Renaissance – Beyonce ★★★★½

Year Album Artist Stars Score Genre 2022 Renaissance Beyonce ★★★★½ 86 Pop Dance Pop R&B What are the two things you want from a DJ when you’re out dancing? You want them to play something that you recognize, and you want the music to transition seamlessly from one track to the next. On Renaissance, BeyonceContinue reading “Renaissance – Beyonce ★★★★½”

SOS – SZA ★★★★

Year Album Artist Stars Score Genre 2022 SOS SZA ★★★★ 84 Hip-Hop R&B Pop If SZA’s gonna consistently put out classics, I’m fine waiting five years between releases, and I’m happy with them including 23 tracks.  SZA’s stardom in 2022 is so much bigger than it was back in 2017, when she was about toContinue reading “SOS – SZA ★★★★”

Honestly, Nevermind – Drake ★

Year Album Artist Stars Score Genre 2022 Honestly, Nevermind Drake ★ 24 Pop Pop Hip-Hop What would happen if you took “Passionfruit,” removed the fun character of it and threw it on top of a watered down tropical house beat?  What would “One Dance” be like if you removed the memorable upbeat vocals and gaveContinue reading “Honestly, Nevermind – Drake ★”

Harry’s Room – Harry Styles ★★★

Year Album Artist Stars Score Genre 2022 Harry’s Room Harry Styles ★★★ 59 Pop Pop Rock Harry Styles has gotten really good at making pop records that still feel like indie music, even though there isn’t anything indie about a former member of a boyband who puts out a few smash Top-40 hits every twoContinue reading “Harry’s Room – Harry Styles ★★★”

how i’m feeling now – Charli XCX ★★★★

Year Album Artist Stars Score Genre 2020 how i’m feeling now Charli XCX ★★★★ 84 Pop Electropop Hyperpop how i’m feeling now is a really good, well crafted pop album that expertly combines Charli XCX’s catchy, simple choruses, with complex production that keep you interested and coming back for more.  It’s a work that isContinue reading “how i’m feeling now – Charli XCX ★★★★”

Kala – M.I.A. ★★★★

Year Album Artist Stars Score Genre 2007 Kala M.I.A. ★★★★ 76 Electronic Alternative Hip-Hop Synthpop Kala is a loud, bangin’ pop record that’s much less hip-hop leaning than M.I.A.’s previous album Arular and more overall about electronic production and creating dance tracks than her vocals.  With an almost childlike, playground chaoticness or aggressiveness, M.I.A. mixesContinue reading “Kala – M.I.A. ★★★★”

Pang – Caroline Polachek ★★★

Year Album Artist Stars Score Genre 2019 Pang Caroline Polachek ★★★ 56 Pop Indie Pop I’m a big fan of creative pop albums, but I was surprisingly underwhelmed by Pang, Caroline Polachek’s third solo record. A lot of the disappointment comes from her repetitive, elementary lyrics throughout the album.  Listening to Polachek’s lyrics mostly feltContinue reading “Pang – Caroline Polachek ★★★”

LP3 – Hippo Campus ★★

Year Album Artist Stars Score Genre 2022 LP3 Hippo Campus ★★ 41 Pop Indie Pop Hippo Campus is a band that’s never quite known what they wanted to be, while at the same time always being the same thing.  Their debut EPs and singles all featured cutesy, upbeat (and often offbeat) indie rock tracks, withContinue reading “LP3 – Hippo Campus ★★”

YEAR IN REVIEW: My favorite songs of 2013

by Nicholas Cicale (@nickcicale) This year had a TON of really good rock songs, partly because there were a lot of solid albums (consequently, there are a lot of repeat artist). Luckily I liked a lot of singles too, so the list is a really nice mix of things. There aren’t that many pop orContinue reading “YEAR IN REVIEW: My favorite songs of 2013”