Best of 2021

Recent Ratings

Recent Reviews

veery -
85
“The Age of Adz” is undoubtedly the most challenging and polarizing of Sufjan Stevens’ consensus classic albums. But while the album requires more work and patience than “Illinois,” “Michigan,” or even the emotionally demanding “Carrie & Lowell,” it ultimately proves just as rewarding as anything else in Stevens’ catalogue. He recasts his past orchestral folk symphonies and travelogues into entirely new contexts, opting instead for ... read more
veery -
74
After the prolonged debacle that was the rollout and execution of her 2019 album “Love + Fear,” I had honestly written off Marina Diamandis — best known as Marina and the Diamonds, though now known as simply Marina. But “Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land” is a real turnaround and a surprising return to form for Diamindis; despite suffering from a few obvious flaws and occasional clunky lyrics, she manages to reiterate her unique voice and refreshing individualism in ... read more
veery -
84
Three decades now under his belt, Bill Callahan has put together a discography to rival most of his generation’s singer-songwriters, both under his own moniker and as Smog. So it’s a testament to “Knock Knock,” Smog’s final release of the 90s, that the album still feels like one of Callahan’s clear standouts over twenty years later. “Knock Knock” synthesizes the key musical qualifies from this first leg of Callahan’s career — his ... read more
veery -
63
There are few better musical outlets than the orchestrated country-soul-pop duet album for romantic partners, whether real or fictional, to express their doomed love. Trailblazed by the likes of Nancy and Lee, Gram and Emmylou, or even Richard and Linda for a particularly British iteration, the form is timeless enough that these duos remain instantly identifiable by first name alone. And while there have been some modern antecedents — think Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, or Jenny Lewis ... read more
veery -
67
Among contemporary self-described folk bands of women singing in close harmony, there’s a perpetual tendency towards overly glossy triple A radio production that clashes with an art form benefiting from analog simplicity. The Staves, a trio of sisters, have skirted this issue in past albums, but nearly get away with it thanks to their lovely voices and sturdy songcraft. Their 2015 full-length “If I Was” balanced moments of this festival-ready overproduction with glimmers ... read more

Shoutbox

Aug 10, 2021
love your reviews! definitely going to find some cool new recommendations here :)
Jul 29, 2021
happy you are enjoying Twain. we can both thank Mr. Buck Meek for the recommendation.
Jul 11, 2021
hey, you have a great taste in lofi indie! love your heavenly atta girl review!
Jan 8, 2021
Hey, I’m asking some of my favourite AOTY users to give me some recommendations now that my country is back in Lockdown. I’m doing a theme every week just to try and get me into some new genres/locations, and hopefully I’ll get enough responses to facilitate an AOTD type thing. Of course, if you’d like to get into some new stuff then ofc feel free to join me!

The theme I’ve chosen for the first week is Best Album from South America as I feel like it’s an area I’m not too aware of musically.

Thanks in advance :)
Dec 9, 2020
Oklahoma Lottery sure is a great record, as I just recently discovered her (thank U) I see it grows with each listening. Superb songwriting
Dec 7, 2020
Thanks for the thanks,as you might have noticed in my reviews I even listened to Karen Jonas´ recent record. Actually it grows with each listening.
Dec 4, 2020
Finally a great source of recommendations esp. in the overlooked corners of the AOTY multiverse. I love the way you write, concise and respectfull towards the subject of your analysis. Even if you bash sth. you still take your time to burry it in a thorough way ( e.g. Sam Hunt)
Oct 4, 2020
Wow you're so dedicated, loved your Gabe Lee review.
May 27, 2020
Thank you very much, I appreciate your comment!

In fact there are several simple criteria: the first is that if it is a "classic" or unavoidable album, it is automatically reviewed. Then I restrict my selection to albums that are important for the evolution of music in the global sense (for example the invention of a style of music, a significant innovation etc...) or a major change in the format of the album (Revolution technologies, artistic choice, concept etc...) even if in the end they are not necessarily incredible. Knowing that I try to offer the most interesting content possible so when I have to choose between several albums of the same artist, if I think it is better to be relevant on only 1 album, I will only review this one, or nothing at all. Finally, the goal is also to highlight or pay tribute to some underestimated or simply little known albums, which are excellent without necessarily changing the history of music.



I hope I have answered your question :)
Sep 25, 2019
Wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it <3
Super excited to see what you have in store :)

About

I basically only listen to things I think I'll like, so my scores skew high. 60 = average, 70 = good, 90+ = all-time fave.

Rating Distribution

100
 

90-99
 
44

80-89
 
423

70-79
 
490

60-69
 
325

50-59
 
110

40-49
 
32

30-39
 
11

20-29
 
4

10-19
 
2

0-9
 
2

Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.
Advertisement

Recent Lists

Favorite Albums of 2020 (as of 12/31/20) Honorable Mentions: Andy Shauf, Anna Burch, Annie, Ashley McBryde, Bright Eyes, The Chicks, Eve Owen, Hinds, Jennifer Castle, Johanna Warren, Kacey ...
Updated 8mo agoRanked 1
As of December 31, 2019
Updated 1y agoRanked 4
Favorite Albums of 2019 (as of 12/30/19) Honorable mentions: Aldous Harding, Bat for Lashes, Kate Davis, Michaela Anne, Miranda Lambert, The National, Steel Blossoms, Stef Chura, The Tallest Man on ...
Updated 1y agoRanked
Member since December 26, 2016
Advertisement

September 2021 Playlist
Forums