Ella Mai’s ‘Boo’d Up‘ is at #13 in the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll, and right behind her are America’s royal couple, Beyoncé and Jay-Z (billed as The Carters), with their track ‘Apeshit.’
After the pair went through a difficult, and very public, rough patch (documented in stunning fashion on Beyoncé’s Lemonade and in less stunning but still admirable fashion on Jay-Z’s 4:44), they teamed up on an album titled Everything is Love, putting an exclamation point on their reconciliation.
Drake occupies the 10th and 11th spots on Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll, by himself with ‘Nice For What‘ and paired with Travis Scott on ‘Sicko Mode,’ respectively.
At #12 is a song (and artist) that’s completely new to me: ‘Night Shift’ by Lucy Dacus.
Today is my daughter Fiona’s 13th birthday, so I hope ‘Night Shift’ is an appropriately celebratory song. Happy Birthday, Fiona!
The seventh and eighth top songs on 2018’s Pazz & Jop poll have also been featured on the blog before, demonstrating exactly how firmly I have my finger on the pulse of the popular music landscape. Or that I have to post 365 songs each year so I’m bound to get it right once in awhile.
At #7 is Kacey Musgraves with ‘High Horse,’ the first single from her celebrated album Golden Hour. Golden Hour claimed the #1 spot on the poll’s album list, adding to a year of tremendous accolades for Musgraves’s third full-length release, culminating in the Album of the Year Grammy this past weekend. That album is certainly appreciated in my house.
The #6 song on this year’s Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll comes from Mitski’s album Be the Cowboy, which tied with Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy for #3 on the Top Albums list.
I have heard a lot of good things about Mitski, and this album in particular, but I regret to report that I just didn’t get it. I didn’t hear any memorable melodies, the production was unimpressive, and overall the whole thing just fell flat. But clearly it is striking a nerve for a lot of people, so this one might just be on me.
Over the last several years, I’ve featured songs from the top of Village Voice’s annual Pazz & Jop poll, which compiles the picks of hundreds of music critics into a master Top 100 Albums and Top 50 Singles.
Well, Village Voice closed up shop last year, first moving online only and then ceasing new content creation entirely. It looked like a sad end to a poll dating back to 1974 that gave a fascinating glimpse into the changing popular music landscape.
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.