‘enemy of the people,’ they are the people

The Dallas Morning News
We the people hold our elected officials accountable 

Daily Herald 
In midst of assaults, we must defend principles of First Amendment

Daily Hampshire Gazette
Journalists performing public service are not the enemy

Deadline Detroit 
We stand with our U.S. colleagues against ‘Fake News’ claims 

The Denver Post
Denver Post decries Trump’s attacks on journalists

Des Moines Register
Media are not the enemy of the people; a free press is critical to democracy

Detroit Free Press

Duluth News Tribune
Free press — our protection from tyranny

The Delaware County Daily Times
President Trump, we are not the enemy of the people

The Daily Item
Let’s Be Clear: We are not the enemy

El Diario
Defendemos la libertad de prensa

The Leader-Telegram
Phrases damaging for free press

The Elizabethtown Advocate
We need Freedom of the Press, not Freedom in name only

Ellwood City Ledger
Ledger joins nationwide call to action to defend attacks on journalists as ‘enemy of the American people’

Examiner Media
Newsprint tariffs and fake news mantra a threat to democracy

Falls City Journal
‘We are not the enemy, we are your peers, friends, and neighbors’ 

The Fayetteville Observer 
‘Fake news’ and all the president’s taunts

The Ferndale Enterprise
Way ahead of the curve

Forward
Why an independent press matters to American Jews

Fresno Bee
The Fresno Bee is not the enemy. We are Americans, and part of the Valley, like you

The Freeman Courier
‘Enemy of the people’ rhetoric damaging

The Gainsville Sun

The Grand Forks Herald
This is not fake news

Hartford Courant
The president wants you to think we’re the enemy. Here’s what we really do

Hays Free Press
We are the people

Henrico Citizen

Hillsboro Free Press
Discrediting media a dangerous plan

Hillsboro Tribune
The news isn’t “fake” just because you see things differently

Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Strong democracy needs a free press

Idyllwild Town Crier
Out Loud: Fake news, American institutions, and the presidency

The Journal Gazette

Journal Star
President Trump’s attacks on the press must stop

The Kansas City Star
President Trump, we’re not ‘enemies of the people.’ End your war on our free press

The Lakeville Journal
Perspective on truth, lies, respect, and hate

Manchester Journal
Press freedom is a Vermont value

Miami Herald
President Trump, we’re not ‘enemies of the people.’ End your war on our free press

Mercury News 
President Trump, we are not the nation’s enemy

The New York Times
A free press needs you 

New York Post
Hate the press all you want — we’ll keep reporting

The News & Observer

News and Tribune
We are defined by purpose, not the president

News Herald 
We are your defense

Omaha World-Herald 
Omaha World-Herald remains committed to our community and state

Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun Sentinel 
President Trump, the press isn’t the ‘enemy’ — it’s America’s watchdog

The Orange County Register
The president’s dangerous dubbing of media as America’s enemy

The Palm Beach Post

Panama City News Herald
We are your defense

The Post-Standard
Journalists are not the ‘enemy of the people’

The Plymouth Review
This dirty war against the press must end

The Providence Journal
Trump attacks the messenger

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Stop the war on a free press

Queens Courier and the Ridgewood Times
Stop attacking the press! Remember the First Amendment of our Constitution

Rapid City Journal

The Register-Mail 
We believe in power of good journalism

The Ripon Commonwealth Press
One thing worse than the ‘enemies of the American people’…

Real Change News
There has never been a more critical time to engage in free speech

San Antonio Express-News

The San Diego Union-Tribune
How we restore faith in journalism

The Sag Harbor Express
We are the people

The Santa Fe New Mexican

The Seward County Independent
Trump’s attacks on media unfair 

Sentinel of Gloucester County
Call for action to protect the freedom of the press

The Star News
Trump’s attacks on press go too far

The Star-Ledger

The Sun Chronicle
Sun Chronicle joins others in emphasizing importance of free press 

Swift County Monitor-News
Attacks on journalists will lead to violence

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Stand in defense of the truth. Don’t let Trump label journalists as ‘the enemy’

The Star Democrat
Trump is the source, not subject, of fake news

Sun Sentinel
President Trump, the press isn’t the ‘enemy’ — it’s America’s watchdog 

The San Luis Obispo Tribune
We’re not your enemy. We’re journalists who cover the real news of SLO County

Society of Professional Journalists
The press isn’t ‘fake’

The Star News
Trump’s attacks on press go too far

The Star Democrat
Your local newspaper is your neighbor

The Swellesley Report
Is humble Wellesley news site an ‘Enemy of the People?’

Tampa Bay Times
Journalists are friends of democracy, not the enemy

The Telegraph

Toledo Blade
No more enemies

The Topeka Capital-Journal
Press isn’t ‘enemy of the people’

Tri-City Herald 
President Trump, we’re not ‘enemies of the people.’ End your war on our free press

Valdosta Daily Times

Valencia County News Bulletin
We are not the enemy; we are the people

Van Buren County Democrat
Friends like these

Whitman-Hanson Express
We stand for press freedom