Archive for category MUSIC REVIEW

#BestOf2021 : Top 100 Tracks 2021 (25-1)

The last part of our Top 100 tracks of the 2020 brings our favourite 25 songs featuring, among others, odes to glamourous fabrics and pieces of furniture; new agey philosophical reflections; a flamenco pop live recording for a US radio station; the nightmare of American religious fundamentalists; a duo of indie titans with a high octane power ballad and the catchiest chorus of the year.

Listen to the Top 100 Tracks of 2022 (25-1) here. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2021 : Top 100 Tracks 2021 (50-26)

The third part of our favourite songs of 2022 recap has Charli’s angels; reggaeton ballads; Canadian folk-rock; Irish dancefloor melancholia; Spanish stoner rock; Tuareg songwriters; Mormon rock; a duet between French pop royalty; Nigerian R&B; the biggest spoken word hit in aeons and the band that may herald a new wave of britpop. Are we inclusive or what?

Listen to the Top 100 Tracks of 2022 (poitions 50-26) here. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2021 : Top 100 Tracks (75-51)

In the second part of our Top 100 favourite songs of the year we find Andalusian rap; Colombian urban ballads; alternative supergroups; Nigerian stars; Australian rock; hip-hop icons; Danish R&B starlettes; ecological activist rappers; 70’s veterans meeting Hollywood stars for bonkers rock opera; Spanish pop-rock and the band whose lead singer is also the protagonist of one of the TV series of the year. Diversity is our middle name!

Listen to the Top 100 Tracks of 2022 (poitions 75-51) here. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2021: Top 100 Tracks (100-76)

101-ᗅᗺᗷᗅ
I Still Have Faith On You
(Polar)

After our Top 50 albums of 2021, it is time to recap our favourite songs of the year. Beginning, as our tradition demands, with the symbolic 101 position, usually dedicated to a guilty pleasure or a track/artist of great relevance during the last twelve months, left bubbling under our selected list. In this case, it is both, as after four decades of their separation Swedish pop behemoth ᗅᗺᗷᗅ announced their return, which automatically was hailed as the comeback of the century. Their new album, ‘Voyage’ unsurprisingly found them at their most mellifluous, but in times of a pandemic recovery that is still uncertain, ‘I Still Have Faith In You,’ at least for anyone whose childhood was left mildly traumatised by the sheer melodrama of Chiquita or for those that treasure some joyful memories soundtracked by ‘Dancing Queen’ or ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’, had the warmth and feel-good embrace of an encounter with a long time absent friend.

The Swedish fab four may have felt slightly dated and their new offerings weren’t even the best ᗅᗺᗷᗅ-like songs around, that honor could go to Pearl Charles‘ glorious pastiche ‘Only for tonight’. However, like theirs, most songs outside the tyranny of the mainstream fusion between EDM, pop and modern R&B formerly called urban music were positively revivalistic. In 2022, whatever your favourite jam from the past may have been, there was a strong chance a current song was influenced by it. This has not been a year for great innovation then, but rather for music which, suitably for the times we are living in, brought comfort and reassurance. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2021: Top 50 Albums

And the Top 50 albums of the year are… Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2020 : Top 50 Albums

After the ranking of our favourite tracks, the time has now come to have a look at the albums that helped us made this year a bit more bearable.

And the Rober Awards Best Albums of 2020 are… Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2020 : Top 100 Tracks (25-1)

And the fourth and final part of our favourite 100 songs of the year (25-1) features the cream of Puerto Rico`s bad boys of rap; Britpop-grunge revival; anti-racism protest songs; a prolific enigmatic British collective; country’s biggest comeback; female sexuality rap anthems; k-pop bubblegum; America´s sweetheart gone indie; Spanish urban rumba; a song from Miss Colombia; future nostalgia with big collaborations; the top streamed song getting a last minute remix with surprise guest; the missing link between Britney and Korn; the song described by some as reggaeton’s own ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and at #1 ‘…The End.’

Check the very best songs of the year here: Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2020 : Top 100 Tracks (50-26)


The third pàrt of our favourite songs of 2020 (75-51) features, among others, the hottest female rapper of the year in a duo with the biggest R&B star of our times; three alt. americana legends covering Hank Williams, Jr.; glitchcore’s finest; the eeriest live gig of the year; k-pop sensations; moving confinement songs; Soweto jazz via London electronica; an ex Disney star recovering the mash-up; a hardcore veteran recovering his rage against Trump’s America; an Antifa anthem from Chile; the current most popular UK pop star…

Check the best songs of the year here: Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2020: Top 100 Tracks (75-51)


The second pàrt in the countdown of our favourite songs of the year (50-26) features a track from the longest-awaited hip-hop debut album ever and another by one of the genre’s recent breakthrough artists who sadly passed away; reggae’s latest female revelation; Colombian/American electronica; two of Africa’s brightest young pop stars; an Aussie diva gone all disco; electronic post-punk dance revisionists; US folk rock and the debut song by the second member of The xx who begins a solo career…

Check the best songs of 2020 here: Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2020 : Top 100 Tracks (100-76)


101-KAROL G. FEAT. NICKI MINAJ
Tusa
(Universal Music Latino)

We begin our end of the year review a little bit early, but considering how it has unfolded no one could blame us for wanting it to finish asap, hopefully moving from the year of the pandemia onto the year of the vaccine. A time marked by the social distance needed to keep the bug at bay has meant an almost total lockdown of presential cultural activities, tours cancelled, clubs and bars shut down, all on top of the pain and anxiety this situation has inflicted upon us. Good news is that, perhaps due to the confinements, many of us had more time to explore what music had on offer and this has been a surprisingly good year for it in which streaming and online activities came to the rescue, offering some relief amongst the harsh circumstances.

And although the growing concerns of recent years about the creative decadence in most traditional genres such as rock, electronica, hip-hop and even urban, whose denomination had to be sacrificed due to political correctness and changed to progressive R&B, music has proven resilient and looks to be in a state of, how Dua Lipa would put it, future nostalgia, where everything is revisited and repurposed to be enjoyed by new audiences.

Not the best year for innovation then, but the popular music landscape in 2020 showed both a perfect way for escapism and a voice for cultural and social concerns. On the escapist front, pop stars from Asia and, above all, Latin America -beating records in streaming platform and making of Puerto Rico a new cradle for music talent to rival London, Brooklyn, Tokyo or Seoul- kept on stealing the traditional anglo-saxon predominance. On the socially conscious one, the aboundance of new forms of protest song fighting the big political battles of our time, either police brutality, racism, totalitarism, white supremacism, female and LGBTI inequalities… as well as some rather brilliant works recorded during or dealing with this confinement have brought renewed energy and relevance to the much maligned and uber commercialized state of pop.

In terms of what is new and groundbreaking, Jazz seems to be again the sound that is experienced the biggest expansion. It´s influence being felt everywhere, not just in R&B and hip-hop records, but in a new generation of brilliant musicians becoming popular. Afro-pop got the honourable silver medal, after Beyoncé´s latest videoalbum extravaganza introduced some of the biggest pop stars of the black continent to the world, many of them suitably having their go at international recognition. In other order of things, a few -perhaps fewer that it should have been- of our favourite artists proved their good shape, with a few new others knocking at greatness’ door. All of which has created an incredibly diverse year for music which we will further discuss about when we publish out Top 50 albums.

Now it’s time to look back at the 100 songs that we enjoyed the most and, following the tradition, we begin with the symbolic number 101; usually reserved for one of the year’s guilty pleasures representing the state of mainstream music. This year is by Latin female star KAROL G and her international breakout hit ‘Tusa,’ which features Nicki Minaj, who has lended her rhyming talents to some of the year’s biggest hits, happily ending the streak of bad luck her career endured in 2019.

Here’s the countdown of our favourite songs of 2020. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did compiling it.
Check The Top 100-76 here: Read the rest of this entry »

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Vote In The Rober Awards 2019 Music Poll.

The Rober Academy for the Arts & Sciences of Entertainment cordially invites you to cast your vote in The XXXVIII Rober Awards Music Poll. Please find the ballot after the jump. You can mark up to two choices in each of the twenty categories. To help your choices, a Spotify playlist with tracks from all nominated artists is enclosed at the bottom.

And the nominees are: Read the rest of this entry »

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Big Thief; Lana Del Rey; Fontaines D.C and Billie Elish Lead #RoberAwards2019 Nominations

The nominations for this year’s Rober Awards Music Poll have just been announced and US folk-rockers Big Thief are the favourites featuring in five categories, including album and song of the year; best group; rock and live artists. The Brooklyn band, who has released two excellent albums in 2019, has topped our Top 50 best albums chart and now lead the nominees for our annual awards.

They are followed closely, with four apiece, by Lana Del Rey, who is having a career peak thanks to her sixth and most accomplished album to date, “Norman Fucking´Rockwell;” Irish debuting post-punk band Fontaines D:C, going against the trend by bringing back to life the rather fading power of rock guitars, and the alt. pop revelation of the year, Billie Eilish. Read the rest of this entry »

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#Bestof2019 : Top 100 Tracks (25-1)

FKA Twigs’ exquisite vocal and electronica experimentation kickstarts the final and most important part of our Top 100 tracks of 2019 (Positions 25-1). For the first time ever 19 out of our Top 25 songs are performed by female musicians or female-fronted bands, including the whole of the Top 10. This only reaffirms 2019 as a year with strong feminine (and feminist) flavour.

And our favourite songs of the year are: Read the rest of this entry »

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#Bestof2019 : Top 100 Tracks (50-26)

The multicultural, London-based indie quintet Vanishing Twin opens the third part of our favourite songs of 2019 (50-26), which also features classically trained R&B singers; Brazilian electronic DJs teaming up with some of Today´s biggest urban Latin stars; math rock revivalists; songwriters’ collaborative projects; the only three artists with more than a song in our list; the American superstar recently awarded as artist of the decade and a rather enigmatic musician whose songs were scheduled for a 2013 release, but did not see the light of day until now.

Check the best songs of the year here: Read the rest of this entry »

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