The classic Replacements lineup of Paul Westerberg, brothers Tommy and Bob Stinson, and Chris Mars remain unbeatable. The inhuman streak of Let It Be, Tim, and Pleased to Meet Me are bested by only a few.
As a young man, Billy Bragg reinvented punk rock with songs as fiercely political as they were emotional. Decades after he released his first album, PopMatters counts down his ten best outings from those early years.
Across 81 studio albums as a leader, another 25 live recordings as a leader, and then scores of albums as a sideman, Corea was an unerringly superb pianist, a thrilling soloist, a propulsive and sensitive accompanist, and a band member even though he was a superstar.
Wynton Marsalis is one of the most prolific instrumentalists of the last 40 years. A virtuoso in both jazz and Western classical music, he has recorded as many as 75 times as a leader.
Career suicide albums fall into two camps: those that were released ahead of their time, and those that set new standards in awful. The best thing that could be said about the later category is that these albums are oftentimes just as fascinating as an artist's best work.
In a year beset by the most horrid and unusual circumstances, leave it to the hip-hop community to challenge our beliefs and voice our activism. The best records of the year served as rallying cries and made us reconsider the very genre itself.
The electropop universe was vast in 2020 with brilliant newish acts emerging, and experimentalists pushing the music forward. Meanwhile, a few legends returned to show us all how it's really done.