Whether you’re here for face-melting solos or pointed political critique, no one does either quite like him. In 2019, the musical landscape was as fractured and multifarious as the world around it. The album’s predecessor, U.F.O.F., released just months before it, felt comparatively slippery and undefined, as songwriter Adrianne Lenker channeled the immense power of her voice into something like a warm whisper. Miss Universe doesn’t really need the concept-album framework, with its satirical interstitial muzak from the supposedly caring corporation Wway Health. Songs like the perversely jaunty opener “That’s Just The Way I Feel,” with its droll acknowledgements of a decade spent “playing chicken with oblivion” and the “ceaseless feasts of schadenfreude” that Berman’s foes have enjoyed at his expense, become the blackest sort of tragicomedy in the wake of his death. SPIN's 300 Best Albums of the Past 30 Years (1985-2014) Spin's 125 Best Albums of the Past 25 Years (1985-2009) Advertisement The best albums of the year didn’t fit neatly along any one major narrative line, but if you peruse our list below, you might find a few patterns. Songs like the perversely jaunty opener “That’s Just The Way I Feel,” with its droll acknowledgements of a decade spent “playing chicken with oblivion” and the “ceaseless feasts of schadenfreude” that Berman’s foes have enjoyed at his expense, become the blackest sort of tragicomedy in the wake of his death. Soundgarden Members Talk 'Floating, Trippy' Brandi Carlile Collaboration, Bill Murray’s Golf Company Sends Humorous Response to Doobie Brothers’ Legal Threat, With 200K Dead, Trump Spews Lies Then Golfs for the 298th Time During His Presidency, Trump Preached White Supremacy in Minnesota, America Barely Noticed, There’s a Right and a Wrong Way to Talk About Trump’s Attempts to Rig the Election, How TikTok Teens Are Ending Up on Pornhub. In Niger, cell phones with data connections are more readily available than running water. Manchester’s WH Lung are on hand to provide it, garlanded with airy vocals and endearingly retro sonics. LS Read the full review. See which albums are sitting at the top of this year's charts. While artists like Billie Eilish and Polachek have pushed pop into the future this year, King Princess joins Lana Del Rey in showing that there’s potential in classicism yet. But we have somewhat better haircuts. - Peter Steele, Type O Negative (Issue #69), Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest: Philadelphia, Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest: Los Angeles. It’s been there since her earliest recordings, conveying inner darkness and ecstasy that plain speech would struggle to describe. This is a band caught deep in one of the songwriting grooves of the century.
Never one to be pigeonholed, Del Rey tosses in a remarkably straight-faced and legitimately enchanting cover of ‘90s SoCo bro band Sublime’s “Doin’ Time,” and takes a wry shot at Kanye West’s MAGA heel turn with the throwaway line describing the emcee as “blond and gone.” Never let it be said that she doesn’t have a sense of humor.
On Boss, she goes in as hard as an aggrieved Wu-Tang member over a raw bluesy beat; on the very next song, Selfish, these spikes are melted into smooth R&B. An existential chill permeates the title track: “Stone-faced in the light / The air, and the jagged bite / Cold air, the wisdom of the night / Between us.” It’s air that connects us, even when we’ve lost touch with the planet and ourselves. We want to hear from you! The quavering, circuitous voice of British jazz-dub songwriter James Blake is still a beautiful instrument, and his arrangements are as atmospheric as ever here.