The list I present you below consists of albums that I’ve found the most interesting, moving, thought-provoking, and left me with some kind of a bind to both the music itself and the period of time when they were released. I hope you’ll find that kind of connection as well. So, please, enjoy the list of 20 studio albums I’ve enjoyed the most in 2020. There are no compilation LPs, no live albums, no re-releases. Only newly-published studio releases.
Well, so that's that. 2020 has ended. And there's not that much left to add. It was hard, but we survived. And there were some great songs, which helped us with that. They supported us, guided us through anxiety and sorrow, and lifted us up. Let's listen to them, together. (Order is non-evaluative.)
Believe it or not, but each year choosing the best songs was always a more difficult task than the best albums. Mostly because there are so many of them. And we often forget about a huge majority of the great ones. Unsurprisingly, picking 2010s best songs was an extremely hard job, if not impossible, because … Continue reading The Best of 2010s: Songs
The contemporary music industry is radically different from its state 10 or 15 years ago. And the model we're witnessing right now does not favor LPs. They're often considered a format of the past, an overly-artistic attempt to revive Pink Floyd-esque sentiments. And it's been that way for a long time. In fact, this topic … Continue reading The Best of 2019: Albums
Was 2019 as breathtaking as Keanu? Well, it was not great, not terrible. Let's find that out by ourselves and have the last laugh while listening to this set of dance anthems, tearjerking emotional rollercoasters, rocking headbangers - the best music 2019 had to offer.
Originally my goal was to finish writing a draft version of my dissertation before Christmas, later rescheduled to mid-January. Eventually, I finished writing on January 19th, exactly 360 days after creating the first doc file on my laptop. After that, I was advised to take a break and proceed to edit after a few weeks. … Continue reading The Sound of a City: Project Update
This is an issue we all know too well, or maybe we're just unaware of the problem. Should we stop listening to our favorite songs because of artists' wrongdoings? Or should we stop watching TV shows for the same reasons? In the era when shameful behaviors of artists are thankfully no longer a secret, this becomes an ethical issue without a clear answer.
Let me be clear. This was not a good year for music. In fact, this was a bad year for music. And I don't mean deaths of musicians, tragedies, or other random sad or unfortunate events. Artistic level of albums released in 2018 was not satisfying to say at least. After a magnificent 2015 and … Continue reading The Best of 2018: Albums
The end of the year is a time of various summaries, including those musical. While I'm preparing a list of the best albums of 2018, I'm sharing the one with my favorite and probably the best songs I've heard in the last months. Unfortunately, for the second time in a row, we did not suffer … Continue reading The Best of 2018: Songs
It's been a few months. Actually, more than a few, but I finally added a new project update on ResearchGate! This is what I've been working on since March 2019 in relation to the Sound of a City project. My research stay at the University of Minnesota was concluded by Prince from Minneapolis symposium, where … Continue reading The Sound of a City: Project Update
Music is so much more than just sounds. It's a social experience. When embedded into local reality, it may influence identities, values, beliefs, it may change lives. It happened a lot. And sometimes localities want to pay homage to the music they found so crucial to their existence. Minnesota Timberwolves leaked City Edition uniforms is … Continue reading Minnesota Purple
Live music is important. Live music connects people. Live music can be a life-changing experience. If you do not believe it, read the report, even though it was made by world's leading company in live entertainment. http://investors.livenationentertainment.com/news-center/news-center-details/2018/Global-Study-Reveals-Why-Live-Music-Is-One-Of-The-Most-Powerful-Human-Experiences-And-The-Ultimate-Escape-From-Digital-Overload/default.aspx
Spotify's next step towards world domination. Or just another step for maintaining world domination, I should say. https://newsroom.spotify.com/2018-10-01/spotify-integrates-with-google-maps-for-music-on-every-mile-of-your-journey/
Everybody should notice how powerful and impactful the gaming industry is. Everybody should notice how powerful and impactful the streaming industry is. There is no doubt that both of them notice themselves. And they use it to their advantage... and our entertainment. https://newsroom.spotify.com/2018-08-24/find-the-perfect-gaming-music-on-spotify/
Place-specific music is a concept that is larger than songs or albums. It is also about taking care of one's place, environment, culture, or community. https://www.thisisinsider.com/stormzy-has-launched-a-scholarship-for-black-students-at-cambridge-2018-8
Oh, you mean Tin Pan Alley 2.0? New York Times creating an impressive audio-visual article about contemporary generic pop songs of the summer. Brief, general, without in-depth analysis, and with some risky theses, but the over-the-top form is an eye-candy. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/09/opinion/do-songs-of-the-summer-sound-the-same.html
Glover is on fire, and DAZED Magazine dissects the heat. http://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/39966/1/childish-gambino-this-is-america-meaning-jim-crow-dancing-liberty
Masterpiece. This is the first thing that came to my mind after listening to Dirty Computer. I can't remember the last time when my expectations for an album have been satisfied to such an extent. An album, which probably will have a similar cultural relevance as To Pimp a Butterfly or Lemonade. It's a manifestation … Continue reading Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer
Now is probably the best time ever to be a Prince scholar aka Princeologist. I am honored to be not only a member of a team of consultants, but also a speaker at this magnificent symposium. http://www.startribune.com/academics-take-aim-at-prince-in-symposium-april-16-18-at-u-of-m/478678993/
I wrote about this topic very briefly in my summary of 2017 in music, but this issue is so much more, and this article makes it very clear. Anyway, the last year was very weird for musical content, especially politically conscious one, I wonder if this will be any different. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-sxsw-sexual-misconduct-20180316-story.html
A lot of things happened in 2017. It was a year of emotions, bravery, and women's voices - sincerity, openness and reflexivity steered the way through our musical voyages, while trying to comprehend what was going on around us - globally and in our own private lives. As you can imagine, there is a great potential in such vibrant times … Continue reading The Best of 2017
This year was all about emotions, bravery, and women's voice. Bring back your memories with this compilation of what was the best about music in 2017 - sincerity, openness, and reflexivity. (The songs' order is non-evaluative.)
Let's experiment with our emotions. Or let's get emotional about our experiments. This mixture of alternative music, rock, and musical otherness will bring you to an other dimension.
One of the most hyped albums of the year turned out to be one of the most not-surprising ones. Remember when Bjork was making each of her LPs characteristic and different? This era ended with Biophilia. Vulnicura and Utiopia are both examples of a genius, who starts to record the same music all over again, … Continue reading Björk – Utopia
Screw it. Rock is the best. And it tastes great when served with a pinch of electronic flavor.
Delicate electronica meets acoustic sound. It's time for reflection, rest, relax, and a little bit of dancing.
Reworked By Detroiters shows two things: (a) Funkadelic is still a great listen with a ton of potential; (b) Detroit's music culture is still an extremely interesting aesthetic with a ton of potential. I've been listening to Funkadelic since high school, and I have to admit that after a while it become bored. I thought … Continue reading Funkadelic – Reworked By Detroiters
Be afraid. Set your speakers to an eclectic mashup of industrial rock and electronic music to spice up your week. These contradictions actually make a pretty, but a very nasty couple.
Let's get experimental, but keep soulful about it. It's not an easy listen, but it will surely take you on a spiritual journey.
Converge came back with their first new album in five years. And oh my, it was worth the wait.