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The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.

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The Most Memorable Albums of 1999 (Part 5)

Part five of the Most Memorable Albums of 1999 is highlighted by the political rock of Rage Against the Machine and Joe Strummer, as well as major league hip-hop from Mos Def, Pharoahe Monch, Q-Tip, and Jay-Z.

Music

The Most Memorable Albums of 1999 (Part 4)

Part four of the most "memorable" music of 1999 brings a superb sophomore turn from the Dixie Chicks while Garth Brooks goes kinda nuts. British rock stands proud with Muse, Gomez, and Supergrass and the schlocky, corporate rock of Creed rockets to the top of the US charts.

Music

The Most Memorable Albums of 1999 (Part 3)

Part three of the Most Memorable Albums of 1999 sports the debuts of the White Stripes, Beyoncé, and Christina Aguilera and stellar electronic music from Basement Jaxx, the Chemical Brothers, and µ-Ziq.

Music

The Most Memorable Albums of 1999 (Part 2)

PopMatters is 20 and to celebrate we are looking back at the popular music that defined the year of our birth. Part two covers the most memorable albums from March through June, highlighted by monster hits from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Moby, and Travis.

Music

The Most Memorable Albums of 1999 (Part 1)

PopMatters is 20 this year -- until October when we are 21 -- and a 2009 special section celebrates the popular music that defined the year of our birth. Today we kick things off with albums from January through March, highlighted by Eminem's debut and stellar pop from XTC and Blur.

Music

Dancing in the Street: Our 25 Favorite Motown Singles

Detroit's Motown Records will forever be important as both a hit factory and an African American-owned label that achieved massive mainstream success and influence. We select our 25 favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America".

Film

The Top 10 Thought-Provoking Science Fiction Films

Serious science fiction often takes a backseat to the more pulpy, crowdpleasing genre entries. Here are 10 titles far better than any "dogfight in space" adventure.

Music

12 Essential Performances from New Orleans' Piano "Professors"

New Orleans music is renowned for its piano players. Here's a dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and a little something extra.

Music

10 Key Tracks From the British Synthpop Boom of 1980

It's 40 years since the first explosion of electronic songs revitalized the UK charts with futuristic subject matter, DIY aesthetics, and occasionally pompous lyrics. To celebrate, here's a chronological list of those Moog-infused tracks of 1980 that had the biggest impact.

Music

The 60 Best Albums of 2007

From tech house to Radiohead and Americana to indie and everything in between, the 60 best albums of 2007 included many of the 2000s' best albums.

Music

10 Essential Releases from 10 Years of Tri Angle Records

Tri Angle comes to an end as a label but begins as an important archive of electronic music. To celebrate these legendary 10 years of Tri Angle, here are 10 of their many essential releases.

Music

10 Great Little Richard Songs You've Never Heard

Little Richard is remembered best for his groundbreaking run of 1950s hits, but the late "Tutti Frutti" belter sporadically recorded gems over his last 50 years.

Music

The 10 Best Americana Albums of 2007

If 2007 didn't invite any gripping controversies, it was certainly filled with competitive comparisons -- between young and old, past and present, and among splintered factions -- and both surprising hits and disappointing misses. All in all, a dynamic and at times resurgent year for the broad scope of Americana.

Music

The Best 10 Electronic Albums of 2005

Journey back 15 years ago, as 2005's best electronic albums are so emotionally involved and organically expressive that it's easy to forget they were created with advanced technology.

Music

The Best Jazz Albums of 2010

Jazz was working all the angles in 2010. Is there any other genre that has as much range -- from solo instruments to big bands, from instrumental to vocal, from European musicians to both North and South Americans, from truly pretty music to raucously avant-garde "noise"?

Film

The 35 Best Films of 2010

The best films of 2010 include a fake documentary, a comedy about Jihad, a vampire story NOT dealing with tacky tween romance, a haunting hillbilly noir, and an elegant tale about clones. Not necessarily the usual cinematic suspects.

Music

The 10 Best Country Albums of 2010

The synthesis of the past, present, and future was so much of what country music was about in 2010. Country was still fairly male-dominated in the era, although the changing winds, wherein women would create the most forward-looking music, were already beginning to blow.

Music

The 10 Best Indie Pop Albums of 2010

2010 was a great year for indie-pop, with an assortment of new bands making an impression by putting a fresh new stamp on old sounds. Meanwhile, bands on their second, third, or fourth albums took their sound and refreshed it.

Music

The 20 Best Metal Albums of 2010

In 2010, the metal world honored the memory of Ronnie James Dio in the coolest possible way: by making it the best year for new music the genre saw in a very long time.

Music

The 10 Best R&B/Soul Albums of 2010

It was fashionable to say R&B was dead in 2010 because it wasn't the commercial force it was in the late '80s and '90s. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Music

The 10 Best Punk Albums of 2010

Punk rock gives voice to the hardest of times. As punk is a wide-ranging umbrella genre saturated with numerous subcultures, styles, aesthetics, and attitudes, making a list is more like trying to super-glue together a ripped and torn fanzine. But try, we must.

Film

The 25 Best Independent / International Films of 2010

Journey back to 2010 to experience the best independent and international films from a time when our biggest worries involved "wars on terror". These films are highlighted by a host of superb documentaries, a stellar film from China, and one of the finest works of "hillbilly noir" ever.

Music

The 15 Best World Music Albums of 2010

Africa dominated the world music scene in 2010 -- or at least, it dominated Western perceptions of what "world music" might be. That said, the new vinyl archeology could be seen at work in all areas and all eras of recorded music.

Music

The Best Hip-Hop Albums/Mixtapes of 2010

Epic, sleek, weed rap, emo, sociopolitical, gangsta, or house party? In which direction will hip-hop go? 2010 was a year for all of the above.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

The Cure's "Seaside" Cure for Sheltering at Home

In these times of pandemic turmoil and outright trauma, what better match does the tempestuous human soul have than the sea? And what better lyricist than the Cure's Robert Smith, who twins the wrath (or sadness) of the sea with similar human emotions?

Music

The 70 Best Albums of 2010

2010's best albums are highlighted by the emergence of a future superstar, two veteran and virtuoso rappers, and a Dream Team of indie bands releasing career peaks.

Music

The 10 Best Experimental "Albums" of 2010

It's not that more experimental-type music was made in 2010. It's just that more of it was getting heard.

Music

The 60 Best Songs of 2010

Journey back to 2010 for 60 slices of musical greatness highlighted by one of the most delightful expletive-ridden hits in pop music history.

Music

The 10 Best Indie Rock Albums of 2010

"Indie rock" is a term as amorphous and hard-to-pin-down as some of its associated lingo. But for our purposes here, we'll go with a line of demarcation strangely omitted from the discussion much of the time: the rock portion of the equation.

Music

The 10 Best Americana Albums of 2010

Journey to 2010, a splendid year for Americana. Then again, that’s something you can say just about any year given the sprawling range of sub-genres under Americana's vast umbrella.

Music

The 10 Best Electronic Albums of 2010

Let's take a journey to Pop Past and re-experience the best electronic albums from a decade ago. Many electronic sounds in 2010 remained in the margins, using the lexicon of its predecessors to define what they were.

Music

The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 5, Joy Division to Gang of Four

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we conclude with part five featuring Joy Division, Gang of Four, Talking Heads and more.

Music

The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 4, James Chance to the Pop Group

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part four with Talking Heads, the Fall, Devo and more.

Music

The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 3, Echo & the Bunnymen to Lizzy Mercier Descloux

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part three with Echo & the Bunnymen, Cabaret Voltaire, Pere Ubu and more.

Music

The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 2, The B-52's to Magazine

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part two with the Cure, Mission of Burma, the B-52's and more.

Music

The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 1, Gang of Four to the Birthday Party

If we must #quarantine, at least give us some post-punk. This week we are revisiting the best post-punk albums of all-time and we kick things off with Gang of Four, Public Image Ltd., Throbbing Gristle, and more.

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