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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".

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J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only

A deeply personal album 4 Your Eyez Only represents J. Cole's most mature and cohesive record to date.

Music

Frank Ocean and a Short History of Spite Albums

Frank Ocean's Endless, the decidedly less commercial of his two recent releases, might just be a victory for artists who've been forced to release music to fulfill contractual obligations. Here's a look at some of history's more significant spite albums.

Sports

The Five Best (And Five Worst) Super Bowl Commercials of 2016

There were touchdowns and fumbles in this year's mostly lackluster crop of ads, plus one commercial that left us conflicted.

Music

Why the "Blurred Lines" Lawsuit Verdict Was a Mistake

No matter how much one dislikes "Blurred Lines", it's hard to see how the victory of the Gaye estate will be beneficial to artists in the future.

Music

Marvin Gaye and Mos Def: Yasiin Gaye: The Return (Side Two)

Yasiin Gaye swings back around for round two of the long-playing soul/hip-hop mashups. Nice.

Music

Various Artists: The Motown 7s Box Volume 2

The second set of Northern Soul-flavored 7x7"-singles from the legendary soul label highlights just how tough it is to consider the Motown sound objectively these days.

Music

Marvin Gaye: The Soul Legend

A few sweet lessons in life and love from a soul legend.

Music

Ain't Talking 'Bout Love: Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

During a week where you're bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.

Music

10 Great Comeback Singles

The year 2013 is already setting itself out to be the Year of the Comeback. In acknowledgement, Sound Affects looks at ten fantastic returns by artists who had lost their mojo and/or been away for far too long.

Reviews

'Pop When The World Falls Apart' Casts No Doubt on the Future of Music Criticism

From the Carpenters to Katrina to black metal and the Black Rock Coalition, Pop When The World Falls Apart covers all the contemporary concerns of musicians and their audiences.

Music

Lou Ragland: I Travel Alone

One of soul’s underrated voices, resurrected by archive specialists Numero Group on their 3-CD/4-LP retrospective.

Music

What's So Funny About Peace, Love, and the Power of Music?

Denise Sullivan represents the insider intellectual stamina of rock 'n' roll journalism without the pomp and pretense. She is the past and future of the form, rolled into one uncanny style.

Music

My Top 5: Hurricane Bells

After soundtracking a bit of Twilight: New Moon and releasing a lovely new record earlier this year, Hurricane Bells' Steve Schiltz takes us through his top five favorite albums of all-time, all while wondering why more kids don't love the Edge . . .

Music

On Making that Holiday Music List and Checking It Twice

It's that time of the year, again. Music fans are making their lists of what they hope to find wrapped in pretty paper at Christmas, and music publications are making their lists of what should be on those lists. Now, I have something to say about lists.

Music

Various Artists: Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love

The music is uniformly solid, even groovy. But there’s a sweetness to the singles.

Music

Counterbalance: Year One

In this special one-year anniversary edition of Counterbalance, Eric Klinger and Jason Mendelsohn discuss their first year combing through the pop music canon (as determined by Acclaimed Music's calculations of every best-of list available), share a few favorites, and justify a couple items on their expense account.

Music

Robin Thicke: Sex Therapy

Sex Therapy isn't sexy, but it's mildly enjoyable and isn't as embarrassing as it could have been.

Music

The Messengers

K'naan's The Messengers series is a trilogy of episodes designed to highlight the genius of Nigeria's Fela Kuti, Jamaica's Bob Marley, and the United States' Bob Dylan.

Music

What It Was Like

In the early '80s Detroit, Motown was as unquestionable as air. Who didn't like air?

Music

What's Going On: Marvin Gaye's Liberation from the Motown Sound

When Obie Benson of the Four Tops brought him a song he had co-written with Al Cleveland, Marvin Gaye found something that had reflected the way he had been feeling ever since Tammi Terrell's death -- anger, sadness, and disillusionment about his friend's death and the chaotic world around him.

Music

Twirling the Dial: My Motown Memories

For those of us in tune with the sounds of the genre-redefining decade, a transistor radio was the seminal social sidekick. We loved listening to that little mono wonder, its tiny shrill speaker sparking a hundred journeys directly into the center of our mind.

Music

Marvin Gaye: Here, My Dear

Gaye put his frustrations and anger into one of the most painfully intimate song cycles in musical history and then released it to the public, creating a time-delayed classic.

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The Best Re-Issues of 2007

From '60s soul to bluegrass and Krautrock to post-punk, PopMatters counts down the year's best re-issued albums.

Music

Various Artists: Slow Jams for Christmas

Recipe for a romantic Christmas -- light the candles, pop the bubbly, hang the mistletoe, and play this CD.

Reviews

Marvin Gaye: Greatest Hits Live in 76 [DVD]

Marvin Gaye sure knew how to woo his audience. Although he exuded sexuality, it was his great songs that gave his shows substance.

Music

Reflections: Motown in 1967

The latest installment in Hip-O Select's impressive reissue series, The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 7: 1967 collects every A-side and B-side released that year, including planned and deleted singles, as well as alternate and promotional mixes -- 120 tracks in all.

Music

"Real, Compared to What": Anti-War Soul

The original version of 'Compared to What' is a powerful example of black pop that wasn't afraid, echoing Audre Lorde, to speak truth to power.

Mark Anthony Neal

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