Lorde’s ‘Green Light’ lands at #4 in the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll, giving women artists three of the top four spots. Kendrick Lamar’s ‘DNA’ rounds out the top five, giving him the best showing in a top ten that is split between men who rap and women who pop (plus Cardi B, a woman who raps).
I kind of get the praise for this song, though it by no means wins me over to the Kendrick Lamar cult. It’s more interesting lyrically and musically than anything else of his I’ve heard.
The third top single of 2017, according to Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll, is Carley Rae Jepsen’s ‘Cut to the Feeling.’ I’m a big Jepsen fan so I’m happy to see her show up so high, especially for a song I’ve never even heard. I’m looking forward to firing it up now.
This track was cut not just from Jepsen’s critical-adored 2015 album EMOTION, but from the follow-up EP, EMOTION Side B. It ended up finding a home in the French-Canadian animated film Ballerina, which will be released as Leap! in the United States. Jepsen plays a character in the film as well.
If the Academy Awards can be held in March, I can post about 2017 at least through February, right?
Over the next two weeks, I will take my annual dive into the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll — now in its 45th year. This ranked list of the year’s best albums and singles is, according to famed critic Robert Christgau, “America’s most comprehensive survey of ‘rock critic’ taste.”
When I saw that my final blog entry on the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll was to be a rap song by YG (feat. Nipsey Hussle), I was bummed. I’ve seen enough of these generic party anthems held up as great art.
But then I read that the song’s title ‘FDT,’ stands for “Fuck Donald Trump” and I realized, regardless of the song’s quality, we couldn’t have a finer closing song for this series.
I featured an Angel Olsen song on the blog back in March of 2014 and didn’t give her another thought until she showed up on this year’s Pazz & Jop poll at #12 on the albums list and #13 on the singles list.
Olsen is a St. Louis-born singer-songwriter who reminds me a bit of Courtney Barnett. 2016’s My Woman is her fourth full-length release.
If ever a band was made for year-end critics lists, it’s Radiohead. They’ve been releasing albums full of bleeps and bloops to high praise for more than a decade now.
I really loved the Radiohead of The Bends and OK Computer but their appeal pretty much ended for me there (though parts of In Rainbows were listenable). After a five year hiatus, the band released A Moon Shaped Pool last year to (shocked) critical acclaim. It landed at #7 on the Village Voice Pazz & Jop albums poll.
Tied for the ninth spot on Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll is Rihanna’s ‘Work,’ probably the least interesting song on her excellent album Anti. Anti shows up at #13 on the albums list.
Coming in at #11 is ‘No Problem’ by Chance the Rapper. His album, Coloring Book, was named the fourth best of the year. If this song is any indication, Chance the Rapper isn’t for me, although I’ve heard enough good things about him that maybe I should give him another chance.