Mayer Hawthorne/J. Cole
Sex in the City
Mayer Hawthorne: How Do You Do (Universal Republic)
The best punk revivalists understand that without catchy songs they might never have fallen for the style to begin with. Ditto the best honky tonk revivalists. Soul revivalists, not so much. So maybe Detroiter Andrew Cohen's civically revivalist Motown/Ford homage inspired him to hone a bunch of hooks and get an assembly line up and running. What we're hearing here is the Temptations turning into the Delfonics--the way his midrange gives up the verse and his falsetto takes the chorus is as nice as his boyish sexism. In the best song, he spills his coffee and misses his bus yet is lifted by a cellphone call where she says she loves him. In a good one Snoop Dogg sings. A MINUS
J. Cole: Cole World: The Sideline Story (Roc Nation/Columbia)
Smart about abortion's complexities and MLK's infidelities and weed's propensities, so aware of how "mornin'" spawns "moanin'" and "wet shit" swallows "next shit" that the sex rhymes hit a nerve, toned up by Drake and Jay-Z's 16s not to mention Trey Songz's and Missy Elliott's hooks, he's worth the shot Jay couldn't resist giving him. But he's still not comfortable enough or clever enough. Ask yourself, kid‑-are you having fun yet? If not, why not? Ultimately, isn't that what flow is about? B PLUS
Greg and Cam, thanks very much for all your recommendations at the end of the last thread. I do have Action-Packed, though have never gotten around to it until now.
I already know that The Chills would be #1 for me in 1990, but that's as far as I'm going.
FURTHER EDIT: Oops, I may have to withdraw my vote for this album anyway. I was going by the release date listed at amazon.com, which seemed right according to my dodgy memory, but I've just found a Philip Glass discography online that lists it as a 1988 release (1989 in the U.S.). Checking further.
(not that I'm advocating using the Dean's list as single or primary source for the poll)
one question, tho: can you maybe go through the dean's list for the year and tell us which comps are eligible/ineligible for voting? i think it might help to clear up some confusion, re: can we vote for Tom Ze/Oriental Brothers/Madonna's IC/etc.
Reminder: including runners-up on ballots in the 1978 poll provided some crucial quirk and variety, so everyone is encouraged to do so again for 1990.
Here's what ShadyShack said:
'For your consideration I recommend 1990, because overall its a weak year with no real strong winners. Take a look at the P&J and Dean's List and I think we could improve upon it or maybe not. It's just kind of a "meh" year in my opinion, and maybe it still will be weak. But maybe some gems are there to be rediscovered and reevaluated after some years of separation. It would create a lot more disparity between polls due to the lack of any A+'s that are not best of's or comps and the majority of A's from 1990 are best of's too. Even the Dean's essay is titled "Hard News in a Soft Year".'
1. Everyone may vote, lurkers definitely included.
2. Pick your 10 favorite albums from the chosen year (define "favorite" any way you like - it's your list). Specify the title and artist.
3. Rank your appreciation of said albums by dividing 100 points among them, with each album being given a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 30 points. You may choose to leave out the points, in which case each of your 10 albums will be given 10 points.
4. You may also include runners-up, as many or as few as you wish. Those do not have to be ranked.
5. Only albums of new or previously unreleased material qualify. Best-ofs and re-issues don't. The Basement Tapes would qualify for 1975. The various-artists release Dark Was The Night would qualify for 2009. Bob Marley's Legend would not qualify at all.
6. Albums should be from the chosen year only. Pazz and Jop allows late-breaking albums from a previous year (with 1982's Thriller famously winning the 1983 poll, for instance) - we're not doing that.
7. E-mail your ballot to mysteryf
If you're a regular poster, please include your EW handle so that I know who you are.
8. DO NOT post your ballot on this board until poll results are published.
9. Whatever albums get the most points win. Ties are divided by number of votes. Albums need at least 2 votes to be included on the finisher list.
10. Voting ends Sunday Nov. 13 at 8 PM, Eastern time. Results will hopefully be in some time on Tuesday Nov. 15, and posted on that day's EW entry.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.