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The 10 Best Indie Pop Albums of 2019

As the dominance of guitar rock has faded among indie-leaning audiences, there has also been a spreading into the mainstream of sounds that would have been easily described as indie-pop a decade ago. Indie-pop styles show up in TV commercials, Hollywood movie soundtracks, and within mainstream pop and country hits.

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The 20 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2019

Following Stormzy's run up the charts, 2019 proved to be a banner year for British hip-hop with a trio of masterpieces. America's myriad hip-hop scenes delivered the goods, and African rap gave us many stellar releases.

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The 10 Best Indie Pop Albums of 2009

Indie pop in 2009 was about all young energy and autumnal melancholy, about the rush you feel when you first hear an exciting new band, and the bittersweet feeling you get when your favorite band calls it quits.

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Hatchie's 'Keepsake' Is Dream Pop for Our Doom

Hatchie's Keepsake contains nihilism and optimism at once.

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Faye Webster Beckons Us to Join the Club

If you didn't know our current era was rife with referential genre stylings used in pursuit of a genre-less pop sensibility, listen to Faye Webster's Atlanta Millionaires Club.

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The 10 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2018

From Kanye tweets to Drake and Pusha T diss tracks to literary masterpiece "This Is America", 2018 was quite the year for rap. But if we had to boil it all down to just 10 albums, we think these are the cuts that truly rose above and summed up 2018 the best.

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The Best Indie Pop of 2018

What's here, on our 13th annual attempt to showcase and define indie pop, through celebration and exclusion, are brand-new acts, fairly new acts, and a longtime favorite or two.

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The 15 Best Soul/R&B Albums of 2017

2017 has been a banner year for soul music of all stripes with a number of momentous debuts. All the while, R&B keeps pushing forward.

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The Best Country Music of 2017

There are many fine country musicians making music that is relevant and affecting in these troubled times. Here are ten of our favorites.

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The Best Hip-Hop of 2017

The hip-hop story is more exciting to follow than a lot of primetime TV as it changes and adapts, telling stories of so-called "minorities". These are the ten albums that we think tell the biggest stories of 2017's hip-hop scene.

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The Best Indie Pop of 2017

These ten bands share a perspective on the world that doesn't shy away from tough questions or feelings.

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Last Leaves - "The World We Had" (video) (premiere)

Former Lucksmiths return with lovelorn fuzz-pop.

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The Mountain Goats: Goths

Goths, like the Mountain Goats' music in general, is based on a deep understanding of what it feels to be out of step with the world, and of the sort-of communities built around that feeling.

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Kendrick Lamar: DAMN.

The title is our reaction to his verbal gymnastics, his brazenness. And it’s a question: are we damned?

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Guided By Voices: August By Cake

Setting “Pollard’s 100th LP” up as a historic marker may set up expectations the album isn’t prepared to deliver. At this point, it’s best to think of his discography as a raging river -- jump in, hold in for as long as you can handle it.

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Jake Xerxes Fussell: What in the Natural World

Some things are eternal. Beauty is one. Strangeness another. Brutality a third. The songs here reflect all of those, through the harshness and beauty of the natural world, the generosity and brutality of humankind.

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Kath Bloom: This Dream of Life

We're all dreams, evaporating before each other's eyes, within Kath Bloom's complicated folk, transcendent but grounded in human weakness.

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Jimmy Scott: I Go Back Home

As the story goes, German producer Ralf Kemper wanted to make one last great album with Jimmy Scott before he passed from this earth. But is this it?

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Fred Thomas: Changer

The weight of memory falls across Changer, whether Fred Thomas and his characters are running or walking, daydreaming or trying hard to forget.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Eden River

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The Best Indie Pop of 2016

In 2016, indie pop's highlights often went hand-in-hand with a general feeling of fading away, falling apart, saying goodbye.

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A Tribe Called Quest: We Got It From Here, Thank You 4 Your Service

This is A Tribe Called Quest’s most political album, but those politics flow naturally from everything the group has given us throughout its existence.

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Willie Nelson: For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price

You already know what this album sounds like. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t good.

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