Author Archives: Jeff Goodwin

The Best Music of the 2010’s — 10 other essential songs

The 20 most important artists (and 10 other essential songs) of the 2010’s. 20–16 . 15–11 . 10–6 . 5–1 . & 10 more songs Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti — “Round and Round” (2010) Like its creator Ariel … Continue reading

January 25, 2020 · Leave a comment

The Best Music of 2010’s: #5-1

The 20 most important artists (and 10 other essential songs) of the 2010’s. 20–16 . 15–11 . 10–6 . 5–1 . & 10 more songs 5. Tame Impala  When the quest … Continue reading

December 29, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Best Music of the 2010’s: #10–6

The 20 most important artists (and 10 other essential songs) of the 2010’s. 20–16 . 15–11 . 10–6 . 5–1 . & 10 more songs 10. Vampire Weekend  Modern Vampires of … Continue reading

December 27, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Best Music of the 2010’s: #15-11

The 20 most important artists (and 10 other essential songs) of the 2010’s. 20–16 . 15–11 . 10–6 . 5–1 . & 10 more songs 15. D’Angelo and the Vanguard Two … Continue reading

December 22, 2019 · Leave a comment

The Best Music of the 2010’s: #20-16

The 20 most important artists (and 10 other essential songs) of the 2010’s. In the 2010’s, music consumption went through a revolution. We listened to it in more ways and … Continue reading

December 20, 2019 · Leave a comment

Whitney Sound of Another Time But Belong to This One

For a scruffy little band, Whitney clean up awfully well. They also take up more surface area than you might imagine. What started as two friends from Chicago (Julian Ehrlich, … Continue reading

December 3, 2019 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2018: #5-1

5) The 1975 “Love It If We Made It” – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships The 1975’s sound slaps your skin like ice-cold tap water — refreshing and reliably engineered to hold … Continue reading

January 1, 2019 · 1 Comment

Pinegrove Return (And, Yes, You Should Care)

Fifteen minutes into their sold-out show at Cambridge, MA’s cozy venue the Sinclair (official capacity 525 but tonight inching closer to 600), it becomes apparent that Pinegrove are going to … Continue reading

December 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

I’m With Her: Gender, Fame, and the Exquisite Oddness of Neko Case

Gloomy, smoldering ballad “Curse of the I-5 Corridor” is the song I really want Neko Case to play on this drizzly, uncommonly cool summer night in Boston, but of course … Continue reading

August 17, 2018 · 1 Comment

“This Is America” – Childish Gambino

If you are someone who perceives pop music as a cultural barometer, you will never forget where you were the first time you saw Childish Gambino’s “This is America.” It’s not unlike … Continue reading

May 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2017: #5-1

10-6 | 5-1 5) The National  “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness” – Sleep Well Beast The human nervous system relays messages to the brain at speeds of up … Continue reading

January 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2017: #10-6

10-6 | 5-1 To quote the irascible Isaac Brock: In 2017, “opinions were like kittens. I was givin’ them away.” It seems we all were. Whether by Tweet, FaceBook post, Instagram … Continue reading

January 6, 2018 · 2 Comments

Hamilton Leithauser’s Big Dream About Being Heard – Live in Concert

It’s a singer’s worst nightmare. Hamilton Leithauser is opening his mouth and nothing is coming out. At Boston nightclub Royale, the 39-year old indie rock journeyman is on stage belting … Continue reading

November 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

Sleep Well Beast – The National – album review

At some point in the last five years, the National became indie rock royalty. There was no formal ceremony per se, no keys to the executive washroom granted, but an … Continue reading

September 12, 2017 · Leave a comment

DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar – album review

Damn, indeed. Damn, if 2015 doesn’t seem like the good ol’ days. You know, when Kendrick Lamar’s last album, To Pimp a Butterfly, stood defiantly, arms crossed, neck deep in America’s murky, … Continue reading

May 1, 2017 · 3 Comments

Hot Thoughts – Spoon – album review

On “Finer Feelings” from 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Spoon front man Britt Daniel postulated a remedy for all that ailed him: “Sometimes I think that I’ll find a … Continue reading

March 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

150 Seconds to Shibui: The Best Short Songs You Might Have Missed

Original ceramic art by Matthew Chambers The Japanese word “Shibui” refers to an aesthetic of subtle, unobtrusive beauty often characterized by simplicity and economy of form. In the context of … Continue reading

February 19, 2017 · Leave a comment

I See You – The xx – album review

A couple years ago Spotify divulged that “Intro” from the xx’s self-titled debut was the song most often found on user playlists whose titles contained the word “sex.” It came … Continue reading

January 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2016: #5-1

10-6 | 5-1 5) Solange “Cranes In The Sky” – A Seat at the Table “Got a lot to be mad about” Solange Knowles admits on her third and easily … Continue reading

January 1, 2017 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2016: #10-6

10-6 | 5-1 Tough year, 2016. Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Leonard Cohen, Phife Dawg, Glenn Frye, Merle Haggard, Maurice White, Sharon Jones, Leon Russell, Paul Kantner, the fifth Beatle George … Continue reading

December 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

Blonde – Frank Ocean – album review

“Mind over matter is magic” confides Frank Ocean “I do magic.” It’s the sort of clever, hyperbolized turn of phrase employed by storytellers to heighten the tension within their tales. … Continue reading

August 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

A Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead – album review

We live in intolerable times. Radiohead’s songs have been telling us as much for decades: “Everything is broken.” “I’ll take a quiet life/ A handshake of carbon monoxide.” “Women and children … Continue reading

May 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

The Life of Pablo – Kanye West – album review

“Tell me, all/ Who here can relate?” asks Kanye West during a particularly outlandish, mildly inchoate freestyle rap on The Life of Pablo about personal liberation, trysts with models, and anal bleaching; the … Continue reading

February 18, 2016 · Leave a comment

Blackstar – David Bowie – album review

This wasn’t supposed to be a eulogy. But before I could finish the review of Blackstar, David Bowie, aged 69, passed away after an 18-month long battle with liver cancer, making this strange … Continue reading

January 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2015: #5-1

20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 5) Sleater-Kinney “No Cities To Love” – No Cities To Love Sleater-Kinney’s return from a ten-year hiatus is remarkable not just for the … Continue reading

January 5, 2016 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2015: #10-6

20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 10) Viet Cong “Bunker Buster” – Viet Cong When Calgary post-punk quartet Viet Cong dropped the rough mix of “Bunker Buster” in March, … Continue reading

January 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2015: #15-11

20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 15) Beach House “Sparks” – Depression Cherry “There’s a place I want to take you” sings Victoria LeGrande on the superbly-titled Depression Cherry. … Continue reading

January 3, 2016 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2015: #20-16

Sigh. For the second straight year, I could scarcely keep track of my bills, business papers, and kid’s birthdays in 2015, let alone write bi-weekly reviews for my languishing labor … Continue reading

January 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar – album review

To Pimp A Butterfly is a marvel of bi-polarity, a force field of simultaneous attraction and repulsion. It invites you to come in, grab a seat, and have a meaningful … Continue reading

April 7, 2015 · Leave a comment

Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit – Courtney Barnett – album review

Courtney Barnett estimates she’s had twenty panic attacks since entering adulthood. It’s the sort of detail that’s acutely incongruous with her music, a wry, lazy blend of punk, folk, and … Continue reading

March 22, 2015 · Leave a comment

Viet Cong – Viet Cong – album review

It’s difficult when the expectations placed on one band are the unfulfilled promises of another. Calgary quartet Viet Cong will always be known as the group that arose from the … Continue reading

January 26, 2015 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2014: #5-1

 10-6 | 5-1 5) Spoon “Do You” — They Want My Soul Lead single “Do You” from Spoon’s They Want My Soul is as shiny and polished as a newly-minted … Continue reading

January 4, 2015 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2014: #10-6

Some years, music coalesces into a grander movement or reaches a watershed level of excellence, signifying general agreement that holy shit, this was a really great year. 2014 was not … Continue reading

January 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

Black Messiah – D’Angelo and the Vanguard – album review

Let’s start with the obvious, people — something about D’Angelo’s music makes clothes just fall off of folks. Although his long-awaited third album is about far more than sex, you’ve … Continue reading

December 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

They Want My Soul – Spoon – album review

“What’s a soul, daddy?” my daughter asked quite unexpectedly one evening. She’s six years old, so I considered my options carefully before answering. The invisible essence of a living entity? … Continue reading

August 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

Ghost Stories – Coldplay – album review

It’s become impossible to underestimate Coldplay. That’s no longer hyperbole, just plain fact — and one that even the band themselves wishes weren’t true. They’ve released five consecutive multi-platinum albums, each … Continue reading

May 21, 2014 · 3 Comments

Here and Nowhere Else – Cloud Nothings – album review

Here and Nowhere Else is a swift, brutal act of emotional transference — thirty minutes of rampant aggression that imparts distress upon the listener as surely as it provided catharsis … Continue reading

April 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

Atlas – Real Estate – album review

Everything you need to know about Real Estate can be found in the first twelve minutes of Atlas, a three song sequence that reads like an ad in the personals: … Continue reading

March 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

St. Vincent – St. Vincent – album review

“Here’s my report from the edge” grits Annie Clark through blood red lips and perfect teeth, but as precarious as her announcement sounds, it’s an odd way to characterize the … Continue reading

February 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2013: Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 Autre Ne Veut “Play By Play” – Anxiety “I’m counting on the idea/ That you’ll stay” Arthur Ashin cries — no, … Continue reading

February 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

Beyoncé – BEYONCÉ – album review

“Let me sit this asssssssssssss on ya“ might be the moment it finally sinks in. Mrs. Knowles is all done with being the Good Girl, thank you very much. It’s … Continue reading

January 13, 2014 · 2 Comments

Best Music of 2013: #5-1

Honorable Mentions | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 5) Savages “Shut Up” – Silence Yourself Savages hit me hard this year — their vehemence, their aesthetic minimalism (sonic … Continue reading

January 5, 2014 · 10 Comments

Best Music of 2013: #10-6

Honorable Mentions | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 10) Danny Brown “Lonely” – Old Danny Brown is acutely aware that he walks between worlds — dope dealer turned … Continue reading

January 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2013: #15-11

Honorable Mentions | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 15) The Knife “Full of Fire” – Shaking the Habitual “How do you build an album about not knowing?” ask … Continue reading

January 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

Best Music of 2013: #20-16

Artists below are ranked by the likeability, listenability, and overall influence of their work (sometimes a song, sometimes an album, and sometimes both.) Hope you enjoy. Honorable Mentions | 20-16 … Continue reading

January 1, 2014 · 2 Comments

White Light/White Heat (45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) – The Velvet Underground – album review

The Velvet Underground’s incendiary proto-punk seemed so outside the plane of music’s reality in 1968 that Lou Reed’s throwaway line “You don’t look like Martha and the Vandellas” from White … Continue reading

December 1, 2013 · Leave a comment

Reflektor – Arcade Fire – album review

There’s a moment when it almost all comes together — a guy sporting a ridiculously giant Win Butler mask is kicked off stage by the real McCoy just seconds before … Continue reading

November 6, 2013 · Leave a comment

Uncanney Valley – The Dismemberment Plan – album review

One of the best reasons to attend a Dismemberment Plan show during the band’s 2011 reunion tour occurred seconds before the second chorus to “You Are Invited” — a delirious … Continue reading

October 17, 2013 · Leave a comment

EP2 – FKA twigs – album review

Buried on FKA twigs’ Tumblr page, a grainy, unassuming photo captures the twenty-five-year-old Brit deep in thought, flanked by a row of vibrato pedals, an iPad, a bottle of coconut … Continue reading

September 19, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Worse Things Get… – Neko Case – album review

“In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer” wrote author and absurdist philosopher Albert Camus in 1952. Paralyzed by existential indecision, … Continue reading

September 10, 2013 · 1 Comment