The electropop universe was vast in 2020 with brilliant newish acts emerging, and experimentalists pushing the music forward. Meanwhile, a few legends returned to show us all how it's really done.
In this time of political unrest, racial strife, and pandemic, soul and R&B walked tall and carried a big stick, while also being a much needed balm and source of warmth in 2020.
Electronic music is a huge tent with many diverse approaches, and it's more international than ever with producers around the globe pushing music forward. The year's best albums featured returns from established talents, as well as ground-breaking newcomers.
We didn't turn to fiction for those much needed periods of escapism in 2020. Nor did we turn to fiction for answers, because of course, the best fiction doesn't provide "answers". We turned to these works of fiction for the questions they raise.
In the stormy year of 2020 PopMatters' staff have clung to anything seemingly solid with one hand while holding a good book in the other. Through it all, we are curious, engaged, and eager to share what we've read with you.
Alabama Slim's "Rock Me Baby" is music that stays mostly still, allowing the world to move around it and reveal its fullest heart and soul only when the listener becomes one with the music's masterful simplicity and quiet elegance.
In this excerpt of Claudrena N. Harold's new book, When Sunday Comes, gospel legend James Cleveland joins the amazing Aretha Franklin to raise the rafters in spirited song.
Ikette Claudia Lennear, rumored to be the inspiration for Mick Jagger's "Brown Sugar", often felt disconnect between her identity as an African American woman and her engagement with rock. Enjoy this excerpt of cultural anthropologist Maureen Mahon's Black Diamond Queens, courtesy of Duke University Press.