BBT Read the full review.
LS Read the full review.
But her music sounds and feels of an earlier era, its jazzy syncopations and her silky-smoky voice coming together on songs like early viral hits “1950” and “Talia” and welcome follow-ups “Useless Phrases” and “Hit the Back” to form an altogether new alt-pop sound.
Except Dory, someone really should start looking for her.
Slowthai wryly evokes the forgotten parts of the country through snapshots of working-class life: tea and biscuits, hiding drugs, fallouts with a stepfather, EastEnders’ Phil Mitchell.
By strong contrast, 2019 was more of a transitional changing of the guard year, allowing space for new faces, like Billie Eilish and Lizzo, to make big splashes and for seasoned veterans, like Wilco and Solange, to create bigger, fresher waves.
As buzz bands go, Black Midi is a weird one, a jagged mulch of math rock, Beefheart restlessness and the 90s Chicago school of alt-jazz, full of the declamatory vocals of Geordie Greep (whose voice you couldn’t make up if you tried). is to spend much of each year on the road, circling the globe at the helm of three…. Lanre Bakare Read the full review. LS Read the full review. The entire contents of the DownBeat.com Site is copyrighted as a collective work under the United States copyright laws.
The list below is a round up of the 5-, 4.5- and 4-star reviews that ran in print editions of DownBeat during 2019. One album can’t really contain the pop-cultural moment that is Lizzo – she is at her most enjoyable live, feeding back with a crowd that are delighted to see a star who looks like them, or, rather, not like everyone else in pop. A future cult classic ... (Sandy) Alex G. Modern classics ... Durand Jones and the Indications. When drummer Janet Weiss quit Sleater-Kinney prior to the release of their ninth studio album, it cast an unfair pallor on a record mired in suspicion, every new dazzling synth or poppy refrain regarded as the possible straw that broke the camel’s back. “2021” samples Japanese electronic music auteur Haruomi Hosono. Africa Speaks, Santana’s most inspired and fully realized album since 1970’s Abraxas, is not only an exhibition of searing licks from the leader, but a showcase for the majestic voice of Spanish singer, poet and lyricist Buika. Lakecia Benjamin is among 25 artists DownBeat predicts will help shape the future of jazz. DownBeat is an internationally registered trademark of Maher Publications. Billboard's staff picks for 2019's best rock albums, including Vampire Weekend, Brittany Howard, Sharon Van Etten, and Oso Oso. The beats bang, and the quotables run fast and hot, like a river of blood. Like a great American novel, Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell opens in turbulence and closes on a glint of hope.
If a performer was the focus of a major feature, it’s likely their album wasn’t reviewed, and accounts for its omission from the list below. Their ranting live shows gathered hype like a crowd round a bullhorn, and this debut album delivers – and then some. While New York, Los Angeles and Chicago still predictably serve as homes to flourishing jazz scenes, a city across the pond has emerged as a hotbed for cutting-edge musicianship: London. Pang details a rebirth – the end of a marriage, a new start, a new creative partnership with producer Danny L Harle – and its avant-garde mix of airy synthesis and human tactility glistens with wonder. BBT Read the full review.
BBT Read the full review. For her debut solo album, Jaime, Alabama Shakes singer and guitarist Brittany Howard steps out on her own in more than one way.
The best entertainment of 2019, as chosen by Vulture's critics. They’ve done it in three different decades now, modeling torpid ’90s ennui throughout 1996’s Being There, jacking into the jittery anxieties and technophilia/-phobia of the early aughts on 2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and fighting to stay positive against the odds on this year’s Ode to Joy.
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But her songs are full of dark stories of convoluted love, nihilistic disillusion and pain. Third-Parties: Collection of Information by Third-Party Sites and Sponsors DownBeat.com contains links to other sites whose information practices may be different than ours. Like Sons of Kemet’s Your Queen Is a Reptile, each track on poet/activist/songwriter Jamila Woods’s second album is named for a pivotal artist of colour, whose legacies she explores as models of how to live life to the fullest. Whether in grunge ballads (Jenni), front-porch blues (Orange) or the ambient indie-folk that sways reed-like throughout, the mood is as melancholy as it is beautiful.
On the album closer “If You Think It’s Love,” for instance, she pares things back to just her voice, manipulated into an electronic echo, which lets her sharp writing shine. George Benson is the newest inductee in the DownBeat, Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society, Somewhere Else: Songs From West Side Story. Like Caroline Polachek, Hannah Diamond and so many others this year, Amber Bain uses super-synthetic electropop and soft rock to say much rougher, grittier truths. And from album opener Psycho onwards, where he’s positioned as a patient telling all to a therapist, we meet a rapper as agitated as he is angry. Where their second 2019 album Two Hands (see No 37, below) has a torn-paper edge to it, the first, UFOF, is pristine – but it essays a world that is far from perfect. Michael Hann Read the full review.
Shabaka Hutchings’ M.O. There are dead moths and pigeons, hospital waiting rooms and drownings; singer-songwriter Adrianne Lenker’s voice often comes out in a strangled whisper.
He then turns his attention back to the president: “His character boorish, bravado without the courage.” (Chow), On Norman F–king Rockwell, Lana Del Rey does what she’s been threatening to do since her start as the star of 2011’s surprise viral hit “Video Games”: unleash an American classic. Jack Barnett’s vocals, conversational yet epic, add their own particular drama. Even before you get to Aldous Harding’s magnetic, bug-eyed live shows, the New Zealander’s third album operates on its own unique logic: inscrutable lyrics and tender folk settings that are deeply eerie yet obviously benign, like the traditional music of some beatific lost civilisation. You think the title track (where the group gives voice to a series of murdered preachers and healers) is going to be the most devastating tune, and then you get to “Wheels of Laredo” realizing that they shook you up 12 times in a row. At turns edgy and haunting or syrupy with romance, Assume Form shines as a sharply-tooled project shimmering with Blake’s signature orchestral production and off-kilter beat choices.
Brandi Carlile is an acclaimed singer-songwriter whose pen is sharp enough to have netted nominations for all the top honors at last year’s Grammys. – and in our world of lies and gaslighting, we need that north-star constant more than ever.
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